4 Years of “Free” Housing

Something that I talk regularly and openly about is how my family live for pretty much “free.” In the Financial Independence realm they like to coin phrase this term #househack. We managed to househack for the entire marriage without even knowing about #househacking. I credit all of this free housing to divine intervention and luck. (definition: preparation and opportunity intersect)

If you haven’t really heard of househacking take a look at some of these fun articles from the experts at BiggerPockets and also Coach Carson who is a househacking and real estate guru.

So the first one isn’t technically a true definition of househacking but I’m going to count it because, it was a by divine intervention.. When my husband and I first got married, I was a immigrant here with only a tourist visa and had no standing to get a job or go to school. I had to wait at least 6months before I could even get a job and my husband was in school full-time while working part-time at a minimum wage job. We got married and I immediately knew  I didn’t want to overstay my welcome at my inlaws house.

I started looking around for different opportunities for us to move somewhere for very very cheap or where I could help out around the home. While waiting for my husband to finish class I was at a nearby church building looking through the billboards for something cheap but nothing was in my price range. I finally came across a flyer that said “Looking for a couple to live with a elderly women” and I just knew this was for us!!! We quickly contacted them and met with them for all the requirements, we were asked to help out and do house work and chores around the house as our payment to live there. This was a miracle because our financial situation was pretty grim because of all the immigration costs. The timing of living with this lady was the foundation for us to start saving to buy our first home. It wasn’t the most comfortable situation, as the elderly lady was probably just as worried about having two strangers living in her house as we were to live with her. But sometimes we need to put ourselves out of our comfort zone to grow.

After 6months I finally got some part-time work so I could help with our finances. But then I got pregnant and knew I wouldn’t be able to work for as long as I had expected. Because of the baby my husband knew we needed to buy our own place. So we started house shopping which was a pretty lengthy process. In between all of this was introduced to Robert Kiosaki and I loved his idea about the matrix at a MLM meeting I was invited to. I loved the concept so much I did more research into him and some of the things that he was doing. I found that he did a lot of real estate investing.

I must have come across something that said we should rent out our basement or part of our house because that stuck with me like glue. We started looking specifically for homes that we could rent out to help us with the cost of our mortgage. I knew we needed to have this other income because my husband was at school and I wasn’t able to help contribute to the household income because we wanted to be at home with the baby. After looking for months on the traditional market I decided randomly to look on craigslist and came across a house not to far from us with a great asking price.

We went over that same day to look at the house and it met most of the requirements to turn it into a basement apartment. We immediately got started on the paper work because the house wasn’t on the market yet. The owner wanted to save costs of a realtor hence why it was priced so cheap. This was another incident of divine intervention of how this all fell in place for us. We signed papers 21st of January and moved into the house on Feb 14th. It took us a few months to finish the basement, we could have got it done faster but due to minimal building it took longer. We managed to get our first amazing tenants in June. We are and pretty awful landlords especially right at the beginning. We had little to zero knowledge but what better way to learn than by getting your hands dirty right.

It’s been such an amazing passive income source for us and given us so much flexibility in our income. I would highly recommend this route for people wanting to save on their living expenses. There are so many ways you can save, check out my post about buying your first “investment home” or you could also just live with your parents OR inlaws like my siblings did. Take anyway to give you a boost in your savings so buying your first real-estate isn’t a big burden.

Let us know if you would like to chat or talk about some of your investment ideas or some tips for buying your first investment property. Good luck xo

(Some house renovation pics for your entertainment)


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