Making More Cash Flow Charging Cheaper Rent w/ Coliving


Coliving has often been thought of as solely student housing. When you mention this strategy to investors, they think of house parties, dirty dishes, constant complaints, and a whole lot of maintenance. But ask Jay Chang from Tripalink, and he’s got a different story to tell. Jay works to develop the best coliving communities in the United States, securing a lower-rent option for his tenants and a high cash flow investment for his investors. He’s seen how coliving projects are built, managed, and maintained, and he may completely change your mind on this concept.

For expensive areas like Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle, finding an affordable place to live as a student or entry-level worker is near impossible. Your options? Spend the majority of your salary on a studio apartment, live with your friends who haven’t vacuumed in three years, or move into a coliving apartment. The latter offers upscale amenities, daily or weekly cleaning, private rooms, and a high cash flow solution for landlords in pricey markets.

Still have your doubts? Jay touches on the untrue myths associated with coliving, why vacancy is near-zero, property management and maintenance, and why this investing niche could be close to exploding as the economy takes a tumble. This strategy could take your real estate portfolio to the next level if you’re in an expensive market, college town, or densely-populated area.

Dave:
Hey, everyone. Welcome to On The Market. I’m your host Dave Meyer with Henry Washington today. How’s it going?

Henry:
What’s up buddy? Happy to be here, man. I love doing these types of shows with you.

Dave:
This one was fun, so we today are bringing on Jay Chang who is into co-living, which is a real estate investing strategy that I’m fascinated by. It seems kind of new and I knew nothing about it up until like two weeks ago and really wanted to have someone on tell us about it. So, what’d you think of the interview?

Henry:
I think it’s a really, really cool concept that as you’ll hear in the episode, I just think is going to take off at some point because the market’s calling for it, but it’s really, really early and there’s a lot of stigma I think tied to it right now because there’s only one thing really people know to compare it to, which is college dorm living. But when you look at these facilities and when you look at what they’re actually offering, it’s way cooler than that.

Dave:
It seems really nice. When you come to Denver for BiggerPockets, did you stay at that place, the CatBird by any chance?

Henry:
No, I didn’t.

Dave:
There’s this hotel there that kind of reminds me of, but it’s just a really cool model, really efficient use of space. You’ll hear from Jay, but you get way more rent per square foot than a normal rental, property management costs are a little bit higher, but there’s some really interesting economics behind this and I totally agree with you that whoever figures out how to do this well is going to do extremely well. So, I think this is a fascinating interview and we’re going to get into that in a minute, but first I wanted to talk to you and ask your opinion about something.

Henry:
Uh-oh.

Dave:
Yes, I know that’s what you’re here for.

Henry:
[inaudible 00:01:53].

Dave:
We just want your opinion. So I have been hearing, at least on Instagram, from some people that since the beginning of the year, there’s been an uptick in activity in the housing market and we’re recording this, what is it, January 19th, so just the couple first few weeks of the year that people have an uptick and now there is some data out that’s suggesting that there is more mortgage purchase applications. So, one of the things I love to look at as a proxy for demand in the housing market is the Mortgage Bankers Association releases this data set, how many people applied for a mortgage last week? And, it’s up like 25% over October and November, which is not normally what happens in January, so it’s considerable. So I was wondering, because I’m over here in Amsterdam and I’m just reading spreadsheets, what are you seeing? Is this real?

Henry:
Is it real nationwide? Probably, and here’s my theory, here’s what I think is happening. We talked about this, man, a while back On The Market. What I think you’re starting to see is call it normalization. Interest rates were low and people got used to them and then over the past six months they’ve been going up and going up and now recently flattening out… I wouldn’t say they’re flattening out, but they’re slowing down the speed at which they’re increasing. And typically your mortgage rates, even though the Fed is raising the rate, the mortgage rates are still sitting around anywhere, what, six and a half, 7%, somewhere in there?

Dave:
Yeah, some of them I saw today were like in the low sixes. They’re fluctuating a lot right now, so it really depends what day you’re listening, but the mid, low sixes.

