$90K/Year House Hacking: From Bay Area to Long Beach | Client Success Series

Welcome everyone! Today, we have an exceptional success story to share with you. We’re sitting down with Ali Rafie, a young and driven real estate investor who has achieved remarkable success with his first investment property in Long Beach, California. Ali’s journey is a testament to determination, strategic thinking, and the power of leveraging opportunities. Let’s dive deep into his inspiring journey from San Jose to Long Beach and discover the lessons we can learn from his experience.

The Unexpected Call

It all began about a year and a half ago when Ali, then 26 years old, reached out to us. He had found our YouTube channel and was eager to invest in Long Beach. Despite being based in San Jose, Ali was determined to make his dream of owning a multifamily property a reality. He called us on a Thursday, and by Friday, he was in our office, ready to go. This level of commitment and drive was a clear indicator of the success that lay ahead for Ali.

Initial Challenges

Ali had initially been looking to invest in the Bay Area, where he grew up. However, the market there was highly competitive, with many all-cash buyers making it difficult to secure a property. After exploring options in San Diego and Long Beach, he found our YouTube channel specializing in multifamily investments. This was a game-changer for him. His determination, combined with the support of his family, particularly his risk-averse father, set the stage for his investment journey despite the challenges of investing in an unfamiliar city.

The Investment Property

Ali’s first investment was a historic 113-year-old house in Long Beach. The property comprised a front house (three bedrooms, two bathrooms) and a smaller back unit. Ali made a strategic decision to live in the back unit and rent out the front house on Airbnb. This approach, inspired by the BiggerPockets podcast, allowed him to maximize his income potential while living rent-free.

During his initial visits, Ali spent several weeks getting familiar with the area, viewing properties, and putting in offers. His determination to find the right property was evident. When he finally closed on the house, he knew it was a significant commitment, given its age and the extent of renovations required. However, Ali was prepared to take on the challenge.

Airbnb Success

Ali knew that proper permitting was crucial for his Airbnb venture. He went through a thorough process to ensure everything was in place, understanding that non-compliance could lead to hefty fines. His efforts paid off, and the property generated $90,000 in the first year through short-term rentals. While this wasn’t all profit, it allowed Ali to live for free and build equity in the property.

One of the significant challenges Ali faced was the condition of the house. Being over a century old, the house required extensive renovations, including re-plumbing and electrical upgrades. Despite never having undertaken such a project before, Ali tackled it head-on, learning valuable lessons along the way.

Dealing with Setbacks

Shortly after closing on the property, Ali faced a significant setback. During a required fumigation process, his house was broken into, and his car was stolen from the garage. This incident was a tough blow, especially since Ali was new to the area and the property. However, he handled the situation with resilience. He filed an insurance claim and moved past the incident.

Maximizing Returns and Future Plans

Ali’s strategic thinking and willingness to take calculated risks continued to pay off. His success with Airbnb led him to consider adding further value to the property by converting the garage into an ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit). This would effectively transform the property into a triplex, significantly increasing its value. By investing approximately $150,000 into the ADU, Ali expects the property value to increase by around $325,000, showcasing the power of strategic real estate investments.

Ali’s father, initially skeptical, was so impressed by his son’s success that he is now considering investing in Airbnb properties himself. Ali’s journey highlights the potential of innovative real estate strategies and the importance of thinking outside the box.

Sharing the Knowledge

Ali’s success has not only been personal but also a source of inspiration for others. He has begun offering consulting services to help others set up their Airbnbs and optimize their listings. By leveraging technology and sharing his firsthand experience, Ali is helping others achieve similar success. His contact information is available at the bottom of the blog post.


Ali Rafie’s journey is a perfect example of how unconventional thinking, determination, and resilience can lead to remarkable success in real estate investment. His story is not just about financial success but also about personal growth and overcoming challenges. We are incredibly proud of Ali and look forward to seeing him excel in his future endeavors, including his upcoming journey at Berkeley Law.

Get in Touch

If Ali’s story has inspired you and you’re considering venturing into real estate, particularly with short-term rentals, feel free to reach out. Ali offers consulting services to help others optimize their Airbnb listings and leverage technology for success.

Thank you for tuning in to another Client Success Story. Stay tuned for more inspiring journeys and success stories. Who knows, you might be the next Ali!

Ali Rafie’s Contact Information

[email protected]

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