“In reality, an asset is only something that puts money in your pocket. If you have a house that you rent out to tenants, then it’s an asset. If you have a house, paid for or not, that you live in, then it can’t be an asset. Instead of putting money in your pocket, it takes money out of your pocket. That is the simple definition of a liability. This is doubly true if you don’t own your home yet. Then it’s the bank’s asset, and it is working for them, but it’s not earning you anything.” Robert Kyosaki, Rich Dad Scam #6 Based on Robert Kyosaki’s model, read how anyone can transform their house from a liability to an asset!
1. For extroverts, social butterflies, and empty-nesters.
Are you a people person? Turn your unused furnished bedrooms into rentable short-term lodging. Airbnb popularized the movement to renting out furnished rooms to travellers. Depending on your geographical location, clients would include vacationing tourists, people exploring the regional real-estate market, locals who need a place to stay while renovating their own home, or people travelling for work.
If you enjoy meeting people and playing host without the commitment of a long-term tenant, then this option is for you!
Alternatively, consider listing your home on one of many databases that specialize in renting to international students. Make as much as $800 a month, with few additional responsibilities other than providing a meal per day and the option of including the student in activities your family is already doing! Introducing foreign students to your community and way of life can be an enriching experience for everyone.
2. For neighborly folk with a practical bent…
So you’re uncomfortable with a perpetual turnover of strange people up in your personal space, but perhaps renting out separate space to one select strange person—or several select strange people—on a monthly basis is an option. Renting out a suite is popular with young families as it enables them to get into a home they otherwise couldn’t afford. It’s also a practical way for seniors on a budget to hold on to their home for longer.
Consider renovating your garage, attic, or lower level of your home into income-generating space! Ensure you do credit and reference checks for all potential tenants. Finding a reliable, long-term tenant can do more than put a dent in your mortgage: you have a built-in neighbour to water your plants when you travel.
3. I’m not a people person. At all.
Your unused space is someone else’s treasure. Your closets, crawlspace, attic, empty room, garage, shed, and driveway is vacant space that you’re paying for each and every month. Consider renting it out as storage. Storage is a lower-traffic alternative for those who recognize people by solely the vehicles they drive: “Bob’s here.” “How do you know?” “His Chevy is in the driveway.”
In areas where parking is at a premium, you may have luck renting out space in your driveway for hourly or daily parking. You can also make decent money renting out parking for a trailered boat or RV. Make sure your insurance covers damage to other peoples' property.
Not sure how much to charge? Explore sites like usedvictoria.com, craigslist.com, and kijiji.com to see what other people in your area are charging for these various services.
Finally, an option that covers all three personality profiles: In some cities, photographers of all kinds pay top dollar for unique interior and exterior locations with character, unique features, and natural light. If you like action and want to be part of the film industry, list your property on a regional database and you could be discovered as the next desirable hot spot for film shoots.
If you don’t care for the process, only accept contracts that coincide with your out-of- town holiday, or one where the production company will pay for your lodging at a hotel for the duration of the shoot. The process requires negotiation with the production company to fit within their budget and what works for you.
Try these great ideas for generating income from your home!