Henry:
And, I think what’s happening is people are just starting to understand this is what mortgage rates are now. They’re starting to get it out of the mindset of expecting them to come down to two, three or four again and realizing that they’re probably going to do the opposite again and go up. And so if I want to buy or need to buy, because not everybody is buying just because they want to, sometimes they have to move for work, sometimes they’ve got to expand for a larger family, sometimes they’re shrinking because people are moving out. There’s all these life situations that are telling people that they need to move and they’re probably just looking and saying, “Well, this is what housing costs now, so I will buy what I can afford.”

Dave:
That makes total sense. I think that’s a very good theory. It’s so funny how your brain gets anchored to these ideas like, “Oh my God,” we were like, “4% a year. Oh my god, that’s crazy, 4%.” Now we’re like, “Yeah, six and a half, it’s so good.” It’s so funny, but I think it’s honestly better for the housing market in the long run to have rates in the fives probably, that’s a neutral rate and I don’t know if it’s going to happen, but right now it looks like that’s where we’re heading. There’s this perfect storm for a recessionary risk plus lower inflation, which both put downward pressure on mortgage rates, and if that is, I think the housing market is going to bottom earlier than people thought, and we are not going to see that big of a price decline, that’s if mortgage rates keep going down, which is a big if, but I think there is case for the housing market outperforming expectations from even just a couple months ago.

Henry:
Pre-COVID, rates were at 6% and people didn’t bat an eye.

Dave:
Still bought houses.

Henry:
Still bought houses.

Dave:
They were a lot cheaper then though, so it really is affordability. Affordability is really still an issue, but I don’t know, it’s going to be very interesting to watch. But anyway, it’s interesting to hear what you said. I saw someone in Seattle said they just got more views on their two open houses in the beginning of this year than they did in the whole fourth quarter combined, which is crazy. So, it’s just something to keep an eye on. I think this is defying my expectation so far this year, so something to keep an eye on, but I’m glad to get your opinion on this. With that, we’re going to take a quick break and then we’re going to come back with Jay Chang who’s going to teach us all about a new strategy called co-living. Jay Chang, welcome to On The Market. Thanks for being here.

Jay:
Good morning, Dave and Harry. Thank you for having me.

Dave:
Could you tell our audience a little bit about yourself and your involvement in real estate investing?

Jay:
Yeah, of course. Right now I’m currently working at Tripalink as a director of real estate, and I have been doing real estate since I graduated, so about eight years. After graduation, I did two years of construction management, working on high rises in Downtown LA. The building was called Metropolis, and then worked on some high-end hotels like the Edition Hotel in West Hollywood. And then after that, I really wanted to get into real estate development, so I joined CIM Group, I was there for three years, and then by 2017, 2018, I started hearing about co-living, and it’s not really a new concept, but it was getting more and more popular. And at the time, there were big co-living operators like Ollie, Starcity, and Common. That really captivated my attention, so a little more than a year ago, I joined Tripalink to do real estate development and they primarily focus on student housing and co-living. So, that’s where I am today.

Henry:
Man, that’s pretty cool. I was looking into some of the co-living communities in preparation for this and to be honest, it was a completely new concept to me. So, I’m sure it’s a new concept to a lot of the listeners. Can you define co-living for us and tell us a little bit about what that really means?

Jay:
Of course, to just put it simply, some people will just say you just have roommates, but it’s a lot more than that because it can be designed in a way that allows privacy, it has more consumers in mind. How do I define co-living? Shared space, shared common area. What we focus on though is having a private bathroom for each of our tenants because that’s where usually tenants get into issues with each other, so co-living, shared space.

Dave:
When someone described it to me, the first time I heard about it was a few weeks ago, someone explained it to me and I was like, “Oh, we’ve got to find an expert to bring on the show,” so thanks for joining us, Jay. But, they basically described it to me as a college dorm. It sounds a little like you do some different stuff like a college. None of my college dorms had a private bathroom, but it sounds like that’s this general idea. Everyone has their own room, has their own space, but there are shared amenities, and it sounds like there’s different models. Some of them maybe have their own kitchen and some of them shared kitchens, some have their own bathroom, maybe there’s a shared bathroom. Is that a reasonable way to describe it?

