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  • Chris & John

Ep 28: House Hacking and the Comfort Continuum with Craig Curelop

Financial freedom through passive income is definitely within your reach if you go the house hacking route, but don’t expect to live lavishly at the outset. Our guest on the show today is Craig Curelop, and he joins us to talk about this aspect of his journey with house hacking, but also how far he has come from those initial moments of hard hustling. Craig has so much experience in this part of real estate that he has written a book about it. It’s called The House Hacking Strategy, and you can find it on where he also currently works. Today, Craig speaks about how he decided to pursue financial freedom through house hacking after he had to spend his last night with his then-girlfriend finishing a brief dropped on him by his boss that same evening.

Craig learned everything he could about passive income soon after, and it wasn’t long before he had bought his first duplex. He roughed it hard during these first few years though, telling us during the interview about how he maximized his returns by renting his car out and even sleeping behind a curtain in the duplex living room. This idea of the comfort continuum is one of the big topics we speak about today and we hear the different perspectives on sacrifice versus profit held by Craig and our hosts. In this episode we also speak more about what stage in the game Craig is at now, hearing about how his initial sacrifices were definitely worth it considering the multiple streams of passive income he currently enjoys.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • How Craig quit his W-2 after wanting a passive income and discovering house hacking.

  • What turned Craig off having a boss: a work obligation on his last night with his girlfriend.

  • Craig’s foray into real estate: working at BiggerPockets and buying a duplex in Denver.

  • What gave Craig financial independence: house hacking a new property each year.

  • The culture at BiggerPockets that upholds investing, and not buying fancy cars.

  • Getting into house hacking, which requires personal capital but offers long term gains.

  • Why house hacking can be intimidating if rooms are rented to friends.

  • The advantages of house hacking regarding retiring early and building a financial foundation.

  • Dealing with contractors and other renovation skills that Craig has learned in real estate.

  • Drastic measures Craig took to build capital: living in the lounge and renting his car out.

  • Making sacrifices to achieve goals and understanding real estate to be a long term game.

  • How the rent saved through house hacking can be conceptualized as income.

  • The exponential growth in cash flow Craig enjoyed as he acquired more houses.

  • Different property types Craig acquired in which areas, and how he filled them accordingly.

  • Chris’s journey to North Carolina and the current ability to buy several units per year.

  • Moving from a preference for high-risk/high-yield returns to the opposite as wealth grows.

  • The irony that Craig made money in Denver after its market was supposedly dead.

  • How it is important to buy houses even if they aren’t perfect in the real estate game.

  • Craig’s criteria for houses he buys: as long as the foundations are solid, he is happy.

  • How to not be intimidated by a list of things to fix in a recently bought property.

  • Craig’s plans for 2020: keep purchasing, raise capital, and help others learn the game.

  • The strategy Craig will use with investors he works with: the ‘BRRRR’ strategy.

  • Why people need to be clear about their goals and then work backward from that.


“I moved to Denver and within three months I had purchased my first duplex. I house hacked that and then have just been able to buy one more each year ever since.” — @craigcurelop [0:05:49]

“You’re building such a great financial foundation through house hacking.” — @craigcurelop [0:12:38]

“Cash flow will get you financially independent but appreciation makes you rich.” — @craigcurelop [0:28:17]

“My goal is to probably pick up ten to 20 houses this year in North Carolina.” — @craigcurelop [0:44:25]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Craig Curelop on Instagram

Craig Curelop on LinkedIn

The House Hacking Strategy


Chris Grenzig on LinkedIn

Chris Grenzig on Twitter

John Cohen on LinkedIn

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