Make Money with Your House
Considering a Boarder
If you're looking for some extra money for bills, saving for a trip or just want some extra income, you may want to consider using your home to earn it. Taking in a student or young working person is a great way to earn some extra money each month. The great thing about doing this is that once you have a good boarder in place there is very little to do except collect the money each month. That's not to say your aren't giving up anything. There are many pros and cons of going this route to gain extra income.
How Much to Charge???
One big question when considering having someone board with you is what to charge them. This will depend on several factors such as the size of the room, if they have their own bathroom, if meals are included and of course the location. Have a look in your local classifieds like Craigslist or Kijiji and see what other people are charging to help you determine how much to ask for the accommodations.
Negative Aspects of Having a Boarder
There are of course a few draw backs from doing this. The biggest of which is a loss of privacy. You and your family are having a stranger come into your home to stay and anything you say or do can be seen or heard by an extra person now. There is also the question of their honesty. There's always the possibility that they will rummage through your things and take some valuables like jewellery or cash. I like to believe that most people are honest, but it only takes a few bad apples to spoil the bunch as they say. As a precaution I wouldn't leave anything valuable and easily stolen for their eyes to see, especially during the first few weeks. There is also personality of the person who'll be staying with you. Will they talk your ear off and be in your face all the time when you don't need that? Having had a few different borders I've found that most tend to be the opposite, they keep to themselves for the most part. Another major worry many people have when considering a boarder is their cleanliness. Are they going to leave their stuff all over place and not clean up after themselves?
Positive Aspects of Having a Boarder
When you get a boarder and have had time to establish that they are going to work out it can be very beneficial. The benefits of having a border though can go beyond a periodic injection of cash into your bank account. Many people are lonely and enjoy having an extra person around, particularly if you can't or don't get out very often. I've kept in contact with some of my past borders long after they've moved out. There is also the fact that you'll be leaving a house empty much less of the time. This can give you some piece of mind when you're away especially at night. I've had some borders give me a hand with a couple of small jobs around the house as well. I'd never ask too much of them but a lift here, a shovel there is a great help when you need it.
Advice Regarding Boarders
Here's some advice for anyone considering having a boarder stay with you. Meet the person before you commit to anything. Sit down with them for a few minutes at a coffee shop long enough to get a vibe from them. Always be up front and honest, lay out what is expected from them and what you'll be providing to them. When going to interview someone always give yourself an out, just a little white lie to spare his or her feelings in case you don't get a good vibe from them. "My cousin might be moving in, I'm waiting for him to get back to me before I make a decision" for example. When you do have a border move in try to avoid getting to know them too well until you see if things are going to work out. You may end up having to ask this person to leave, it will be a lot easier if you haven't gotten too close.
Try an Alternative route with Airbnb
A different way to earn income from your home would be to list your accommodation with Airbnb. This service connects people looking for a short term place to stay with people looking to earn extra income by renting out an empty room or home. As the stay is generally more short term than with a traditional boarder you can potentially earn more for the same amount of time. Some people are making a killing with this service. For more on this check out "Get Paid For Your Pad: How to Maximize Profit From Your Airbnb Listing" by Jasper Ribbers and Huzefa Kapadia. The link is below.