Jay:
Yeah, a lot of people compare it to a college dorm room, but it’s much, much better than that in many ways. When I was at UCLA, I lived with two other people in the same room. They’re actual roommates, just three adults living in a 200 square feet room. But, why is it better? Like you said, we have the private bathroom and also in our new projects under development, we put a lot of sound insulation and there’s a private electronic lock on at each bedroom. So there’s privacy, a lot of privacy. It’s almost like a private studio, an apartment, but the kitchen is shared. And, a lot of that also has to do with zoning. Sometimes zoning doesn’t allow you to build that many units in a building. So, by building less units and more bedroom per unit, that’s one way to get around it and allow you to build higher density.

Henry:
I agree. When I heard co-living, when started looking into this, the thing that stuck in my head was also college dorm, but then when I started to look at some of the properties that you guys are building or associated with, a college dorm is the last thing that came to my mind once I started seeing how beautiful these things are. So, what are some of the myths around co-living or the stigmas around co-living and then how are you dispelling those myths? What are the benefits or things that people get from co-living in the way that you guys do it versus what maybe people are thinking in their minds?

Jay:
The probably thing is the kitchen is dirty, the flooring is old, but they’re all new projects, new buildings. We have toured with a lot of… Sometimes banks come to look at our jobs and they say, “Wow, I can’t believe this is what college students get to live nowadays.” And it’s just brand new, brand new kitchen. We provide them a kitchen set, kitchenware when they first move in, and the common area is clean. We have a new project here that is a little denser, so we clean that every day.
We clean the main area. The kitchen is sparkling clean. Of course, that’s not for every property, it depends. Some properties are just cleaned twice or three times a week, and then in terms of amenities there, we provide amenities for our communities. So, we’re building areas that are close the school, close to metro station, so they’re very conveniently located to each other. And when we do that, we don’t think about each building as an independent building. We build communities… Sorry, communities, but also amenities, like a study room, a game lounge that have a pool table and ping pong table in there. Sometimes we host events, we have yoga room, just things like that for people to get together.

Henry:
When I look at this, I look at it from two lenses. It’s the lens of who is going to live in this space and what are their expectations, what do they get? And, then I also look at it from the lens of an investor, which is like, what am I going to provide them? And then, what does that mean for me in terms of expenses? So, when you look at a community like this and you provide this co-living, it typically means you are, you’re providing these amenities. So, it sounds like you provide cleaning frequently, it sounds like these places typically come furnished, is that true?

Jay:
That’s true. Not all operators do that, but we do.

Henry:
So from a tenant perspective, that’s a cool thing to be able to think about, but as an investor, it sounds like there’s probably a lot more expenses that come with this, and then you offset those expenses by density, building essentially more units because you’re just renting rooms that, am I on the right track there?

Jay:
Thank you for summarizing that for us. So as a renter, the main benefit that we haven’t touched based on is obviously the rent. In Los Angeles right now, if you were to live in the new studio in a decent place that’s built, at least 2,000 a month for a 450 square feet studio, so you’re paying basically $4 minimum a foot. Now, that’s ridiculous. What is a starting salary for a college grad? You can’t afford that, and right now in 2022, 40% of renters are spending more than 35% of their income on rent. And the way the economy is trending and how technology is getting better and better, a lot of the middle class is getting displaced and it’s going to become more and more unaffordable. No one’s going to buy a house unless your parents can help. So, that’s why co-living is such a popular choice.
And, also it’s very conveniently located in good locations. We’re not going to put it in the middle of a suburb. We put it next to grocery stores, a nice grocery store, like Erewhon or Whole Foods, or we put in next to a metro station or even a hospital for hospital workers. So, there are tons of opportunities, and in respect to investors, it really comes down to the bottom line. Of course, it’s higher expenses, but ultimately because of the density, even though each person is paying less on rent, the price per square footage per rent you can get on each property is much higher. So, if you’re getting $4 a foot on the studio, you can probably get up to $5 a foot, so that’s a 25% difference.

