Would You Rent Out A Room In Your Home To Help Pay The Mortgage?

My Old House


I Can Not Make My Mortgage Payment

You may find my solution to the problem of not being able to pay my mortgage a little distasteful, but just hear me out. It just might be your solution too.

I found myself in the position of not being able to pay my mortgage of $1,200.00 a month. For all the obvious reasons I did not want my house to go into foreclosure. As the old saying goes, “necessity is the Mother of invention.” I think that’s how it goes. At any rate, I found it necessary to come up with a solution on how to make my mortgage payment. After I was forcefully retired from our local hospital as a Laboratory Technician, I was told the hospital had to get rid of a lot of “older” employees.. We were costing them too much money in the way of the benefits we commanded; salary and benefits. I really didn’t want to leave my job, but I had no choice. At my age and with the job market so depressed, getting another job was out of the question.

I Do Not Want To Sell My House

After my leaving my job, the only income I had was my Social Security Retirement benefit. I have a 16 yr. old Grandson (whom I adopted). So, I wasn’t concerned just for my well being, but for his, too. I considered selling my house, but every time I mentioned that, my family would get very emotional, and almost cry to think their old home place would be gone. We are such a sentimental family. It would break my heart to see my old house go. I have put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears in this house and yard. I had the house moved and restored in 1984.

My House Was Listed For One Year With No Sale

I listed the house with a Real Estate company. It was on the market for one year, and it was shown two times. The Real Estate market where I live is so depressed right now. I’d be lucky to sell my house for what the balance of the mortgage is. My house is what people refer to as “being upside down”. What makes my property harder to sell than most properties is the fact that I have a two bedroom, one bath guest cottage. It will take a special buyer who wants a rental property to deal with. I was hoping someone would come along looking for a Mother-In-Law apartment. No luck.

I had hoped that when I died, my four children could sell my house, pay off the mortgage, and still have a nice inheritance. That would not be the case. What should I do???? I certainly didn’t want to deplete my savings account. I might need that money to live on the rest of my life, and that may be a long time.

To Make My Mortgage Payment, I Will Rent Out My Remodled Attic

I have a large attic which was being used as space for the air conditioner handler and my grown children’s storage of their stuff that they have no space for. It was as though the “light bulb” went on over my head. ‘Why not remodel the attic for my bedroom? If I moved up there, that would free up one bedroom to rent out. I went up to the attic one day using the pull down stairs. I measured the entire area, and drew up plans on a piece of graph paper. The room is 40 feet long and 20 feet wide. Plenty of room for my living space. I took out $7,000.00 from my savings to pay for the remodel.

The Stairs Going Into The Attic That Will Be Remodled


The Carpenter Built The Stairs And Bath

I hired a carpenter, and he set to work building stairs to go up. He did a beautiful job using pine lumber. I sanded and stained all of the wood. We were off to a good start. My house has a steep roof so there were eaves under the roof. If you look at the photos of my house I think you can see that. The carpenter built walls to divide off the eaves. There was space for a clothes closet and additional storage under the eaves. There was room for a small bathroom. I put down ceramic tile on the vanity he built.

The Vanity I Tiled In My Remodled Attic


Bathroom In The Remodeled Attic

This shows my living area and bedroom.  I also have a niche for my Barbie Doll collection built in.
This shows my living area and bedroom. I also have a niche for my Barbie Doll collection built in. | Source

I Am Not Zoned For Apartments

My plans were coming together very well. Since each bedroom has a private entrance and a private bath, I can get $100.00 a week in rent. I won’t have to share my living space with the tenants. We installed a dead bolt on the doors leading into my space from the tenant’s room. I figured if I could get $100.00 a week for each room, that would be $400.00 a month X 2 would give me $800.00 a month for the rooms plus the $700.00 I got for the Guest House=$1,100.00 additional income! That would give me enough to make the mortgage payment (well, almost). In time I can get more money for the rents, and I may have a little profit. I can use my Social Security money for bills, groceries, etc.

I am not zoned for rental apartments so I can’t have a range in the rooms, but I can have a microwave oven and a small refrigerator. Most of my tenants eat out or just heat something easy in the microwave.

This Was A Perfect Solution For Me

My solution will not appeal to everyone, but this has been a perfect solution for me. As long as I can keep the cottage and the two rooms rented out, I can stay in my house. That will make me and my family very happy. Maybe the Real Estate market will improve, and by that time when I die my children will get a good profit when they do sell the house. One of the four children might decide to keep the house, who knows?

If you find yourself in the position of not being able to pay your mortgage payment, rather than lose the house, consider renting out a spare bedroom or two. Just use common sense in selecting your potential tenant. Check them out with your local police department to make sure they have a clean record. Even though there will be a locked door between you and the tenant, you don’t want a psycho living in your house.

