I didn’t have a big salary or much money saved. Instead, I had a volatile advertising business that was suffering from losing our biggest client – a Chinese smartphone company that Obama had just sanctioned into another universe.

I wanted to stop trading my time for money. I didn’t want clients who were, in every measurable way, my bosses. The reason I became an entrepreneur was to work for myself… but now that I had a company, it was clear that I had only traded one timesheet for another, and the new one didn’t come with health insurance. 

Investing in real estate seemed like the solution – owning something that people needed and would rent from me, with no expectation that I would trade my time for their dollars. 

But the prospect of buying real estate was scary. Every house I saw was immensely expensive; anything I bought would immediately wipe out my savings and then some.

And the risk seemed enormous; I’d be burdened by a heavy mortgage for 30 years, regardless of whether I chose a good property or not. I had no idea what a “good property” even was. 

But I was desperate, and so I took the plunge anyway.

My first house hacking project

And bought the wrong house. And overpaid for it.

What this poorly chosen house provided me, though, was a doorway into the life of true freedom I’d been dreaming of.

8 years later, I own houses and apartment buildings in LA and Miami whose combined 55 units pay for a lifestyle I’d only dreamed of before beginning my real estate journey. And, today, I don’t trade my time for money.

My mission now is to spread this knowledge. Every new headline I see about Americans giving up on the dream of owning real estate is another spotlight on the fact that the real problem isn’t the cost of housing, or wage stagnation, or even TikTok – it’s the lack of education reaching the ears that need it most. 

Buying a house in any city and making that house pay its own mortgage and pay you for the privilege of owning it is achievable now for tens of millions of people who have never even heard of house hacking, or co-living cashflowing, or whatever you want to call this strategy that has propelled me and thousands of others into the top 1% of real estate owners in this country.

So, if you’ll listen, I’ll teach you. I’ll be hosting a series of free workshops for everyone interested.

This journey will require your persistence and hard work, and there will be unexpected challenges along the way. But overcoming those challenges will make you better.

And I promise you, the effort will be worth it.

Nick Lange