Dave:
That’s pretty impressive. And, what about on the renter side? Can you quantify the savings for the average renter? How much are they saving living in a co-living arrangement rather than in a studio, for example?

Jay:
At least 30%.

Dave:
Wow.

Henry:
Pretty substantial.

Dave:
That’s incredible. And, are the leases the same? Are you signing one-year leases or are they different in any way?

Jay:
It depends. Most of the time we sign a one-year lease, but I know some properties we do like a short term lease, like three months, six months. I know Common does three months, but when you do a three-month lease, they’re going to jack up the price by 20, 30% higher because there’s just higher turnover and vacancies.

Dave:
That was actually going to be my next question about turnover and vacancies. Do you find that people treat this as a short term option until they can find a more conventional living arrangement or how is your lease renewal rate with co-living?

Jay:
Most of our property is on student housing, so the renewal rate is less than 50%, but that’s because most people, they graduate from school and a lot of them are master’s. They teach here for a year. We also have a lot of international students coming here. We have a marketing team in China actually to market that, but to answer your question, for sure co-living is more attractive to young professionals and students were just here for a couple years. Let’s say you’re moving to a new city, you don’t know anybody. It is a really great way to get plugged in.
So, we obviously don’t want tenants to leave, and we also understand that not everyone wants to share a kitchen indefinitely. So, a lot of our properties we’re developing right now, it has a mixture of co-living and studios, one bedrooms. Personally, I wouldn’t live with five other people, even though I’m very big on co-living. If I were moving to a new city, I would, but I think we can all agree on first, everyone needs a place to live, and second, everyone wants a community. So even though you move out a co-living suite, you go into a studio or one bedroom, you can still enjoy the amenities and the community that you once was part of.

Dave:
You graduate from the co-living and you just move up a floor to a nicer apartment.

Jay:
True that.

Dave:
So for me, I can definitely see the appeal of it from the renter side. For saving 30% on your rent, honestly, sharing a kitchen doesn’t seem like that big of a concession. My big question is, how difficult is the property management for you on something like this?

Jay:
It is difficult, very difficult. However, we hire a resident manager, not really hire, we’ll give them some discounts and just help us… Most of the issues are related to maybe some cleaning or roommate conflicts. So, we give them some discount on rent and then just help us mitigate the issues, but to be honest, if you have higher sound insulation, we add resilient channels between the walls. Typically, you don’t do that on this unless it’s like a studio, in an apartment, so it’s better to soundproof. If an amenity area is clean, there’s really not that much issue. And plus, you have your private bathroom, you keep your bathroom as clean as you want.

Henry:
The private bathroom has to be the huge win to keeping… We used to call them… In the corporate world, we call them people issues. Private bathrooms have got to go a long way to keeping the people issues at a minimum, and then if you’re professionally cleaning the common areas and the kitchens because every roommate issue I had was typically around somebody leaving their dirty dishes in the sink.

Dave:
Do you have any thoughts on what the additional cost of property management is? I don’t know if you employ your team full time or do you play outsource it?

Jay:
We do it in-house. We’re not really charging more than an average property management. We’re actually cheaper than Greystar, and we try to automate a lot of the issues. AAA actually has a tech arm that works on a lot of automation, and we’re building a technology. So, AAA has three main functions. The first function is the tech arm that I discussed, and then the second arm is the property management. We manage all our properties that we built and we manage for others, for big developers like Jamison and Wiseman. So, I think 2,000 units in K-Town that we’re managing for other people. And, then the third arm is what I do. We do real estate development, so sometimes we co-GP with other developers, but most of the time we own it outright, and then we do the design entitlement, permitting, and then construction, and then we rent. Sometimes we exit.

Henry:
We talked a little bit about, obviously there’s going to be a higher turnover if you’re going to have a student base. So when you’re underwriting these, if you’re going to do a new property, do you underwrite them? What vacancy percentage are you underwriting? What are you expecting these to do consistently from a vacancy perspective?

Jay:
Our vacancy rate near USC is actually quite low. It’s about 2%.

Henry:
Oh, wow.

Dave:
Okay.

Henry:
That’s insane.

Jay:
There’s definitely turnover, but a lot of people are showing every year and we lease it out.

