5 steps to start house hacking


Housing is one of the biggest expenses most people face in their lifetime. Whether you’re renting or owning a home, it can be a significant chunk of your monthly budget. One way to reduce your housing costs is by house hacking.

House hacking is a real estate investing strategy where you live in one part of a property while renting out other parts to generate income. By doing this, you can reduce or even eliminate your housing costs, and potentially earn additional income that can be used for other expenses or savings.

If you’re interested in house hacking, here are some steps you can take to get started:

Determine your goals and budget

Before you start looking for a property to house hack, it’s important to determine your goals and budget. What type of property are you looking for? What kind of rental income are you hoping to generate? How much can you afford to invest in a property? Answering these questions will help you narrow down your options and ensure you’re making a smart investment.

Research the market and find a property

Once you have a clear idea of your goals and budget, it’s time to start researching the market and looking for a property. Look for properties in areas where rental demand is high, and where you can generate enough rental income to cover your housing costs. You’ll also want to consider the condition of the property, any necessary repairs or upgrades, and the potential for appreciation in value over time.

Secure financing

Unless you have enough cash on hand to purchase a property outright, you’ll need to secure financing for your house hack. You may be able to qualify for a traditional mortgage or consider other options such as a hard money loan, a home equity line of credit, or a 203(k) loan for properties that need renovations.

Plan and execute any necessary renovations or repairs

If the property you’ve purchased needs any renovations or repairs to make it livable or to attract tenants, it’s important to plan and execute these projects before you move in or start renting out other parts of the property. This will ensure that the property is up to code, safe, and comfortable for everyone involved.

Find tenants and manage the property

Once the property is ready to be rented out, it’s time to start finding tenants and managing the property. You can do this yourself, or you can hire a property management company to handle the day-to-day operations of the property. Some things you’ll need to consider include screening tenants, collecting rent, maintaining the property, and handling any necessary repairs or maintenance.

House hacking can be an excellent way to reduce your housing costs and potentially earn additional income, but it’s not without its challenges. It requires careful planning, research, and a willingness to take on the responsibilities of being a landlord. However, for those willing to put in the effort, house hacking can be a smart and lucrative real estate investment strategy.


In summary, house hacking can be a great way to reduce your housing costs and potentially earn additional income. To get started, determine your goals and budget, research the market and find a property, secure financing, plan and execute any necessary renovations or repairs, and find tenants and manage the property. With careful planning and a willingness to put in the work, house hacking can be a smart and profitable investment strategy.


Chad Gipson

Content Director at PortfolioBay