Like all New Yorkers, I daydream about how different my life would be if I didn’t have to fork over obscene amounts to my landlord for the privilege of living in the world’s greatest city. Roberto Gonzalez was one of us once too, but claims he’s learned to work the ins and outs of the real estate market to his benefit. He offers to share his secrets with you through a hugely popular Skillshare class “Life Hack: how to Live Rent-Free in NYC.” And, according to his former students, he delivers on his promise to inform and advise, starting the class with a tip that will save you at least $300 but up to $1000. But how can it be possible to live-rent free? Gonzales told us he went from paying $700 a month for a “tiny Williamsburg death trap” to purchasing a “gorgeous penthouse” in the same neighborhood in just five months. “I still live there; but now I GET PAID to live there,” he said. “And as my ‘hood becomes more popular the value of my investment increases.”
This almost sounds like an infomercial — do I get a free mini RoboChop if I attend class? Is it really possible to live rent-FREE? Aren’t houses money pits? The course even comes with a money-back guarantee. He wouldn’t spill his secrets for free, but we had to know more. Mainly if we were going to get arrested for employing his techniques:
Q: Are the solutions you lay out completely legal and accessible to most NYC residents?
A: Legal: yes. And I can’t think of anyone for whom the rent-free plan would not be accessible.
Q: Will the solutions require that the students first spend money to save between $300-$1000, as you describe in your course outline?
A: No. Not a dime. Although it is sometimes possible to realize greater monthly returns if you invest a bit up front–it is far from required.
Q: Brokester question. Why is there a difference in price between the two remaining available classes ($30 vs $40)?
A: Right now the normal class size is 10 people. with a class this small I can really personalize the material and address the specific needs/questions/situations of each student. I also offer a larger 20-person class at a discount. The material is 100% the same but there is a bit less opportunity for personal attention.
Q: Is a knowledge of the NYC real estate scene a must or at least a great advantage going into the class, or will that all be taught?
A: Everything my students need to know about starting the rent-free process is taught in class. Having knowledge of real estate markets (based on 1st-person experience) is always helpful but certainly not required.
Remaining available classes are on March 26, and April 9, but space is limited. Classes are $30 and $40 each, respectively.
Follow Meredith: @Mereoftheolsons.