Dave:
Wow. What about maintenance costs? In my mind, I keep thinking this business model is a mashup between rental properties and short term rentals because you have the cleaning element of short-term rentals, you have the furnished, at least for you as an operator, not again, like Jay said, not every co-living operator does this, but you have furnished parts. And from my experience in short-term rentals, these places get used pretty hard. There’s a lot of need to replace equipment and furniture. Do you see that as well in co-living?

Jay:
Yeah, for sure. There’s definitely a higher maintenance cost. It comes at a cost. Our expenses also is about I would say 10% higher than a average traditional apartment because of the repair, maintenance, and also cleaning, and we also include utilities as part of our expense. So, you can really just come in with a luggage and moving into a newly built apartment for 30% below studio.

Dave:
Wow.

Jay:
And then in terms of replacement, we started to use higher grade materials, so they’re more durable. Some of them are commercial grade, better paint, more durable paint, all that stuff. One thing that’s difficult when you’re managing a co-living property is that it’s hard for you to do maintenance. When you do a studio, someone moves out, it’s easy for you to go in and repaint the whole thing or do all the cleaning, but in co-living, there are other residents in there. So, it’s better to use a better quality material, so you don’t need to do any extensive maintenance frequently.

Henry:
So, you’re budgeting that on the front end in your acquisition costs because you’re going to have to build it with the higher quality materials. How does that work? Or said differently, can you take something existing and convert it to co-living, or are you typically only doing new construction and designing it for co-living ground up?

Jay:
You can in some places, but the layout in an old apartment is really hard to do. If you were to convert office, I think there’s definitely room to do that. The office, that’s a big open space, but if you’re converting an old apartment, probably they have a bigger two bedroom, sometimes they have more than 1,000 square feet per bedroom. For a two bedroom, you can probably put that through a three bedroom, but you’re just adding one extra room. And, also it’s really hard for you to add plumbing. You cannot add a private bathroom without significant cost, so it’s not really worth it. And, also the way we look at it is we want it to be compact, but also not too compact. For a three bedroom, we try to keep it around 900 square feet, so it’s like 300 square feet per room. When we say 300 square feet, that includes the common area, the corridor, and the bedrooms, the entire unit.

Dave:
Jay, it sounds like you don’t do this, but have you seen any operators who do this with single family homes? I guess that’s more called-

Jay:
Yeah, bungalow.

Dave:
I guess that’s more called rent by the room. So, what’s their model?

Jay:
Their model is they find a single family house owner, and then they master lease it and rent it out. I know they also got some funding and started to buy a lot of single family houses. I have looked at it, kind of did. I was interested in seeing how much money they’re actually making per single family house, and I did some quick underwriting. I just don’t think that they can make much money from single family house because the maintenance is really high and you can’t really scale. Each location has five, six bedroom max, but for us, each location can be 40 to 100 plus bedrooms. So, it’s harder to do that effectively with a single family house.

Henry:
I can totally see this making sense in markets that are expensive and have high college density, like LAs, New Yorks, these major cities. What other areas do you think this model fits or make sense in?

Jay:
You hit it right on. Exactly what you said, to be honest, co-living will only make sense in the unaffordable market, in a key gate market like New York, LA, San Francisco. San Francisco is not really a great market right now, but pre-COVID it would have been an excellent market. I would say this though, as a traditional apartment developer, a lot of the metrics they look at is the income to rent ratio. So, they want the tenants to obviously be able to afford higher rent. So, they want the rent to not be too high, so they can afford it, but for us, it’s different. We actually look at it in reverse. We look at areas that are unaffordable. It’s a different target market.

Dave:
So, if people wanted to do that calculation for themselves and identify a market where they could consider co-living, how do you do that calculation? What metrics do you use? Do you have any advice for our listeners on how they can do it?

Jay:
Yeah, in an affordable market, usually the income to rent ratio is at least 3X. So if you make 100,000 a year, your rent a year is about 30,000. So if the income to rent ratio is less than 2.5, then it’s a signal that it’s not affordable, and they’re spending more than 30% of their income on rent. But in 2020… Actually I said earlier about affordability, the 23% of renters actually is now spending 50% or more of their income on rent now.

