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How Your Home Can Make Money for You

Updated on June 10, 2014

Consider the Costs of Your Home

There's the mortgage or rent, insurances, repairs, maintenance and possibly the odd renovation. That's before you get to the yard. It's not a bad idea then, to look at some of the ways in which your home might be able to contribute to your income.

Before we get started though, you need to be aware that every country and area has local laws, health regulations, taxation and other governmental requirements that may need to be met in regards to the use of your home. You might also need approval from your insurance company, landlord, mortgage provider, lawyer, accountant, your partner and anyone else that would usually advise you.

As with anything you do, there are benefits and burdens (otherwise known as pros and cons). The following are some of the ways in which people have made extra income from their homes. Only YOU however can decide if any of them are doable, practical, safe and comfortable for your particular circumstances.

Making Cash from Your Home

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan/
Image courtesy of renjith krishnan/

1. Share your home with others

  • Housemates/boarders/lodgers

This works best if you are friendly, flexible and comfortable with sharing your space. Having more than one bathroom and TV can also be useful. A good way to start is to find someone who's looking for some short term accommodation and then you can see if it works for you. To find someone to share you can ask around friends, family and colleagues or advertise on sites such as Craigslist and Gumtree. Make sure you do all appropriate research to ascertain the reliability and trustworthiness of anyone you take into your home. Depending on the standard of your home and whether you are offering just a room or full board (including food, bills, etc) you could expect to charge between $100-$300 per week.

  • International (or inter/intrastate) students

Hosting international students for short or long periods provides a wonderful window into different cultures and gives you a new perspective on your own. Some sites to look at include Homestay and Homestay Agency. Alternatively, contact your local college, university or high school and enquire if they are looking for accommodation for students.

Host Travellers:

  • Bed & Breakfast

If you've got room for an extra person or two you could look at Homestay International or Bed and Breakfast World. If you've got so much as a couch free you could look at sites such as AirBNB.

  • Dinner

Travellers are keen to mix with local people and try the local cuisine. Some of my family have hosted travellers in this way, providing a meal, enjoying the company of people from other countries and making new friends along the way. Basically you list with an organisation, receive enquiries and host travellers for a meal at your home at an agreed time. This article explains the idea. See also the comments section of the article to get a balanced view of its practicality.

2. Consider canine and feline boarders

There's a huge amount of people who want their pets minded when they go away. Many are anxious about leaving their much-loved pets in kennels and catteries. Services such as Dogvacay and Rover match up pet owners with those prepared to offer them company and accommodation. This option is a case of "must love pets". A fenced yard is also useful. If you look after dogs, there'll be plenty of walks as well.

Dogs (and cats) can be good houseguests

3. Rent out your home

Consider renting your home out for those times when you don't need it.

For example:

1. While you are on holidays. Short term rental homes can be quite rare in some areas so you may score a higher than average rental amount for your home. If you are close to tourist attractions and/or tourist events (such as festivals, sporting and racing events) your home may be in even greater demand.

2. While you do something different. How about volunteering at a National Park (accommodation is provided in some cases) for a season, going housesitting (free accommodation) or living overseas for a while. Meantime, your home is generating income.

More About Volunteering in National Parks

4. Don't forget your yard, driveway and garage

If you're not using them, you can possibly rent them out. Think of how many people live in small spaces and may not have room for their car, boat, RV or extra furniture. See Park at My House, Rent My Garage, Camp in My Garden and this article, on renting almost anything, to get some ideas.

Have an empty driveway? You may be able to rent it out!

Photo by author
Photo by author

More ideas?

If you've found a novel way to make your home work for you, we'd love to hear about it in the comments section.


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