Author Topic: Buying a house: Help me choose a house-hack! :)  (Read 977 times)

JanetJackson

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Buying a house: Help me choose a house-hack! :)
« on: February 24, 2019, 10:11:29 AM »
Hi y'all!
I will be closing on a home in a few days and plan to spend about 6 months working on the house (nothing major, but I'm doing it on a budget and am a single person, so even things like painting rooms will take me a while) and then begin to house-hack by taking advantage of being a homeowner. 
None of this is "necessary" as my budget now is working pretty well for me, but I DO want to take advantage of owning a home by helping this brick-and-mortar make me some side money...Here are a few of the numbers (not all, but enough to get a clear picture, I think) and options.
Just wanted to get some opinions.

Rent Vs. Buy- with a few of my costs going down, and an estimate of the new utilities (again, I haven't moved in yet) this seems to be ABOUT a wash.

Estimate for rent + utilities (not including monthly stash away emergency funds for the house, my general emergency fund, etc. etc... this is JUST rent + utilities): $750-$800/mo.

Options (in order of preference, not income generation):

Doggy Daycare Weekends: Estimate $360/mo assuming 2 dogs at $30/day booked three weekends out of four each month  or half that if I did every-other weekend
I already have one client for every Sunday of March, up to now, I'd kept it at one dog, one day per weekend since I was in a rental and not actually supposed to be having a doggy daycare there, but now that I'll be the homeowner, and my pet-sitting insurance covers doggy daycare, I can care for more more dogs, more often.  I'd cap it at two dogs since I already have my own old somewhat grumbly dog.
Pro: I love dogs
Con: I will always be tied to the house on the weekends, can't even go to the store, etc.  I do get some pretty good cabin fever.

Air BnB 2nd bedroom: Estimate $210/mo  assuming bookings three weekends our of four each month at the area average here of ~$35/night.
Pro: Easy to manage- somewhat hands-off.
Con: Strangers in my house with my stuff and my dog.

Roommate: Estimate $450/mo, including all or part of utilities following area average.
Pro: higher and consistent income.
Con: I really hate having roommates, love my alone time, and it's a 750 sq ft house.

Smaller, additional tiny income generation options (that have not been available to me as a renter):
>Use 2nd bedroom or large shed to flip craigslist furniture.
>Go all-in on my current Etsy vintage flip shop and use the whole 2nd room for storage and still host occasional doggy daycare (with that door SHUT, of course, lol).
>Use land to maintain vegetable garden (I've been somewhat successful with container gardening to supplement my groceries in the past) but am not sure I would be able to slow myself down enough to commit to a garden.
>Turn 2nd bedroom into work out room and cut my gym membership down to 2x/wk (cheaper than my current 'unlimited classes' package, but I'd still go for the social aspect, it's my only social outlet).
^If I took this one a little further I could renew my PT certification, get insurance, and use this space to offer 1:1 personal training.  But that's a bit of a stretch... my certification has been expired for 2 years and I'm not necessarily looking for a 4th job, but would do it if I found the clientele- I did like being a coach/trainer.


That's it!  Just wanted to throw this out there into the universe to see what everyone though and if anyone had any additional ideas.


Thanks ahead of time for your kind and thoughtful responses- and for reading my post! :)



Miss Piggy

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Re: Buying a house: Help me choose a house-hack! :)
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2019, 11:56:59 AM »
For dog care, what about being "open" two weeks per month, rather than two weekends per month? That would enable you to make more money, have full weeks off, and accommodate customers for real vacations instead of just weekend getaways.

lhamo

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Re: Buying a house: Help me choose a house-hack! :)
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2019, 12:07:11 PM »
Please consider allowing yourself the luxury of NOT taking on a shitload of extra work while you settle into your new house/new routine (including the switch to new FT hours at day job) for at least the first 6 months.

Do not get a roommate, since you prefer living alone.

Do not take on more weekend dogsit jobs that require you be chained to the house -- your planned renovation work is chain enough, and you need the time to make runs to the hardware store, etc.

The best option seems to be the Etsy/furniture flipping work.  That is flexible and you can do it when you have time/energy and take a break whenever you need to.

Yes, your housing costs are going up for you, but they are still VERY cheap by most standards, especially to own a home.  And you have guaranteed full time hours/pay with the work change.

Continue therapy.  Stop running so hard you are running yourself ragged.  Work on enjoying your time/your life rather than being a go go go stressball all the time.  Figure out what you are running from.  Deal with those issues.  And start running TO the life you really want to have.

Love ya!

JanetJackson

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Re: Buying a house: Help me choose a house-hack! :)
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2019, 12:20:56 PM »
For dog care, what about being "open" two weeks per month, rather than two weekends per month? That would enable you to make more money, have full weeks off, and accommodate customers for real vacations instead of just weekend getaways.

Thank you, I do think that would be a great idea, but unfortunately I have a weekday job that takes me away from the home all but one day per week (I have one work-from-home day).  At this time in my life I'm only available for people's weekend getaways.