Dave:
That’s crazy, wow.

Jay:
23%. A quarter of us are spending all of it on rent.

Henry:
So if someone, let’s say from an investor perspective, they’re hearing this and they’re going, this might be something I’m interested investing in, getting into learning about, what options are there for people? Are there funds that they can invest in or are there companies that they can talk to who are doing these kinds of things? How does one go about getting into this space from an investor’s perspective?

Jay:
You cannot invest in a REIT. The couple challenges in co-living right now is it’s not considered investment grade because it’s a new type of property and it’s not investment grade because you cannot repackage a loan and sell it to Fannie Mae for agency loan. So, it’s harder to get financing. We had to work with local, smaller banks. So your question was, how can they invest? So, they cannot invest really on a public REIT, but if they’re a developer or they’re interested in investing, they can reach out to some co-living developers such as Tripalink. We actually have an investor portal. I really don’t know how else you could invest in co-living. Another way you can do that is some people, they buy their own house and it’s basically just house hacking and you rent it out in a small scale.

Dave:
They call it rent by the room or just house hacking a single family home. You can definitely do something like that because I’ve read some stuff about rent by the room where you get similar premium on rent per square foot or per bedroom, a 20%, 25% increase in rent by doing that with a corresponding headache in property management.

Jay:
Honestly, it makes sense financially, but is it really worth it to have five other roommates with you and then you have to clean the common area? I don’t know, it depends.

Henry:
It depends on how much rent is.

Dave:
I’m just remembering the houses I lived in with friends in college and it just seems like it was fun back then, but man, the property manager must have hated us. Jay, are there syndications available? If you’re an accredited investor, are there development projects that investors could invest in co-living passively?

Jay:
Yeah, I think there’s not that many co-living developers, but if you go to networking events, you might be able to meet some. We do some syndications. We know a few other small developers in the area also doing syndication.

Dave:
All right, great. Well, Jay, thank you so much for being here. We really appreciate you sharing this. I’ve learned a lot. I think this is super compelling. I do want to learn how to… If there’s syndications available, or maybe Henry and I are going to go in on our first one, but this has been super helpful. I think it’s a really cool idea that clearly there’s going to be demand for this. That part seems just so obvious to me that this seems like a cool place to live for way less than what you would pay elsewhere. So, good on you for being in this really cool industry. Is there anywhere people can connect with you if they want to learn more about this?

Jay:
Thank you for having me. You can contact me on BiggerPockets. It’s Jay Chang, and then you can also fly me on LinkedIn. BiggerPockets will have most of the links that you would need to contact me directly.

Dave:
I love that, you’re just sending people to BiggerPockets. That’s maybe the first time we’ve ever had that, but as an employee of BiggerPockets, we really appreciate that.

Jay:
No problem.

Dave:
Thanks, man. Big thanks to Jay for joining us. Henry, what’d you think?

Henry:
Man, it’s a pretty unique space, and I do think that demand for this kind of living in those expensive markets are just going to increase. It’s like the market conditions right now are saying that this is something people need. The interest rates are higher, the inflation is crazy. And so, not only is it costing people a lot to rent in these places, but gosh, groceries too, so if they can save 30% and have to share a kitchen, I think people would be willing to sacrifice that.

Dave:
Totally, I feel like there’s just going to be huge demand for this. First, saving 30% on your rent is enormous. We talk to people all the time, I’m sure about, if you want to get into real estate, low money down, what’s the best way to do it? Either house hack or reduce your living expenses. This is a great way to reduce your living expenses. So when I went into this show, I was like, “Man, this is going to be interesting for investors,” and it is, but also to invest it, but I think it’s also interesting for aspiring investors to consider living in one of these things because you’ll probably saved some money and then invest in real estate. But I also think the element of having… I think you’ve done this too, I moved to some new cities in my life where I don’t know a lot of people, I think the community element is kind of cool. It reminds me of a hostel environment, right?

Henry:
But, gorgeous.

