Building Your Business Does Not Need to Be a Bore: Get Capital by Taking the Anti-Hero Approach to Investments (Without Going to Jail)

A handshake signaling the funding of a property investment.

If you’re ready to build up your property portfolio, fund renovations or improvements in your rentals, or get your real estate business off the ground, you need the capital to do so.

But what do you do if traditional lenders, loans, or mortgages are not for you? You adopt the anti-hero approach instead.

In this article, we are going to cover different ways you can build your business using capital you acquire in legal but less-than-traditional ways.

House Hacking

House hacking is a home investment strategy that involves finding creative ways to generate income from your home. Typically, this strategy means investing in a multifamily unit—a property containing multiple separate housing units for more than one set of residents to live in.

The idea behind house hacking is that you purchase a property with enough residential space to rent part of it to tenants while residing on the same property.

For instance, if there’s a cottage, a barn, or any type of additional accommodation on your property, you rent it out to someone else. This can enable you to generate a monthly income that covers your own house expenses while you stockpile for your next investment.

Some people even approach house hacking as a career. Done right, it can be an effective way to gain capital that is arguably simpler than other methods.

However, house hacking is generally perceived as a temporary solution for real estate investors and can result in a lot of landlord paperwork and management. Plus, there is the reality of sharing property with tenants for an extended period, which can be frustrating for some.

Cross Collateralizing

Cross collateralization is when you use an asset that is collateral for an existing loan as collateral for another, different loan.

It sounds almost too good to be true, right? Well, sometimes it is. There are some risks to be aware of when it comes to cross collateralizing an asset like real estate. This is because the clauses around this kind of loan set-up are often well-hidden, leaving the people who sign onto them unaware of the multiple ways in which they might lose their property.

If you do utilize cross collateralization, make sure to read the relevant documents scrupulously and hire a professional lawyer to catch anything you might miss.


Real estate crowdfunding is not unlike other types of crowdfunding ventures. The process involves rallying other investors via an online platform to fund a real estate investment transaction. It can be an effective way to source capital if you lack funds on your own.

Crowdfunding is considered one of the more unique ways to approach real estate investment because it has only really been popularized since the integration of accessible internet.

But while it can give you access to a much wider pool of investors than you would usually have, crowdfunding has the potential for complication because the participating investors do not know each other, which can lead to social tensions and disagreements.

Peer-to-Peer Loans

P2P loaning or lending is when you cut out the middleman (the bank) and go directly to a peer for funding your real estate investment ventures.

The major pro to this capital building strategy is that you and your peer get to decide on the rules, which often means a much lower initial down payment and more flexible repayment structures. However, due to the lack of institutional regulation, there is a vast potential for miscommunications or conflicts of interest, which can lead to legal dramas.

Credit Cards (Yes! We are serious)

Believe it or not, there is a right way to go about using your credit card to make a real estate investment and build wealth for your business.

The main way this approach works is by using your credit card to get a cash advance. However, to do so, you will need an exceptionally high credit limit and a great credit score too. There are also often high fees associated with obtaining a cash advance via credit card. But if you are willing to pay those fees, your bank may be open to a loan.

Equity Partnerships

An equity partnership is when two companies or individuals pool their financial resources, and sometimes also their skills, in order to obtain revenue from an investment.

Alongside a peer, you would invest in real estate as partners in exchange for half of the ownership. The advantage of this approach is the financial legroom of sharing an investment with a trusted partner, allowing you to invest in properties you would not be able to alone.

However, with equity partnerships, liquidity is uncommon. The money is locked up in a long-term investment and not easy to access quickly. Unlike investing in stocks or other marketable securities, you also cannot resell your assets when you choose to. You will have to wait for your partner to want to sell at the same time.

There is also a risk of capital call. With this real estate strategy, your renovations may go over budget, leading to friction within the partnership and potential financial loss.

Borrowing Against Retirement or Life Insurance

If you have good enough credit and either a permanent life insurance policy or retirement package, you can borrow from them for real estate investment.

But while it is possible to borrow capital against your retirement plan or life insurance, the risks of this strategy are immense.

If the loan does not get repaid, your death benefit will decrease, and you could even lose your insurance coverage for good. This is the kind of strategy that is only worth trying if you can find a loan with extremely low repayment rates or if money from the insurance policy is not taxed as income.

Make the Right Decision for You

There are lots of different ways to go about financing a home investment. Some are easy, some are difficult, and some are in between. But the above approaches represent alternatives to traditional investment methods that are, at the very least, worth researching.

When it comes to a big decision like investing in property or real estate, it is important to weigh up all your options. You need to make sure you understand the pros and cons of securing capital in different ways before you close a deal. Doing so will ensure that you do not turn your investment into a major debt.

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