House Hacking is where you purchase a primary residence (whether it be your first property or thereafter) and rather than buying a single family home or condominium, you purchase a 2 to 4 unit building (living in one unit and renting out the rest). With house hacking, you can have your tenants paying part or ALL of your mortgage, essentially living rent free. You also get a much higher ROI (return on investment) with house hacking because you are declaring it as your primary residence (i.e., the home where you will live the majority of the time). As such, you then get the benefit of a lower down payment, such as 3% conventional, 3.5% FHA, or 5% conventional. Your return on that investment over time is tremendously higher over a 20% (or more) down payment on a "traditional" investment property as you are spending less of your own money and mortgaging the rest over time, which your tenants will pay. Management expenses are often none as well, as many of my clients chose to run the property themselves as they are seeing it nearly every day. You also can potentially even afford more earning power, as the rents on the other units count as income against your total expenses there.
You can find multi-unit buildings perfect for House Hacking in every neighborhood (some may be eligible for rehab loans, wrapping some of the renovation costs of a property that needs repair into the loan versus paying out of pocket). For a LIVE list of such multi unit homes in a popular neighborhood, go to House Hacking Property Search for the current search results for Lakeview multi-unit buildings ready for house hacking. You can then click on "advanced search" to find such units in YOUR desired areas.
FHA 3.5% down financing on owner-occupied multi-unit buildings is an INCREDIBLE Return on Investment (ROI) as the down payment is so proportionately small to the overall investment. Consider stacking that concept with negotiating for the SELLER to pay your closing costs as part of the transaction! For all FHA loans, the seller and other interested parties can contribute up to 6% of the sales price or toward closing costs, prepaid expenses, discount points, and other financing concessions. This means you truly have the lowest amount of your capital laid out up front to acquire and hold a significant real estate investment. I can even set you up on multiple custom searches in the areas you choose, one for each FHA loan limit in Cook County per # of units (2, 3, and 4 units). Just email Nick@NickLibert.com with your areas of interest and I'll build out the searches according to the 2021 Cook County FHA Loan Limits, which are as below:
1 Unit (Single Family Home): $379,500
2 Unit Building: $485,800
3 Unit Building: $587,250
4 Unit Building: $729,800
I have much further details on multi unit building financing and mortgages for house hacking in the video below: