7 Steps I Took to Land My First Home Hack (& Hire it Out) With Ease

7 Steps I Took to Land My First Home Hack (& Hire it Out) With Ease

I did it! I bought by way of the extremely feared “evaluation paralysis” stage and closed on my first deal. How was it? Straightforward as pie. Easy as silk. A bit of cake. A stroll within the park. Insert every other lame cliché right here.

For these of you on the point of providing in your first property, I perceive why you may be hesitant. That is doubtless the biggest buy of your life. It’s tough to seek out the proper property that meets your cash-flowing and emotional wants.

The underside line? For a home hack buy, your purpose is to money movement. You’ll doubtless not be dwelling there for greater than a yr, so ignore any feelings, run the numbers, and in the event that they work, put in a suggestion.

OK, so you’ve gotten completed away together with your “emotions” of discovering a phenomenal property. You run the numbers and all of those catastrophic eventualities run by way of your head: What if I can’t discover renters? What if the furnace breaks? What if the roof falls off? The listing goes on.

There are numerous eventualities of what may go mistaken. Simply ask Rooster Little. Nonetheless, these loopy eventualities are the exception, not the rule.

To these of you who might really feel uncomfortable making that first provide on a home hack, that is article is for you. I’ll describe the 6 steps I went by way of in closing my first home hack—and also you’ll study simply how straightforward it was.

7 Steps I Took to Land My First Home Hack (& Hire it Out) With Ease

Step #1: Construct a crew.

Step one is to construct a crew. As issues come up (i.e. repairs, tax planning, litigation, and many others.), your crew will develop. Nonetheless, there are solely two teammates which can be completely essential to your first buy: your lender and your agent.

As soon as I knew I used to be shifting to Denver, the very first thing I did was attain out to the BiggerPockets neighborhood and ask for lender suggestions. I then went by way of the method of getting prequalified with Four-5 completely different lenders starting from huge banks to native credit score unions. By getting prequalified, I developed an understanding of what I may afford.

As soon as prequalified, it was time to seek out an agent to assist with the property search and shutting. Once more, I reached out to the BiggerPockets neighborhood in Denver and met with 6-7 completely different brokers. Although it was not straightforward to determine, I in the end went with somebody who was good with numbers and didn’t attempt to promote me with any emotional discuss of buying my first place.

Step #2: Discover the property.

The search is on.

Dwelling in Denver, CO, one of many hottest actual property markets within the nation, you get quite a lot of naysayers saying that cash-flowing properties are inconceivable to seek out. Possibly it’s inconceivable for them, but it surely was comparatively straightforward for me.

My agent gave me entry to the MLS portal, the place I’d obtain automated electronic mail alerts every time a Denver metro property inside my worth vary hit the market or decreased in worth. After a month of operating the numbers and declining varied properties, I discovered one which may work.

Step #Three: Analyze the property.

The property is a totally renovated duplex. Made up of two 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom flats, this property had been available on the market for 2 months (an eternity in Denver), with the value just lately decreased to $400ok. The property was situated in an up and coming a part of Denver, about 1.5 miles from the place I work—a straightforward commute by bike or foot.

I requested property house owners within the space what they had been getting for rents. One among them advised me what they had been renting their 1-bedroom condominium for, and I knew I may get somewhat bit extra, given mine was model new.

With the assumed lease, I ran the numbers utilizing the BiggerPockets calculators  to see the place my rents would should be with the intention to money movement (or stay totally free). The numbers didn’t work. I’d be shedding ~$750 per thirty days. Whereas that is low cost “lease” (in quotes as a result of I’d be paying myself) and I’d be benefitting from the mortgage pay-down, it was not ok.

What did I do? I made a decision it was inconceivable to discover a property in Denver. So I continued watching reruns of Determined Housewives.

Simply kidding. I requested myself, “How can I make this property work?”

Given the situation and the brand new construct, I knew it could be attainable to lease this on Airbnb. After doing a little analysis, I made up my mind that I’d have the ability to make ~$1,000 per thirty days by renting out my bed room whereas making a pseudo-bedroom in the lounge the place I may sleep. With an additional ~$1,000 per thirty days, I’d be money flowing $250 per thirty days on a duplex that’s strolling distance from the workplace.

That works for me.

Step #Four: Make the provide.

After speaking it over with my agent, we determined to place a suggestion in. My first provide… Eeeek.

We ran the numbers once more and decided a worth level of $360ok. Whereas not a whole lowball, this gave us sufficient wiggle room for the negotiation.

