A common question on the goes something like this, “I have $50,000 and looking to invest in real estate. How should I start?”

In normal times, my advice would nine times out of 10 be for a first-time investor, especially given the markedly better rates and terms homeowners can get as compared to investors. However, in the past year, that delta in loan terms has compressed substantially, and so while house hacking is still an option, it’s not head and shoulders above everything else as it once was. Although, house hacking has certainly held up better than many other strategies. 

Indeed, if there ever was a challenging real estate market—particularly for new investors or those with $50,000 or so burning a hole in their pocket—this would be the one. This 2022 meme succinctly explains that challenge as much as any essay could (updated for 2023 audiences):

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