JanetJackson

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Re: Buying a house: Help me choose a house-hack! :)
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2019, 12:26:17 PM »
Please consider allowing yourself the luxury of NOT taking on a shitload of extra work while you settle into your new house/new routine (including the switch to new FT hours at day job) for at least the first 6 months.

Do not get a roommate, since you prefer living alone.

Do not take on more weekend dogsit jobs that require you be chained to the house -- your planned renovation work is chain enough, and you need the time to make runs to the hardware store, etc.

The best option seems to be the Etsy/furniture flipping work.  That is flexible and you can do it when you have time/energy and take a break whenever you need to.

Yes, your housing costs are going up for you, but they are still VERY cheap by most standards, especially to own a home.  And you have guaranteed full time hours/pay with the work change.

Continue therapy.  Stop running so hard you are running yourself ragged.  Work on enjoying your time/your life rather than being a go go go stressball all the time.  Figure out what you are running from.  Deal with those issues.  And start running TO the life you really want to have.

Love ya!

Thank you!  Caught by one of my pals while posting outside of my journal- ha! :)
I'm def continuing my wonderful therapy, but trying to make the most out of home ownership while also being able to PAY for therapy.  Ha.  A double-edged sword.
You're right about the shitload of extra work, and I am certainly giving myself a 6-month break on hauling in a lot of new work... I'm just anxious when I don't have a plan, so trying to get some ideas churning for fall/winter of 2019 into 2020.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Buying a house: Help me choose a house-hack! :)
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2019, 12:40:29 PM »
Itís difficult to guide without knowing where youíre heading. If you were trying to FIRE in 10-15 years and need all the money you can get as quickly as possible, Iíd vote for the roommate and the doggy daycare and then maybe build a shed in your backyard for the Etsy stuff, or whatever. Iíd also ditch the gym, workout outside or in the living room and join meet up groups for a social life.

If though, your timeframe is much longer, then I might not do any of those things. Do your forecast your revenue and expenses? I find this helpful and when Iím deciding things, I use multiple forecasts to see what will get me where and by when.

Also, seems youíre doing quite a bit, try not to burn yourself out.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Buying a house: Help me choose a house-hack! :)
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2019, 12:43:56 PM »
I am concerned about the aspect of you having strangers in your house. My dogs do not deal well with strangers and plus some people just don't care if they open the door and let the dogs out. That would be a horror show to lose the dogs you are caring for! My In Laws were such dunces with animals that I would never in a million years ask them to take care of my precious animals. They would just open the door and let the dog wander off to get killed on the road. Even if the person wasn't a dunce, more people coming and going in a household increases the chances of dogs getting outside.

I agree with some of the other posters for you to just get in the house and settle in a bit without killing yourself. Use your extrordinary energy and paint and do minor repairs without having a million things being on your mind. Using your shed to flip furniture is a good idea. Selling stuff on Etsy is a good idea and growing a FEW veggie plants is a good idea. Everything in moderation.




JanetJackson

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Re: Buying a house: Help me choose a house-hack! :)
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2019, 12:53:51 PM »
Itís difficult to guide without knowing where youíre heading. If you were trying to FIRE in 10-15 years and need all the money you can get as quickly as possible, Iíd vote for the roommate and the doggy daycare and then maybe build a shed in your backyard for the Etsy stuff, or whatever. Iíd also ditch the gym, workout outside or in the living room and join meet up groups for a social life.

If though, your timeframe is much longer, then I might not do any of those things. Do your forecast your revenue and expenses? I find this helpful and when Iím deciding things, I use multiple forecasts to see what will get me where and by when.

Also, seems youíre doing quite a bit, try not to burn yourself out.

Hi, good point.  My goal is a comfortable funding for a lifestyle change.  I doubt I'll ever reach RE, and likely not FI, but I'd like to not have a job I hate and to have more downtime to actually build a life.  Currently I work 7 days per week. My current day job is not QUITE toxic, but borderline, my 2nd job IS TOXIC, and my small business is so much fun, but not making enough money to be my full time job yet, but that's the goal.

I've trimmed the budget as much as I can emotionally handle.  I grew up in poverty, so I need to allow myself to have a social outlet I enjoy (which is why I pay for a gym) and mostly eating rice and beans is fine, but not for EVERY meal. 
At this point, I'm working on income and not really wanting to trim my budget any more/work on my budget. 
I'm close to burn out on the saving side, not quite to burn out on the income side, but not too far off.

I sort of forecast my revenue and expenses- if I am understanding what you mean by that.  I generally estimate both, with a few versions for scenarios, and go from there.
I am just moving in, so I'm not sure what I'll have in terms of expenses in 2019 just yet.  I could project that I can live off of around 18k, but then the house could fall into a sinkhole no one knew was there.  Or I could find a squatter in the attic who is exercising squatters rights and I need to hire a lawyer... who knows??
So I am hesitant to predict this first year. 
My income just went up (promotion at day job), so I'm thinking it will be a similar ratio to the last few years. 

