Use Your Home as a Second Paycheck
by CashTime Loan Centers
There are two basic ways to improve your financial picture; reduce your expenses or increase your income. If you can do both, you’ll see your money profile improve faster. One of the biggest assets Americans have today is their house. How can you leverage your property and make your home work for you? What can you do to transform your biggest expense into a steady source of revenue instead of just another bill you have to pay each month? Believe it or not, your home can actually help you pay your bills every month when you use it strategically. Here are a few ways your house can pay you back with cash on a regular basis.
Rent it out. If you have a spare bedroom, bonus room, or basement bedroom that doesn’t get used, you can put that space to work by hanging out a virtual “For Rent” sign on Airbnb, Home Away, or Vacation Rentals by Owner. These websites are just a few of the several places you can find to help manage your extra space and make it work for you. Let’s face it, you’re going to have to pay a mortgage for a while, so why not take a few square feet of your living space and get some help with that mortgage every month? If your basement is a mirror image of your upstairs living space, you can rent the entire lower “suite” of your home and make even more rental income. Finishing a basement, installing a privacy door, or creating a separate outside entrance can be an investment in your home that will soon pay for itself and put you on the road to paying off your mortgage faster.
Don’t have any spare rooms to rent? Not to worry. If you have a garage, you can rent out storage space. There may be people in your area who are transitioning homes and need a place to store their belongings during a transition from one home to another, especially if they are having a new home built. Check out the prices in your area for personal storage, and you’ll know what your competition is and how much they’re charging. You can offer the same or slightly lower pricing, and the personal touch you just can’t get from a commercial storage facility. If your garage is heated in the winter or cooled in the summer, even better. You don’t have to offer 24/7 access, either. Most people don’t need to get to their stored goods on a regular basis, and you’re totally within your rights to stipulate an appointment time when someone is home to allow a renter into your garage.
Charge for parking. In addition to storing their personal home goods, some people have cars, motorcycles, boats, RVs, ATVs, campers, and other items they need to park somewhere. This is especially true for apartment or condo dwellers with limited parking spots, or parking restrictions on the type and size of vehicle they’re allowed to park or store in a communal parking lot. You can charge a monthly storage fee for these items if you have the extra room. You can also charge for parking if you live in an area that hosts a lot of special events, such as near a fairground, convention center, theater, concert hall, wedding chapel, or special events venue.
Rent out land acreage. Do you live in a rural area? If you have acreage with unused space, you can make a little extra income every month by using it for outdoor storage rental or offer communal garden space. We’ve all seen those roadside stands selling fresh fruit, vegetables, flowers, plants, and other local produce in season, and it has to be grown somewhere. Why not let it be your extra space? You can charge a monthly fee and get a portion of the garden’s yield as payment. Make a little cash and get fresh fruits and veggies to supplement your grocery list and save. If you enjoy gardening, reserve a space for yourself and grow produce you can sell to a local restaurant or specialty store. There are many establishments that will purchase local, home grown produce, especially if it is organic. If you have fenced land that is good for pasture feeding, a local farmer or rancher might be interested in paying you an annual fee for year round grazing for horses, cows, sheep, or other grazing animals.
Are you ready for your closeup? Maybe your house is. You never know when a location scout is looking for a property suitable for a movie or catalog shoot. Your home may be just what a film maker is looking for, and that could mean a nice paycheck for you. If a scout likes your house, it can mean an extra $2,000 to $4,000 per day, and how much fun would it be to have the chance to watch your house in the pages of a magazine or on the silver screen?
Hold events. If you have an unused barn or large outdoor area, especially if you’re near a body of water or have exceptional views, you could rent out your space for special events such as weddings, graduation parties, concerts, sporting events, festivals, holiday parties, family reunions, work gatherings and other events. If you supply tables and chairs for guests or offer camping spots, you can charge an additional fee. Just be sure to have the proper permits required in your area to avoid any fines or legal fees.
Go green and get paid. If you are able and willing to make an investment up front, you might choose to invest in an alternative energy source for your home, such as a solar panel system or a wind turbine. These energy generating devices will supplement your energy usage and can allow you to sell electricity back to your local power company. A wind turbine requires at least an acre of property as well as other criteria, but the return on your investment will make the initial expenditure worth it. You’ll be saving on your own energy costs, doing something good for the environment, and you’ll get money back in your pocket. The amount per kilowatt varies by state, so be sure to talk to your local utility company about the details before you make this investment.
Your house is not just your home, it’s a significant investment, and investments are meant to bring returns. Why not take advantage of some of the many ways your home can pay you back? These seven ideas are not the only way to get a good return on your investment, but we hope they have sparked some ideas of your own and inspired you to look at your home as not just a monthly expense, but as a possible second paycheck that can help you bring in some extra income each month and improve your financial future.