House Hackers Buy Homes To Live In Then Rent Out Rooms. Social Media Critics Accuse House Hackers Of “Exploiting” Tenants

house hackers House hackers and house hacking seem to be the rage among Gen-Zers and young millennial real estate investors. This is in part due to real estate influencers on social media platforms like TikTok and Snapchat. Ironically, Business Insider discovered that the majority of these influencers who are pushing house hacking are not house hackers.

The strategy is actually an investor being a live-in landlord. The idea is to purchase a home as a primary residence. Then rent out rooms or units to tenants. Their payments defray the owner’s monthly costs by a little — or a lot.

Content creators say house hacking as an accessible way for young people to build recession proof wealth. 

Ironically, most real estate influencers don’t house-hack themselves. They see themselves as popularizers of personal-finance advice.

However, young progressives have painted landlords and capitalism as exploitative criticize the concept as form of exploitation.

House Hackers And House Hacking Are Popular For A Number Of Reasons

It’s almost impossible to figure out how many American homeowners are house hackers. In 2018, 10 million individual tax filers reported owning rental properties. However, these 10 million people only represented 6.7% of all filers. They also owned 1.7 properties apiece.

House hackers tend to favor small properties.

It turns out, HUD data shows these are a significant portion of all the rentals in the US. Rentals in one- to four-unit properties make up half of the country’s 48.2 million rental housing units. HUD data also shows nearly 73% of these small rental properties are owned by individual investors.

Real-estate investors also tout house hacking as a way to start building a portfolio.

They say its a simpler to build a real estate empire without laying out too much money.

House Hackers Have Their Detractors On Social Media

Dozens of social media content creators focused on real-estate regularly post about the concept in the past six months.

Social media real estate influencers have followings that range from a few thousand to over 3 million. They also dole out advice on everything from credit cards to investing in the stock market.

​Surveys show 91% of Gen Z investors and 75% of millennials investors turn to social media for information on investing.

Ironically, most content creators say they aren’t house hackers. They say spreading real-estate advice is central to building their brand. More followers can also bring in opportunities for brand deals. This can turn a social-media side hustle into a lucrative full-time career.

Gen Zers and younger millennials are house hacking’s biggest detractors. These young socialists say the practice is exploitative.

Criticism of landlords and frustrations with the housing system have grown in recent years. Rent prices have spiked at historic rates and reaching a national average of $1,300 for one-bedroom home. Anti-landlord sentiment also worsened after the pandemic eviction moratoriums were lifted.

Axios-Momentive also canvassed 18- to 34-year-olds on their views of capitalism. 58% of respondents said they viewed it positively. Yet, 38% said they view capitalism negatively. However, a 2021 survey found the gap narrowed. 49% of 18-34 year-olds viewed capitalism positively and 46% said they viewed it negatively.

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