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

Updated on January 27, 2015

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

Good Books From Amazon On Attic Remodels

Would you consider renting out your bedrooms?

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© 2012 Mary Hyatt


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