With the rising cost of housing, and the extra added costs of running a house, it is no wonder that we don't have much of our pay check left after payday. Not only has the taxman grabbed his piece of the pie, but now you have to pay utilities, phone, cable, mortgage taxes and more.
Does Your Home Feel Like An Anchor?
If you love your home, but it is starting to feel like an anchor, then maybe you should consider turning your house around, and have it pay you by renting out a room.
If you have a spare bedroom, or a basement that could be finished with a bedroom, a great alternative would be to rent out a room.
I was not thrilled with this idea in the beginning, but then I got to thinking about it, and talked to my brother who rents rooms instead of apartments to live in himself. He said he preferred to rent rooms, as they were usually cheaper. He pays $500.00 per month compared to an apartment close to work which would run him $1200.00 per month or more, and some apartments are plus utilities too! He drives a truck, and is single. He really just needs a place to put a few things, lay his head and have an address.
Renting out a room, sounds good on paper. Like most ideas do! But you do have to think this one through. Depending on the layout of your house. Are you comfortable with someone in your home? I felt I was, as I had been used to my kids having stray friends living here when they were at home. I even had one of their friends rooming and boarding for a while. But I did have to think the idea of renting out a room through.
Is There A Market To Rent Rooms?
I really didn't think there was much call for this. I was expecting "shady characters" until he told me that there were 30 and 40 calls per ad he was answering. He had to move because of work and was trying to find a room close to work. There were a handful in the local paper and they were taken before he even got a call in. He was actually panicking!
He finally found a room to rent because the previous person had not paid anything yet, so my brother went armed with cash, and good references.
The thought of turning my house into income sounded good though. Our kids are grown, and moved on, so there were two large bedrooms just sitting there and a bathroom in between. They were on the second floor. For the most part, I didn't even go up there except to dust it every so often, or prepare for guests staying. I figured I could rent out both rooms and bring in a thousand dollars!
So, I thought, here we are paying for this house, we love it here, but it wouldn't hurt to have some help. So, I thought if it was someone we might know, this would help. I got my kids to put out the word, and my brother also.
We then spruced it up, and painted the walls, and did some minor repairs. We found out that by renting out a room, any repairs or decorating you do can be claimed on your taxes as you are going to be giving them a receipt for rent. So, you will have to claim this money as income, but you can claim the percentage of running costs for this square footage of house on your taxes.
So, we decided to rent the two rooms with the bathroom in between as a suite and got a nice couple. We barely see them, as they do their own thing. We found them through a "friend of a friend".. This works out quite well. They are happy to watch the house if we want to go and travel. We have got to know them well enough, but don't live in each others pockets. This arrangement works for them as they work long days. They usually just use the microwave.
To rent out a room in your house may take some adjustment, but this is something that is marketable. Just like getting a room mate for an apartment, but I find in a house there is more room and you don't trip over each other the same way.
My brother finally found a room to rent, within a mile of work. It is a regular sub division house, with 3 bedrooms. His is a 10 x 12 foot room, with a double bed and a TV with cable. He pays $500.00 per month for this and can use the kitchen.
He told me that amongst his co-workers and friends, that there is a growing trend to be more mobile. Not own too much stuff and just rent a room in a house. It is cheaper, not as lonely, and you don't have to furnish it.
When renting out a room in your house, you should make sure it is clean, freshly painted in a nice neutral color. Provide window blinds or curtains (great for shift workers) and a lock on the door and bedroom set. Also including cable and internet is a nice bonus, especially if you are renting to a student. They should have access to laundry facilities in your house and the kitchen.
Have House Rules When Renting Out A Room
Let them know the rules before they move in, that they must clean up after themselves in the kitchen. You can give them a shelf in the fridge, or they can have a small bar fridge in their room.
According to my brother, most of his buddies, just use the micro wave to eat anyways, they don't really get into any cooking.
There are many people who would prefer to rent a room. Students, singles, temporary workers and truck drivers.
If your home is close to large companies, or schools etc, then you could be sitting on a great investment! So, consider getting a return on your investment. Renting out a room, just might be the answer to your bills.
If your tenant likes pets, they could help you out if you want to do a bit of traveling, and renting out a room, means that your house is not empty.