What Kind Of Tenant Do I Want?

If you don’t have a private entrance, it wouldn’t cost much to have an exterior door installed. You have to exercise caution when trying to find a suitable tenant for your rooms. I have the potential tenant give me information on them so I can run a background check on them. Our local police department will do that. I have a rental agreement that I have the tenant sign saying they will abide by my house rules:

Now, what kind of tenant do I want? I want an older gentleman. I find young men are still in the partying, loud music stage in life, and I don’t want that. The ideal age for my tenant will be over 40 years of age.

The Rental Agreement includes:

1. No alcohol on premises

2. No partying, no loud music

3. No overnight guests.

4. Tenant will supply their own linens

5. Tenant will supply their own paper supplies.

I only rent by the week. If I have an undesirable tenant I can ask them to leave when they live out their rent. I had an unpleasant experience once where a tenant paid one month in advance. He began misbehaving, and I was unable to evict him until he had lived out his rent.

Advice To Consider Before Renting Out Your Room

Try to rent out your room to an older retired person. They will not be as noisy as younger people who are still in the loud music phase of their life.

Don't rent to a female. She will want to come into your house and cook! I found this out the hard way.

Don't rent your room to a recently divorced or separated person. They are just looking for a temporary place and won't be in your house very long.

The Sign I Use To Rent My Room

I Can Stay In My Old House

My idea wont' work for everyone, but if you have a spare bedroom give my idea some thought. It might just save your house from foreclosure!

I use a sign to advertise my room for rent. I place the sign on the street corner so people can read it as they go by. Even if they are not looking for a room to rent, they may know of a friend or someone else who is looking for a room.

I prefer not to advertise on Craig's List or the local newspaper. By using this sign, I hope to attract local working people who need a room for rent.

Advice On Renting Out A Room In Your Home

Would you consider renting out your bedrooms?

See results without voting

© 2012 Mary Hyatt

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Comments 50 comments

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Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Mary this was a great article and very good idea. I love the space you created for yourself. Very nice and cozy. I have thought about that before if I found myself alone as I am retired now and could not afford this house on my own..Thanks for a great hub!

ThePracticalMommy profile image

ThePracticalMommy 5 years ago from United States

What an interesting concept for people with extra space in their house! Thanks for sharing your idea. :)

Kristine Manley profile image

Kristine Manley 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

This is one of the most wonderful things I have heard of doing in a long time. God made a way for you!

mary615 profile image

mary615 5 years ago from Florida Author

Hi Sunnie Day. Good to see you! I had some other photos I would like to have used, but they were too dark. I'm going to try to edit them to make them lighter. Thanks for reading and for the nice compliment. Yes, if you're careful about tenants, it works. Have a wonderful day.

mary615 profile image

mary615 5 years ago from Florida Author

Hi ThePracticalMummy, Thanks for reading and commenting on my Hub a solution to paying your mortgage. It solved my proble! Have a great day....

mary615 profile image

mary615 5 years ago from Florida Author

Hey Kristine, thanks for reading. Yes, if we listen, God will help us find a way. Thanks for the follow. I'd like to follow you too. I'm an old Georgia gal. I loved it but I don't miss the cold weather. Regards...

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 5 years ago from Western NC

Interesting read! I'm not sure if I would do this, but it just goes to show the ingenuity people have and what they can do when push comes to shove.

mary615 profile image

mary615 5 years ago from Florida Author

Hi cclitgirl, thanks so much for reading my Hub on problems paying your mortgage. Yes, now I can afford to keep living in my home. I hope you are never in a position of not being able to pay your mortgage. Regards...

Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

Hi Mary. This was a great idea so that you could remain in your own home. I love the way you have set up the attic, it looks lovely and cosy.

As you point out it is so important to get the right tennat and for you to feel safe.

I know a few over here who have turned their garages into bedsits for the extra money.

A great job. Thank you for sharing

mary615 profile image

mary615 5 years ago from Florida Author

Hi Rosemay50, always glad to see you and your avatar! Thanks for reading and commenting on my Hub. Renting out my room has saved my house. I have a friend who converted her garage into an apartment. It's really nice, too. Thanks for the compliment. See you again, soon.

oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 5 years ago from The Midwest, USA

Mary, I am so impressed with your desire and tenacity to make things work to save your home! You are one tough lady, and I find you very inspiring. I think the add on in the attic is wonderful and homey. I hope this method continues to help you for as long as you need it. So many people give up, and it IS such a hard time for so many people lately. You are not only helping yourself, but other people as well.

