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  • Steve Witt

How My House Hack, Became a Travel Hack.

Updated: Feb 2



If you are going to be Hacking a House, spending cash on remodeling, major repairs, or a large purchase such as new appliances. Collecting Credit Card Travel Points is a great way to add value to your projects.

A House Hack is usually defined as a real estate strategy designed to get a new investor into a home, (usually a duplex or a fourplex) using a conventional loan. The idea is to live in one unit while the tenants pay for the property. This process is repeated over and over till the investor has built up a Real Estate Portfolio on someone else’s dime. Another variation is to purchase a distressed property using a conventional loan, remodel while living in it, then flip it, and repeat. This is the strategy I used flipping seven houses in two years.

If you are going to be Hacking a House, spending cash on remodeling, major repairs, or a large purchase such as new appliances. Collecting Credit Card Travel Points is a great way to add value to your projects.

A House Hack is usually defined as a real estate strategy designed to get a new investor into a home, (usually a duplex or a fourplex) using a conventional loan. The idea is to live in one unit while the tenants pay for the property. This process is repeated over and over till the investor has built up a Real Estate Portfolio on someone else’s dime. Another variation is to purchase a distressed property using a conventional loan, remodel while living in it, then flip it, and repeat. This is the strategy we used flipping seven houses in three years. Although, if you hold the property for two years you will avoid any Capital Gains Taxes. That can be an awesome benefit, especially if there is a large profit.

I recently bought a real fixer upper. I knew I would be spending a big chunk of change on repairs.

This House Hack would be a little different than what I had done before. This home was a hundred-year-old two story, three-bedroom one bath with an addition built on what was a cement back porch used as a laundry room. The whole house needed up dating. We picked it up as a Hud Repo for twenty grand. It took another twenty in materials, including a new roof and siding. After doing some research we found that there was a growing market for Multi Generational homes in our area. We turned the downstairs into a two bedroom one bath living area by changing the back-porch laundry room into a bedroom and the front parlor into a second bedroom. Upstairs had the three bedrooms, we turned one into a living room, and split one into two rooms, a small kitchen and a Bathroom with a stackable washer and dryer. The third we would leave as the bedroom. My son will live in the downstairs area and rent out the upstairs. The roommate’s rent will pay for the mortgage. We will hang on to it for two or three years and avoid any capital gains taxes and then sell for a tidy profit.

This was an extreme House Hack. If you don’t have the time or the skills to pull off something so elaborate, don’t let that scare you away from a smart financial strategy. If you have decent credit and as low as three percent down payment you can get a loan for a duplex or up to a fourplex. You can use a conventional bank loan or FHA, VA, even a USDA rural loan. It’s a lot easier than you would think. Look for a multi-family priced under market value. Something that just needs paint and minor repairs. Let the tenant pay the mortgage while you save your money for your next move.


insert: Travel Hack

With the inspiration of my friend Joseph I started collecting Air Miles. I began educating myself on the hobby of collecting credit card travel miles and rewards. I found the right cards for me and my situation and came up with a strategy for buying my materials and collecting the most Credit Card Travel Air Miles I possibly could.

I applied for a travel rewards card when they were offering 30,000 bonus points. I had to spend three thousand dollars in three months, but that wasn’t a problem with all the materials I had to purchase. There was also a ninety five dollar yearly fee which was waved the first year. After the first week of receiving my new card I referred my wife to the same card, for an extra 5000 points. I then referred my son for another 5000 points. He also got 30,000 points (Now I’m on a roll). With my wife’s new card, we are up to 70,000 points. (So I’m getting a little crazy with the points). I figured out that if I go to my Kroger and buy Home Depot gift Cards to buy materials, I’m getting my credit card travel points and double and triple fuel points from Kroger. I’m getting a dollar off a gallon when I fill up the truck three or four times a month. (OK I’m hooked). But Wait There’s More! Kroger has a Community Rewards Program that gives back a percentage of your purchases to the charity of your choice. So now I’m giving to my Church, which puts a much needed halo over my credit card travel points addiction. After spending twenty thousand dollars on materials for our house hack, we collected 20,000 more points bring us to a grand total of 90,000 credit card travel points.


Hacking Credit Card Reward Tips.

How they work. Most reward cards offer generous sign on bonuses, this is where you earn your points. They require that you spend a said amount in a set time, say; $2000 in 3 months to earn the bonus points. You will want to wait till you know you will be spending that kind of money on something. Such as new appliances, a vacation, remodeling. Credit Card Bonus Points takes strategy, but it’s worth it.

Don’t use your credit cards for credit. If you can’t pay them off every month this is not for you. I run all my expenses thru my cards. My electric bill, car and home insurance, even donations. And then I pay my cards off twice a month.

Find the right card for you. Most cards offer greater rewards on the cards that have a monthly fee. If you are running a lot of money through your cards, like business expenses, or extensive travel, then the monthly fee could be worth it. If your expenditures are modest it might be a better strategy to go with the card with no fee and less rewards.

Develop a strategy. The hobby of collecting credit card travel and reward point takes thought. Educate yourself on what cards best fit your needs. Collecting credit card travel points can be a little intimidating at first. Is it really worth it? Absolutely! With a little research and effort, it’s easy to get the hang of. All I did was some reading, a little planning. And with a few extra steps I was able to steer my money in directions that netted me some real gains.

By spending deliberately my wife and I can fly round trip to Costa Rica and two nights free at the Marriott Guanacaste resort and spa. . So if your planning a house hack or any large project consider the hobby of collecting credit card travel points. Yes, You Can Hack It


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Millennial House hacking Blog

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