I first discovered house hacking from a Graham Stephen video I watched a few years ago, the idea of “living for free” really captured my interest. I implemented it to save myself thousands, by using the rent a room scheme in the UK, and reinvested the money back into the mortgage and my various ventures. It had a drastic affect on my net worth, you can see my entire net worth history here to see the impact it had
However, a question I have received constantly via email are “how do I house hack in Los Angeles” or some variant of this question for cities around the world. From LA to Spain and even to Singapore, it’s clear there is demand for people around the world as the cost of living rises significantly.
My answer has always been the same, I don’t know. But I thought I would take time, a lot of time, to compile a list of every city in the world that House Hacking is possible, and put it in here. This way I have one place that I can send people to answer their questions no matter where they live. I want to help you all save money, and I wanted a challenge.
I will regularly update this (realistically once a quarter), but please feel free to email me on Seaward@growingmoneytrees.org if you don’t see your city or you would like to contribute to this page.
On the next page what house hacking is, if you already know the basics and want to skip to regulation you can find your city / country below. If a link doesn’t work it means I am still researching them for you!
House Hacking in the United States:
- Los Angeles
- Bay Area
- San Diego
House Hacking in Canada
House Hacking in the UK
House Hacking – What is it?
House Hacking is an innovative strategy that involves maximizing the potential of your living space to offset or even eliminate housing costs. This could involve renting out a portion of your home, leveraging platforms like Airbnb, or even investing in multi-unit properties and living in one unit while renting out the others.
The beauty of House Hacking is that it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. It can be tailored to suit your lifestyle, your property, and the city you live in. It’s about making your home work for you, turning it from a cost center into a source of income. However, there are some considerations that you should seriously consider before taking the plunge into this venture.
Before we get started it is important we look at some general prerequisites for house hacking, these are universally truths no matter which country around the world you are going to try to house hack. It’s worth going through each point and understanding how it works for you. For example in the UK, we have laws meaning we don’t pay tax up to £7,500 if we rent out a room. Each country may or may not have a version of this so it’s absolutely worth considering!
- Understanding of Local Laws and Regulations: Before you start house hacking, it’s crucial to understand the local laws and regulations related to property ownership, rental, and tenant rights. This includes zoning laws, building codes, and regulations related to short-term rentals (like Airbnb).
- Financial Preparedness: House hacking often involves purchasing a property, so you’ll need a good credit score, a stable income, and enough savings for a down payment and closing costs. You should also be prepared for ongoing costs like mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, and maintenance.
- Property Selection: The right property is key to successful house hacking. Look for properties with potential for rental income, like multi-unit properties or homes with extra rooms, a basement, or an accessory dwelling unit. The location of the property is also important – properties in desirable areas or near amenities like public transportation, universities, or popular attractions can command higher rents.
- Willingness to Be a Landlord: When you’re house hacking, you’re not just a homeowner – you’re also a landlord. This means dealing with tenants, handling maintenance and repairs, and potentially dealing with issues like late rent payments or property damage. Some people enjoy this aspect of house hacking, while others find it challenging.
- Flexibility and Adaptability: House hacking often involves living in close proximity to your tenants, which can require some adjustments. You might need to deal with noise from tenants, share common spaces, or navigate other challenges related to shared living.
- Risk Tolerance: Like any investment, house hacking comes with risks. Property values can fluctuate, tenants can cause problems, and unexpected expenses can arise. It’s important to be comfortable with these risks before you start house hacking.
- Long-Term Commitment: House hacking is typically a long-term strategy. It can take time to recoup your initial investment and start seeing significant profits. If you’re planning to move in a few years, house hacking might not be the best option for you.
These are general prerequisites and the specifics can vary depending on the local context. We aim to provide as much of this as possible in this guide, but there will always been a need to speak to a local realtor if you can!