Dave:
They’re really nice, but they’re more open. It’s just like going to a common area, hanging out, having a beer, doing like that, and it’s in a super nice place. So, I could imagine it being really popular.

Henry:
Let’s be real, I don’t want to clean my kitchen anyway.

Dave:
No.

Henry:
So, if I can use a kitchen that somebody else is going to go clean and I can go downstairs and have a beer with all my neighbors [inaudible 00:35:18]-

Dave:
That’s so [inaudible 00:35:18]. What’s the weirdest or worst place you lived?

Henry:
Oh gosh, man, the very first dorm I ever lived in was probably the weirdest place I ever lived because it was like if a sleazy Motel 6 was a dorm room, and we had this shared living space, and it was supposed to be furnished, but it was really just a futon as a couch and then a TV stand with no TV on it and shag carpet.

Dave:
Ooh, nice.

Henry:
And, then I had a bedroom with bunk beds that I had a roommate in. So that was-

Dave:
Oh God, that sounds not that-

Henry:
Not my favorite place to live.

Dave:
I bought my first house with three partners, but one of the partners and I were roommates at the time, and we were going to house hack it, that was our plan, we were going to move in. But, then Denver’s starting to do well and we’re like, “Man, we could get way more for rent than what we would pay in our own rents,” so we’re like, “Why would we house hack?” And, his grandmother had just passed away and she lived in a retirement community and the market was still falling like crazy and his mom was like, “You guys just pay the utilities, take care of the house. You can live there,” but it was like a 55 and over community, so we couldn’t tell anyone. So we moved in the middle of the night, just lived in this house. We were like, “It’s going to be six months,” but it was free, so we wound up living there for three years. And, I lived in the basement, so I lived in his dead grandma’s basement in a retirement community for three years.

Henry:
Did you just go to the community hall and destroy elderly citizens at ping pong, crushing them at ping pong full board?

Dave:
Yeah, exactly. There was no community area. I guess there was a little bit, but we never went, but we were just like… People loved it, actually. We would just carry their boxes then, just be the young guys who could pick up stuff. We just did it, and later and later we were just throwing ragers there. They had this nice outside space and we would just throw these huge parties there.

Henry:
Did your neighbors come?

Dave:
They’d wave, but unfortunately we never got them in, but that was a weird place to live. So long story short, I probably would’ve preferred to live in one of these co-living spaces.

Henry:
I don’t know, it sounds like it was pretty awesome.

Dave:
It was fun looking back on it. Sometimes I was like, “What the hell am I doing with my life?” But, it saved a lot of money. Anyway, now I’ve lost my whole train of thought, so let’s get out of here. Thanks for being here, man, and thank you all for listening. Hopefully this is interesting to you. I think it’s going to be a big trend. I guess that’s the last thing is I was a little disappointed that there’s not really an easy way to invest in it right now it sounds like if you’re just a regular investor and not a developer.

Henry:
But, typically this is when you should be looking for those opportunities because somebody’s going to get in early on figuring out a way to make this available to the public to invest in. So, I would try to be the early adopter because the demand is going to be there.

Dave:
Totally, it’s like every time we do one of these shows, like this one, and particularly the 3D printed houses one, it’s not easy, but whoever figures this out is going to make a killing off of it. So if you’re interested, follow Jay, follow some of the other operators. Maybe you can learn from them or get in on it, but we hope this was helpful to you. We always try and bring you these types of new investment strategies that are cutting edge because that’s what we’re about. So, we’d would love to hear if these types of episodes are helpful to you. So if you have any thoughts on this kind of episode, hit me up on Instagram where I’m at thedatadeli or Henry, you are at thehenrywashington, right?

Henry:
That’s correct.

Dave:
All right, so Let us know what you think. Thank you so much for listening. We’ll see you on Monday for another episode of On The Market.
On The Market is created by me, Dave Meyer and Caitlin Bennett, produced by Caitlin Bennett, editing by Joel Esparza and Onyx Media, researched by Pooja Jindal, and a big thanks to the entire BiggerPockets team. The content on the show On The Market are opinions only. All listeners should independently verify data points, opinions, and investment strategies.

 

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Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.



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