Homeowners are always being offered ways to unlock the equity in their homes. A lot of the ways suggested involve either selling part or all of an asset, or some type of loan/mortgage deal. Surely there are other ways to get some cash back out of your home, right?
Well, there is. If you’re living a home that’s bigger than what you need, you could look at renting out extra space through Airbnb. Most people know Airbnb as a site which allows you to rent out your home on a temporary basis, mainly for vacationers. What they don’t know a lot of the time is that you can rent individual rooms too.
The Costs of Renting
Let’s be up front and to the point – most of us would rather not share our homes with strangers if possible. The problem is, money’s a very real thing and we need it to survive or even thrive. To get it sometimes we have to put up with a couple of inconveniences, such as working to pay for living expenses instead of partying all day.
You might well have to deal with a little extra noise here and there, your bathroom being in use, and even a little clean-up after the odd stranger. The Airbnb feedback system does a pretty good job of keeping you away from serious issues though, and you can always ask guests to leave if it gets too loud.
Other than this you’ve gotta keep a clean, presentable home that even looks appealing to strangers – that’s the key to good feedback, which makes your place look more appealing, which can mean higher prices.
There are a few ways you can up your chances of good feedback too. Throw in a couple of little extras, like a couple of cheap snacks or a breakfast. Be a good host in other ways too, being friendly and perhaps providing information and suggestions on the local area. Just remember not to be a pushover – this is a business, and you need to be firm but fair and friendly.
Likewise, you should set the ground rules upfront, so there isn’t any confusion. Most guests will follow the rules pretty well and don’t cause any problems – but they have to know the rules first, right?
A final point is to keep two-way communication open at all times. If you aren’t around all the time, create some kind of communication system, perhaps with post-it notes or a bulletin board.
Before you do get stuck in, be sure to check your local laws and regulations, since it’s not always legal for everyone to rent out a room – your circumstances can make a difference, and some landlords have been busted for illegal rentals, so check just to be sure.
Finally, remember that this is a business. Approach it with a business mindset, so be as friendly as possible but keep that profit margin in mind. After all, you’re doing this for a reason.