JanetJackson

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Re: Buying a house: Help me choose a house-hack! :)
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2019, 01:05:40 PM »
I am concerned about the aspect of you having strangers in your house. My dogs do not deal well with strangers and plus some people just don't care if they open the door and let the dogs out. That would be a horror show to lose the dogs you are caring for! My In Laws were such dunces with animals that I would never in a million years ask them to take care of my precious animals. They would just open the door and let the dog wander off to get killed on the road. Even if the person wasn't a dunce, more people coming and going in a household increases the chances of dogs getting outside.

I agree with some of the other posters for you to just get in the house and settle in a bit without killing yourself. Use your extrordinary energy and paint and do minor repairs without having a million things being on your mind. Using your shed to flip furniture is a good idea. Selling stuff on Etsy is a good idea and growing a FEW veggie plants is a good idea. Everything in moderation.

You're right... if I did Air BnB or roommates I would NOT do the Doggy Day Care... it would be one or the other. 

If I did one of the "strangers in my house" ones, I'd have to train my dog to stay in my room on those days if I am at work.  She's very very unlikely to walk out the door (she is HIGH LEVEL needy/dependent) and if she did she'd just lay by the door, BUT I don't like the potential that she'd get a wild idea and walk away.
Side note: you're so right, some people don't have common sense about animals.  In one of the houses I go into to walk their dog they ALWAYS have the closet door wide open and have cans of turpentine in the closet on the floor (they're artists).  I close that damn door every time.  Additionally, my mother is also one of those people who "greets" a dog by immediately getting into their faces and talking really loud and high pitched to them.  I have told her 78,000 times that when (not if) she gets bit it is 100% her fault.  She weighs like 90lbs and is almost 70, she will not fare well with a dog bite to the face...  PEOPLE.

I think you're right, I'll spend the first few months on projects, then move into the flipping game (either with the furniture or Etsy) and THEN I will consider other options at 6 months or year two.

It's hilarious that you mention that I have extraordinary energy.  I am perhaps the most exhausted person in the universe (not true, I don't have to hike 7 miles just for water each day or anything, I'm just a privileged version of exhausted), I just have extraordinary amounts of espresso in my body.  LOL.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Buying a house: Help me choose a house-hack! :)
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2019, 01:36:23 PM »
Start making your lists when you move in to determine what needs to be done to the house and what you can reasonable do yourself. What timeframe you need to do each chore or project. Categorize what are the easy jobs and what are the hard jobs. The jobs that are easy and inexpensive either do first or do one hard job then a couple of easy jobs to give yourself a break.

Maybe you could ask some of your gym friends to help you paint and have a little painting party. Could be a fun way to bond with people.Have some good food to reward them all.

Just take things a little easy! You have been going full bore for so long and even if it isn't physical there is a lot of mental things you have been dealing with. The worry of buying the house, the expenses, the new job, and new duties and responsibilities. Your side gigs...

You seriously need to slow down a little or you are going to burn out and get yourself sick.

As an example, this woman I know of has a very stressful high paying job and has tons and tons of responsibilities. She has corporate breathing down her neck at all times. About 4 months ago she had a nervous break down and had been out of work for 13 weeks. In the mean time she found out she has problems with her heart, has pre diabetes and lost 35 lbs during her time away from work. She did return to work but with all her health issues, it might just be a matter of time before she will have to give up her job.

I just wanted to point out that people do crash into walls when they go too fast. Slow down and take deep breaths!

We all are rooting for your success!

JanetJackson

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Re: Buying a house: Help me choose a house-hack! :)
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2019, 10:16:04 AM »
Start making your lists when you move in to determine what needs to be done to the house and what you can reasonable do yourself. What timeframe you need to do each chore or project. Categorize what are the easy jobs and what are the hard jobs. The jobs that are easy and inexpensive either do first or do one hard job then a couple of easy jobs to give yourself a break.

Maybe you could ask some of your gym friends to help you paint and have a little painting party. Could be a fun way to bond with people.Have some good food to reward them all.

Just take things a little easy! You have been going full bore for so long and even if it isn't physical there is a lot of mental things you have been dealing with. The worry of buying the house, the expenses, the new job, and new duties and responsibilities. Your side gigs...

You seriously need to slow down a little or you are going to burn out and get yourself sick.

As an example, this woman I know of has a very stressful high paying job and has tons and tons of responsibilities. She has corporate breathing down her neck at all times. About 4 months ago she had a nervous break down and had been out of work for 13 weeks. In the mean time she found out she has problems with her heart, has pre diabetes and lost 35 lbs during her time away from work. She did return to work but with all her health issues, it might just be a matter of time before she will have to give up her job.

I just wanted to point out that people do crash into walls when they go too fast. Slow down and take deep breaths!

We all are rooting for your success!

Thanks!  All good tips!  I 'pre' started my list today!