My wife and I lived in a home with roommates, renting out the rooms to others. We did not have kids at the time. It was a sacrifice for both of us but it was especially hard on my loving wife because of expectations of privacy and frankly, getting adjusted to our trajectory in life (which I think has been a very good one since we got engaged).
I do have some strong opinions on the matter.
For many people, delayed gratification is a concept that needs to be discussed and acted on. There would no doubt be real challenges associated with house hacking with kids present, however one of the greatest advantages of that (beyond financial) is that your kids get to observe you and your significant other making decisions that help you long term.
Even if they are too young to understand all of the implications of that, they will understand later and you will have an opportunity to discuss the decision in more detail which is absolutely huge.
All this said, have you considered getting a multi family unit where there's at least a wall up in between spaces?
I think I would probably advocate for that if it's feasible. Perhaps a 2-4 unit MFR.
@Nicole Frawley I would never bring strangers into my immediate dwelling area with kids involved and even without kids I would be extremely cautious about moving a stranger into my house being married. If it was an ADU or a 2-4 unit that would be a different story. I value my families safety over my financial well being and sometimes even people with clean records turn out to be criminals of the worst kind. That’s not a risk I’m willing to take with my family.
@Nicole Frawley I have never "house hacked" per se but I wouldn't house hack with a stranger and my children in the same unit. I would be to concerned with their safety. If you are getting a duplex or something like that then that's different but if your talking about renting a room or two in your house I wouldn't. I'm sure everything would work out fine but that's two much risk for me personally.
@Jeshua Patrick beat me to it!
We house hacked with 3-5 kids (when we started we had 3, when we moved we had 5). It wasn’t bad for us because we still had over 2000 sq ft for our family. The second unit was a 2 bd 1100 sq ft apt below us that we rented out. Whenever renting it out we made sure to let them know we had young children that would be living above them. Most renters didn’t seem to have a problem with that. If I could go back I would do it again.
I plan to buy a duplex. We've been debating and I think it's smart financially plus I think teaching my children to not think like the majority will be good. We will live in one side rent the other out. It will cover all but 100 of the payment. It'll be more cramped but i think its our best move to get in the game with little money down. Thanks for the opinions!! I've heard on the podcast one person said they househack with their kids and still do to this day. my first deal didnt work out due to my own finances being tight and i wont give up.
My parents didn't house hack per se but we (2 parents/3 kids) did live in a cramped 3 bedroom 1 bath apartment (married student housing) for two years while my dad got his PhD. It made a strong impression on me as a kid, in terms of, hey, if you want to get ahead, this is what it takes. Living in close proximity to others was no hardship for us -- we were stoked to have so many other kids in the complex. The hard part was seeing so little of my dad for those two years. My wife, who lived her entire life in a detached single family home, has much more anxiety than I do regarding our living standards. Meaning, she "needs" a much nicer home than I do to feel comfortable (we're 2 parents 2 kids and one mother in law living in a 4 bedroom 3 bath 2400 sq ft detached SFH). Kids are resilient. They'll adjust to anything. So long as you're not putting them in any kind of danger, you're probably doing them a favor. In my very unscientific opinion, the working class folks your kids are more likely to encounter in the neighborhood where that duplex is located are probably more likely to have kids of their own and be outside and be willing to interact with your kids than your current neighbors. We live in a very nice neighborhood and there is rarely anyone outside for my kids to interact with. Whereas if we lived in a low rent apartment complex there would likely be a pack of kids running around. It's just demographics. Wealthier people are older and have fewer kids. Poorer people tend to be younger and have larger families. Another bonus is diversity: an area with lower owner occupancy rates will tend to be more diverse, so your kids will have the good fortune of being exposed to cultures other than their own.
we live in a small town 12000 resident small lol. So the demographics dont change much. My home was 2000 square foot but old as most are here. Cost me 90000. This duplex is old but were doing a 203k and getting it for 50 with 20 for repair costs. It's a great deal relative to the rent itll bring. I think downsizing and teaching kids what really matter is important anyway. Also itll give me a little more time at home and we will be happier and less stressed about money. I think I'm voting yes lol. It'll be hard but its only a year or two.
A duplex or other multifamily property sounds like it would be the way to go. I think it would be hard to find people to rent rooms when you have kids living in the same unit. Not to mention, the concerns others have above about having strangers in such close proximity to your children.
I think it would be a good opportunity to educate your kids on making short term sacrifices for long term benefits. Maybe frame some sort of environment with the same lessons but in a way that kids understand. Example: I can give you $5 now for allowance this week and you can go spend it on candy or whatever, but if you wait a whole month, I'll give you $7 for each of the weeks instead. It's not the best example, but you get the idea.
I have a client house hacking a 4-unit with 3 kids under the age of 5.
I mean, it can be done.
The vast majority of the billions of humans who ever lived spent their lives in close quarters with their kin in what we would call shacks.
I think it will bring us closer and force us to downsize. Were doing it
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