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June 24, 2008


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I have a couple friends that did this after college - renting spare bedrooms to other friends. They did pretty well, in fact I think one of the guys basically paid his mortgage payment with the rent income and had his salary left to pay/save everything else.

I'm doing that now. I pay about a $1000 mortgage and I have rented out a room to a friend who ends up paying about (or less than) $400 a month total. We have another room that we rent out to people when they're in transition (mostly when they're leaving town to go back to Japan or other country).

I just found a guy on craigslist who was looking for a temporary housing situation (until his house in another town sells and he buys something locally), but didn't want to sign an apartment lease. Basically pays my mortgage, and I'm not even there half the time!

My parents did this after we all moved out. Their livingroom door was adjacent to the upstairs hallway. They just put in a door that sectioned off the mail part of the house and then rented out the 2 rooms upstairs. There was no kitchen and the tenants had to share the bathroom. They made around $550 between the 2 rooms.

My advice- if you find out your renter is a stoner at least make sure he or she shares on occasion.


Renting out your unused space as self storage can potentially make you thousands of dollars per year depending on what kind of space you have.


You might do better renting as a house share. Check with your tax professional. Generally if the person / persons taking the rooms sign an agreement to share the house, and you SHARE the kitchen, the income is non taxable as you are SHARING the premesis, NOT RENTING A ROOM. The room mate arranging the house share (house owner) doesn't pay income tax on the money the others pay. YOU NEED A WRITTEN AGREEMENT STATING THAT THIS IS A HOUSE SHARE AND THEN SHARE THE PUBLIC SPACES WHILE EACH HAS HIS / HER OWN BEDROOM. You can rent out the garage for storage after you have a yard sale and dispose of your clutter. You can rent out a spot in your yard for $50./month for storing a car for a friend. YOUR HOUSE IS AN ASSET, NOT A LIABILITY!

When my dad was a kid, he lived with his grandparents along with his parents and two siblings. Plus, his grandparents had a boarder named Berger Beye. Their house was not large, and to this day I cannot figure out how they fitted in a boarder. I can't imagine bringing a stranger into my family's home nowadays but apparently it was quite natural to them.

I am very fortunate in that my house has another small one bedroom house that was at one point a detached garage that was converted in to a house. Its a great place that is about 500sf with a nice size bathroom, bed room, living room and kitchen. Before we got the place there had been a leak in the shower that caused the floor to need to be replaced. They installed new flooring, bath, and toilet. The kitchen is a bit small but fine for one person. And the bedroom is a nice size. This is were I had lived till my grandmother died and I moved in to the main house. After that we rented it out for $500. In the rent is utilities, gas, water, basic cable, and internet. Also it in furnished with couch, end table, tv stand, dresser, and bed. My note is $767 so this takes care of most of it. If we changed the floors, got better furniture, and changed the doors around(they open out not in) and added screen doors I figure week could pull in $600-650. There is a house on our street that is not much bigger than what we are renting out and they pay $450 just for the rent no extras.

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