THE STORY BEHIND HOUSE HACKER
My name is James Hill. From 2003 – 2010 I ran a company called HomeFixers managing home rehab projects for Real Estate Investors in Dallas, Texas. Investors hired me to manage the repair process for their rehab projects and I was also called upon to help evaluate potential investment property prior to purchase. Initially I only offered one type of assessment; it was a detailed line-item Rehab Cost Assessment that was hundreds of lines long and generated a report that was usually totaled about 12-15 pages. These reports usually took me 4-6 hours of focused time to complete. It was an tedious and time consuming process, but the rehab cost assessments that I gave my clients were deadly accurate and gave them a very high level of confidence when purchasing (or passing on) a potential investment property.
After years of doing these exhaustive time consuming reports for Investors, I began to see patterns in the data that I was collecting. All of these rehab projects started fitting into a consistent pricing model. I got to a point where I could ‘guestimate’ repair costs without having to measure every square foot of carpet and tile and count every light and plumbing fixture. I quickly came to realize that houses are very predictable and the work required to rehabilitate them can be quickly and easily quantified using simple rules-of-thumb. These rules-of-thumb pricing tricks ended up saving me hours of work and my estimates were still highly accurate. This made the assessment process go MUCH more quickly!
It was during this time that I came up with the idea for the House Hacker tool. This is a tool that I began personally using to help evaluate rehab projects for other Investors before they bought an investment property. I would meet with the customer and walk through a property and without taking out so much as a tape measure, I was able to give my clients ballpark rehab cost assessments, usually in 30 minutes or less. This new method made it much more efficient to analyze the numbers on and investment property. It was so fast that before I left the property I could tell with a very high degree of certainty whether or not a property was going to be a good deal.
Most of the time I found myself helping investor clients avoid making huge mistakes by giving them accurate repair costs before they went under contract. Although, I hated losing potential general contracting business by talking people out of buying into a bad deal, I loved knowing that I was helping them avoid poor financial decisions that could cost them their hard earned savings. I saw too many people make poor, uninformed decisions that cost them dearly.
Competition for investment property has gotten really stiff lately and in case you haven’t noticed; THE GOOD DEALS ARE GONE FAST! If you don’t move quickly, you will miss out on the best opportunities. I also loved it when I helped my clients have the confidence to make a fast decisions and beat other slower investors to a good deal.
I knew that the same system that helped make me a crackerjack estimator could help other Investors as well. House Hacker is the cure for analysis paralysis. It is a system is so quick and easy to use, incredibly accurate and anybody can use it right out of the box. It is my sincere hope that House Hacker will bless you in your real estate business, by helping you make fast and well informed decisions about investment property.
THE BRAINS BEHIND HOUSE HACKER
John Hoffmann is a problem solver skilled in the art of software engineering. Since the early days of the internet in 1995, John has been building web sites and web services. He was blessed with the opportunity to further the internet revolution through his employment at Sun Microsystems in the JavaSoft division starting in 1997. He is currently employed by Oracle which purchased Sun in 2010.
John is driven by delivering high performance systems with intuitive user interfaces that keep pace with the customer’s interactions. He was awarded a patent in 2004 titled “Method and apparatus for providing a highly interactive transaction environment in a distributed network”. It allowed web browsers to interact with servers without requiring the user to change pages – thereby greatly increasing the speed at which certain types of web sites could be used. Most websites today use derivative works.
John also has personal experience in real estate as an owner/flipper. For much of his career John has considered his second job to be the renovation of the fixer-uppers he scaled into during the dot-com boom in Silicon Valley. From starter condo, to small house, to medium house he leveraged his way up the housing market during the hey day and gracefully exited the California market in 2006.
John relocated his growing family to Austin Texas where he retired from his second job by having a huge new new home constructed near the peak in 2007. When it was time to move to the country in 2012, John realized his first real-estate loss.
John Hoffmann and James Hill met through Northpoint church in 2014 and soon discovered their mutual desire to capitalize on their expertise outside the 9-to-5. James brought the House Hacker product in Excel form to the table and John brought his web application development expertise to bear. The collaboration has resulted in a fine product that we sincerely hope will serve you well.