[Side note: I know many people say, “If you’re not embarrassed by your offer, it’s too high.” In many smaller or buyer’s markets, I agree. However, in a booming seller’s market like Denver, there are multiple buyers lined up at almost every property, so a lowball could easily be ignored by the seller.]

Over the subsequent few days, we negotiated forwards and backwards and in the end settled at $385ok promoting worth. As soon as the negotiation was settled and the provide was accepted, I despatched over the earnest cash.

Step #5: Carry out due diligence and shut on the property.

Instantly upon acceptance, I let my lender know that I had a property below contract, so they may begin their diligence and meet the required timelines.

We bought the inspection (together with a sewer scope) completed with solely minor tweaks to the property required together with the set up of a railing, grounding electrical wires, and ensuring all the doorways match correctly. The vendor mounted them and not using a drawback.

The lender employed an appraiser, and the property got here again at $390ok. Given the sale worth of $385ok, which means I constructed $5,000 of fairness instantly upon closing (woohoo!).

It took the lender 2-Three weeks to underwrite the mortgage.

On June 17, 2017 (one month after provide acceptance), we had been prepared to shut. I introduced a cashier’s verify to the closing and sat down with the vendor, my agent, and the title firm. We reviewed and signed all the documentation. After an hour and some hand cramps, I used to be formally a property proprietor.

Step #6: Discover tenants.


In lots of (if not all) states, it’s unlawful to have a lease signed earlier than the property is closed and in your possession. Nonetheless, I discovered that there was nothing stopping me from promoting and exhibiting the place throughout the closing course of. That is precisely what I did and what I like to recommend you do to cut back the preliminary emptiness.

As soon as the property was below contract, I created a rental itemizing utilizing Postlets (owned by Zillow). This service creates one itemizing and uploads it in a pleasant format to Zillow, Hotpads, Trulia, and Craiglist.

As soon as the inquiries began to return in, I scheduled a short, 10-minute cellphone name to gauge the credibility of the potential tenants. I didn’t need to waste time exhibiting the property to unqualified tenants. Within the name, I requested the next questions:

  1. The place do you reside now?
  2. How a lot is the lease?
  3. Why are you shifting?
  4. What’s your (and your partner’s) annual wage?
  5. Do you want/get alongside together with your present landlord?
  6. Do you’ve gotten any pets?
  7. Have you ever ever been evicted?

In the event that they answered these inquiries to my liking, we might arrange a time for a exhibiting.


As a result of the place was model new and already in “present situation,” there was not a lot for me to do. I instantly started to indicate the property. The condominium is fairly small, so the showings usually wouldn’t last more than 10 minutes. I’d meet the potential tenants on the property, discuss with them for a couple of minutes, after which give them the tour.

After I confirmed them round, I’d go outdoors and allow them to discover the condominium by themselves. That approach, they may discuss amongst themselves comfortably with out me butting in.


As soon as I obtained tenants, I collected a $40 utility payment to verify curiosity and pay for the background/credit score report. As a part of the screening course of, I made positive the next bins had been checked:

  1. Obtained credit score report and confirmed credit score rating of a minimum of 600
  2. Carried out a background verify and confirmed there was no legal report
  3. Requested the final two pay stubs to verify annual wage
  4. Referred to as two or three earlier landlords
  5. Referred to as employer to verify jobs had been secure AND that pay stubs matched what was reported

As soon as the bins had been all checked, I let the tenants know that that they had been accepted.

Step #7: Signal the lease together with your tenants.

I closed on the property at 10:00 a.m. on June 17th, and at midday on June 17th, I signed the lease with my tenants. We met on the property, and I ran them by way of the lease. I additionally created a “layman’s lease,” which is the lease in an easy-to-understand PowerPoint presentation, with out the authorized mumbo jumbo.

They signed the lease, and the method was full.


There you’ve gotten it—my first home hack. It went extraordinarily easily, with few hiccups. I do know you hear all concerning the loopy tales that occur, however once more, I’d guess that that is the exception slightly than the rule.

Did I get the most effective deal in Denver? In all probability not.

However I’m actually higher off than those that handed on this deal as a result of they let their inside Rooster Little get the most effective of them.

My suggestion for these nonetheless trying to discover their first buy is to only do it! You’re not going to get wealthy from one property. So cease attempting. Actual property is a get wealthy sluggish sport.

Even in case you lose cash, you’ll study precious classes alongside the best way, and in 20 years, you can be glad that you simply bought the property. Simply ask anybody who has owned a property for 20 years.

Good luck!

Replace: I’ve been managing the property for about three months now. My tenants are nice and have induced me minimal issues.

The place are you in your journey to land your first deal?

Depart your questions and feedback under!


Realt Writer

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