If you’ve ever wanted to know how to live rent free, this is the post for you.
While I could give you many strategies that will allow you to live rent-free, I’m going to save you time and give you the 2 best strategies I know:
- Rent Hacking (learn what rent hacking means here)
- House Hacking (learn what house hacking means here)
Both strategies allow you to live rent free if you’re patient enough to find a good opportunity. These strategies are also easy for beginners to implement because they don’t require specialized skills.
So, in this post I’m going to cover both strategies and how to use them to live rent free.
Live rent free by rent hacking
The first strategy we’re going to cover is rent hacking. This strategy is the quickest and most forgiving of the two. However, even though it’s a forgiving strategy – it’s still easy to make mistakes.
So, let’s set up an example scenario to show you how use rent hacking to live rent free:
In Cleveland, Ohio, you can rent a 3 bedroom house for about $1,000 in an average neighborhood. You can rent a similar house for less if you’re willing to sacrifice some amenities but, for this example, we’ll keep it simple and use $1,000.
Since the house has 3 bedrooms and you’re probably going to want one – you’re left with 2 bedrooms. For you to live rent free, you must rent each room for $500.
This is a reasonable price to rent a room in an average neighborhood. For $500, your potential roommate could rent a below-average 1-bedroom apartment. Your 1 bedroom rental would be a very attractive option.
Now here’s where things get even better if you’re flexible. If instead of taking a bedroom for yourself, you could rent out the 3rd bedroom.
That leaves you with 2 options now:
1. Rent out all 3 bedrooms for $333.33 and live rent free. At $333, your rooms have now become an amazing deal.
2. Rent out all 3 bedrooms for a price between $333 and $500 and use the additional income to cover utilities you’re responsible for like water, sewer, electricity, gas, and internet.
Both options allow you to live rent free and it doesn’t require any special skills, much money, or “secret” techniques.
Live “rent” free by house hacking
House hacking is like rent hacking, but instead of “hacking” a house you rent, you’re hacking a house you own.
Since I’ve already written a detailed guide on house hacking, I won’t focus too much on the strategy. However, here’s a rundown on how to live rent free by house hacking:
- Buy a single-family or multi-family that has good potential to let you live rent free (recommended)
- Rent additional rooms or individual units to cover the mortgage (or close to it)
- Take advantage of other benefits (like tax write-offs)
- Live rent free
Like I said above, the process for living “rent” free by house hacking is the same time as rent hacking. But make no mistake, house hacking comes with a lot of additional benefits other than just living mortgage free.
Are there other ways to live rent free?
Absolutely. If you’re creative enough, you can come up with many other ways to live rent free. For example, here are a few ideas if the 2 ideas above aren’t your style:
- Rent out additional rooms via Airbnb
- Get a job as an apartment property manager
- Turn additional rooms into a money generating business such as photography studio or music studio.
- Go to jail (…. just joking. Don’t do that)
As long as you keep an open mind, you’ll be able to find a way to live rent free. The hard part is finding a way to live rent free that aligns with your goals while not sacrificing so much that you resent the process.
While I made this post simple, don’t forget that implementing any strategy to live rent free is difficult. In some cities, especially the extremely competitive ones, using these strategies to live rent free will take tons of time and research. But as long as your consistent and patient, you should be able to make both (or one) of these strategies work.
And whenever you’re feeling defeated or tired, remember that if it really was easy – everyone would do it.