Voted up, interesting, awesome, and useful. Great hub Mary and great idea. Its very inspiring to see it come to fruition. :)

mary615 profile image

mary615 5 years ago from Florida Author

Good Morning, oceansnsunsets. So nice to see you this morning. Thanks so much for reading and commenting about how I saved my house from foreclosure. Thanks too for the lovely compliment. As long as I can keep everything rented out (and I usually do), I can keep my old house. Again, thanks for taking the time to read. I don't know how you have the time to write Hubs, read other Hubs and comment. You amaze me, you know that? Thenks for the votes, too!

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

It is not easy to be a landlord, Mary, but you seem to have conquered the difficulties. What an inspiration that was to remodel your home. You display an attitude of positivism and forward-thinking that not all folks share. I admire you for it and wish you the best of luck in your tenant-selection.

BTW - this is an extremely well-written hub and deserving of not an up, but an UP!!! Which I gave you with pleasure.

mary615 profile image

mary615 5 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, drbj. No, it isn't easy being a landlord. I've been lucky though to get nice people with a couple of exceptions. Thanks so much for reading and for the nice compliments, and of course, the nice votes! I appreciate that. Good to see you again. Goodnight.

picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 5 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

A very creative solution to a big problem!! Good thinking Mary. You are right, necessity is the mother of invention!! vote way up!

mary615 profile image

mary615 5 years ago from Florida Author

Hi picklesandrufus, thanks so much for reading and commenting on my Hub on my solution for not being able to pay your mortgage. Thanks for the compliment, too, and for the vote UP!It' always so nice to see you. Goodnight.

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Sueswan 5 years ago

Hi Mary,

You are very creative and resourceful. I live in a one bedroom condominium and I am mortgage free. If I did have a home with extra bedrooms, I would consider renting them out to help pay the mortgage.

Voted up and away.

Have a good day my friend.

mary615 profile image

mary615 5 years ago from Florida Author

Good Morning, Sueswan. So nice to see you first thing in the morning. You are so fortunate to have a mortgage free home! Thanks for the vote. I'm in Puerto Rico trying to escape the cold weather in Florida (Yes, it does get cold where I live). Bet you are freezing where you live. I hope you have a wonderful day. Love to you.

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Sueswan 5 years ago

Good morning Mary,

It acutally has been mild the last couple of days but I know it won't last. :-)

I hope you are enjoying Puerto Rico.

Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 5 years ago

Thanks for the advice Mary,

Didn't know you had such a cozy place. I would be a good tenant of yours. No noise, just my lap top and my meal. Hope this one help so many in the need to get some money for that extra expense.


mary615 profile image

mary615 5 years ago from Florida Author

Hello Stranger (Lord, that is!) Sure is good to hear from you. Thanks for reading and commenting on my Hub about paying your mortgage payment. See you again,soon, I hope! Goodnight.

Leah Helensdottr profile image

Leah Helensdottr 5 years ago from Colorado

Mary, you've shown such ingenuity and courage in your solution to the mortgage problem! Your attic living space is beautiful, and your advice about locked doors and running background checks on tenants is very wise. And renting by the week is a great idea--that way you don't have to put up with problem tenants for any length of time. Great hub; voted it up, useful, and interesting.

mary615 profile image

mary615 5 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, Leah, thanks so much for reading and commenting on my Hub about not being able to make your mortgage paymens. Thanks for the nice compliments, and thanks, too, for the great votes! Yes, my idea really solved my problem, and I can now make my mortgage payment! Thanks again.

Leah Helensdottr profile image

Leah Helensdottr 5 years ago from Colorado

Not only was it an excellent hub, but it gave me an idea for one of my own! Just another reason to thank you.

mary615 profile image

mary615 5 years ago from Florida Author

Hi again, Leah! So glad if my Hug gave you an idea for one of your own. Can't wait to see what you write! Bye for now....

AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 5 years ago from California

What a smart and resourceful woman you are Mary!! I am so impressed!

mary615 profile image

mary615 5 years ago from Florida Author

Good Morning, AudreyHowitt, nice to see you today. Thanks for reading and commenting on my Hub about making your mortgage payment. Thanks for the nice compliment. I've been really happy with my arrangement. Have a wonderful day!

AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 5 years ago from California

You too!!!

stars439 profile image

stars439 5 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

A wonderful idea to save you home. God Bless You Precious Heart.

mary615 profile image

mary615 5 years ago from Florida Author

Hi stars439, always nice to hear from you! Thanks for reading my Hub about being able to make my mortgage payment. It was the solution to my problem. Blessings to you and your family.

GiftedGrandma profile image

GiftedGrandma 4 years ago from USA

Love your attic living area! You are a VERY smart woman. It gives me ideas when we decide to make our move back to Maine, ideas may be all it is...their always rumbling around in my head :o)

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi there, GiftedGrandma. So nice to see you! Thanks for reading about how to make mortgage payments. It really has worked for me. I saw in your profile you are planning on moving back to Maine, good luck with that.

Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

This is a good idea. I actually rented one of my bedrooms to a college student, and it worked out just fine. We shared living quarters. It can be risky, depending on the person you get, but like you said, if you meet them, work out a contract, and do a background check, you can at least minimize the risk.

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi Millionaire Tips, thanks for reading my Hub on renting out rooms in my house. I do not allow my tenants to share my house. I don't think I would like that. They stay in their room since they have a ref. and Microwave, they don't need to come into my home. It has worked very well for me. Goodnight.

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada

Mary, what a creative resourceful idea. That's so neat that they stay in their area, too, so everyone gets their privacy. We have considered doing something similar to this, as well, with our basement. We do need some money, to start, to get things fixed up, though.

Such a lovely hub and I also want to read your one about the house that you fixed up. I love reading stories like this. Voted up and more!

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, prairieprincess, Yes, it does take a little investment to get a space ready to rent out, but it will pay for itself after a while. I do insist on my privacy, though.

Thanks for reading and commenting, and for the vote!

I look forward to seeing you again soon, Mary

monicamelendez profile image

monicamelendez 4 years ago from Salt Lake City

Great idea! It looks like a nice big bedroom. Much bigger than mine!

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, monicamelendez. Thanks for reading about paying your mortgage by renting out a room. It has worked really well for me. It is a big room, that's for sure.

Goodnight. Mary

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

So glad that you featured this, Mary, so that I could discover it. What a smart lady you are to think of this! I love your upstairs bedroom and living area. It is so warm and cozy looking. Nice that you had the space with which to do this. This will encourage many others to think "outside the box" when presented with problems concerning finances. Hopefully the real estate market will improve in your area to where you are no longer "upside down" with your mortgage. Up votes & tweeted.

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, Peggy W. I'm glad you "discovered" this Hub, too. I'm happy you like the looks of my room. It is my "retreat" from the world. The photos don't do it justice, though. The RE market shows NO signs of improvement in my area. My family would just have a fit if I sold my old house....and I don't want to anyway.

Thanks for reading, the votes and the shares.

Goodnight, Mary

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Your attic/living space looks so comfy and cozy and spacious! I love it! I rent out my second floor, to my daughter and her hubby. No free rides on my planet. It works out great for all of us, mostly me because I get to see my granddaughter Faith everyday! I also have two spare bedrooms that I would rent out if the right person came along. You are a smart woman, way to go Mary!!

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Wow, Linda. Just think of the extra income you could have if you rent out your other two bedrooms! It's nice that you rent out your second floor to your family. My idea is great until the tenant moves out and leaves the room dirty. My last guy lived in the room for almost two years, and I don't think he ever cleaned the toilet!

Thanks for reading and commenting.

midget38 profile image

midget38 4 years ago from Singapore

Glad you've found a solution, Mary. And the house is so well remodeled! Sharing and tweeting!

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Justsilvie 4 years ago

Great Hub, lovely house, I am glad you came up with a solution. I would love to see the bank also do some logical thinking on how to keep people in their homes... houses sitting empty and people on the street does just not make sense.

Kimberly Vaughn profile image

Kimberly Vaughn 4 years ago from Midwest

It looks like you created a great little apartment and an excellent hub! I'm glad you were able to find a solution to your problem.

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, midget38. Thanks for reading my Hub, and for the nice compliment on my remodel. It was a lot of work in doing this, but it has been the answer to my problem of not having the money for my mortgage payment.

Thanks so much for the share and the Tweet, Mary

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, Justsilvie. Nice to see you today! Yes, renting out a bedroom has been a solution for me to make my mortgage payment. This idea is certainly not for everyone, but it has been worth the time and effort for me.

It is sad to see so many house in foreclosure. We have a lot of those in my area of Florida.

Thanks for reading and commenting, Mary

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, Kimberly. So nice to meet you! Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment on my solution to making my mortgage payment.

See you again soon, I hope. Mary

divacratus profile image

divacratus 4 years ago from India

Here in India we are always looking forward to getting some extra money, so even if there's no mortgage, you will see people giving out their rooms for rent. Also the old, single people here give part of their homes for rent so that they always have company. Don't think anything's wrong with it. This was a really good story and I am in awe of how you handled the situation so well. It's a wonderful idea and should be followed by people who are stuck in a rut on how to pay their mortgage. Voted up and useful.

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, divacratus. I find here in the U.S. more and more people are renting out rooms or portions of their houses to meet expenses. It is the perfect solution for me. A lot of people would not consider doing this, but I'm glad I did. I now have two rooms rented out to very nice gentlemen.

Thanks so much for reading, commenting and voting, Mary

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