House Hacking A Four Plex.

3 Replies

Hi Folks, have have been attempting to get into a house hack for over 18 months. I read Scott trench’s book and want to remove a mortgage payment from my life. I have the opportunity to buy a 4plex in my area. Here are the Numbers: $335k asking price. 3 units currently occupied. Rents are $680 per unit. Average rents in the area are closer to $750-$800. I can only do about a 5% down payment on this and have some cash left over to breath with or about 16,000k. The 1% rule says that rents should be at $837.50 all four units in order to be a good investment. Which will be doable with some minor improvements. The 50% rule is way off because of how little I can put down. However if I buy this at this price I will only have about $100 to -150$ in profit. It will get rid of my mortgage. But if I have a vacancy I am back to paying a mortgage. If I can push rents of $795 it will cash flow about $250 a month. Which I would put all of it towards vacancies and capital expenditures and not touch it. Is this a good deal? I am not a risk adverse person and I am handy and good at managing a current single family home. I think this is my next step but would like to have more input on this.

Well, I'm quite new to this, but I've been having some fun trying to analyze properties in my own area recently for my first multi-family investment, so let me give you my (newbie) perspective.

I don't have all the information to make a strong say, but I think the property is a fair deal—especially if, as you've said, your goal is largely to eliminate your housing expenses. Honestly, I wouldn't necessarily count on this deal cash-flowing so long as you're occupying one of the units, but I think that your overall return (counting equity being accrued from the mortgage payments) would be positive within about a 4 year time frame.

Sure, you have little or no vacancy upon purchase because those leases are still intact, but as a fellow risk-averse person, I think you should run your numbers on both a really rosy potential scenario but also a toughie scenario. Gotta make sure your projections are tenable long-term and not just reflecting the immediate situation. What I'm finding is that if you factor in pretty standard vacancy rates, PITI, repairs/maintenance, appreciation etc, you'd probably have your expenses outweigh your income by somewhere between $70 - $350 a month so long as you're in one of the units.

So you'd be positive on overall return with equity, but I think it's probably not tenable to think that you'd cash flow positively. If you perform phenomenally well on not having ANY vacancy, absolutely minimize your budget for CapEx / repairs / maintenance, use no property management, etc, you could indeed cash flow positive. But I recommend you use one of the analysis forms/calculators here on BP (I also like the simple one here —hopefully it's not verboten to reference other website's calculators) to come back with a more detailed analysis taking all the potential expenses into account.

Again, I'm new to this myself, so I could be quite wrong, and I happily invite any experienced investors to weigh in. It could be a good learning experience for both of us.

Howdy @Dillon Beard

There is a lot more information needed to give a decent analysis.  What is the Market Value of comparable sold properties?  What is the current condition?  How much repairs would you expect to bring it to like new condition?

Suggest you do a more accurate analysis using the BP Rental Calculator.  Post your results here.  Be sure to use the loan for the House Hack and analyze as if you are already moved out.

Depending on what the market comps are and your ARV you may need to lower the purchase price. Use current rents for the analysis. Do not expect rents higher than market rates.