Author Topic: Extra income with a spare bedroom? Without getting a roommate!  (Read 6087 times)

Kaplin261

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Extra income with a spare bedroom? Without getting a roommate!
« on: December 28, 2015, 05:42:27 AM »
Our home is 1600 sqft and is a 3 bedroom. Household size is me and my wife in mid 30's and a toddler who is 2. We use the master bedroom and our son has his own room. This leaves one bedroom that is approximately 150 sq ft unoccupied and currently being used as a spare bedroom for visitors that has only been used once in the last 5 years. We do not want to rent the room out, we like our privacy and we like the household the size it is now. The room has new hardwood floors. The home's price per sqft is $134. We plan to live in this home for the next 10 years.

Currently my only idea for this room is to use at as a grow room for food. There is 2 windows in the room that would provide some sunlight but ultimately I would need to supplement with artificial lighting. There is HVAC duct outlets in the room and the temperature range for this room is 60-78 with a RH 40-80%.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Extra income with a spare bedroom? Without getting a roommate!
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2015, 06:02:38 AM »
What about climate controlled storage? You could offer it to family or friends that need to keep items safe since it would be inside your house - like delicate electronic equipment or nice furniture that they don't want to risk in a storage unit.

Pet sitting? Since you could shut it off, you could fix it up to accommodate a few cat cages, or a dog pen, and then offer to keep animals in your home for friends or family that are needing reliable sitters (if it was me, I'd visit the animals often during the day or even let them roam in the rest of the house, but keep them in the room at night?). Even doggie daycare would be pretty decent income compared to none (especially if you have enough space in your back yard and fencing to let them out some). You would need to invest in some floor protectors and kennels/accessories tho.

I would wonder if growing food in there might create a bit of a mold/humidity issue myself. But I wouldn't do it since I have a lovely large yard to grow things in.

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Re: Extra income with a spare bedroom? Without getting a roommate!
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2015, 06:23:09 AM »
It sounds like a potential office space, either for you or your wife to get a side-hustle going, or for someone else to use as a "not quite at home office" in return for payment.  If the latter, be sure that they are entirely above board, as you do not want your home address associated with any dodgy goings on or credit/debtor issues.

Emg03063

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Re: Extra income with a spare bedroom? Without getting a roommate!
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2015, 03:54:57 AM »
Should we assume you have considered Airbnb in the universe of renting you don't want to do?

Bearded Man

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Re: Extra income with a spare bedroom? Without getting a roommate!
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2015, 07:04:16 AM »
Should we assume you have considered Airbnb in the universe of renting you don't want to do?

This.

Uturn

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Re: Extra income with a spare bedroom? Without getting a roommate!
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2015, 08:04:09 AM »
I'm in the same situation.  I've thought about roommate, but where do you find quality?  I'm 45 and really don't want to deal with the BS that comes with 20 somethings.  (I'm not being offensive, I was dumb in my 20's also).  Airbnb?  You just rent a room to strangers and they walk around your house and dig through your stuff when you are not home? 

I've already converted the dining room to an office and have a work from home job.  I do like the idea of climate controlled storage. 

MsPeacock

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Re: Extra income with a spare bedroom? Without getting a roommate!
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2015, 08:20:15 AM »
I am in the same situation. I have a very nice bedroom suite in the basement, with a kitchenette. I am trying to work myself into the emotional place of dealing with a tenant. Someone quiet, mature, etc. who can put up with my household (two kids, two cats, one dog, boyfriend) and won't be a PITA. I am having an egress window installed this week. I would rather have a tenant than Airbnb, because I don't want a bunch of random people in and out. Another part of the house is going to be converted to space for my private practice, but that will be a year or longer in coming before I can get the licensing and construction all taken care of.

I don't think it would be financially viable to grow food inside. There is a lot of special equipment that is needed and the costs would likely well exceed the costs of just purchasing food at the grocery store or farmers market.

You might be able to rent the space out to someone else as a home office.

TomTX

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Re: Extra income with a spare bedroom? Without getting a roommate!
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2015, 08:25:42 AM »
I am in the same situation. I have a very nice bedroom suite in the basement, with a kitchenette. I am trying to work myself into the emotional place of dealing with a tenant. Someone quiet, mature, etc. who can put up with my household (two kids, two cats, one dog, boyfriend) and won't be a PITA. I am having an egress window installed this week. I would rather have a tenant than Airbnb, because I don't want a bunch of random people in and out. Another part of the house is going to be converted to space for my private practice, but that will be a year or longer in coming before I can get the licensing and construction all taken care of.

I don't think it would be financially viable to grow food inside. There is a lot of special equipment that is needed and the costs would likely well exceed the costs of just purchasing food at the grocery store or farmers market.


...and you might get a midnight no-knock search from the DEA who think you're growing something illicit, not lettuce.

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Re: Extra income with a spare bedroom? Without getting a roommate!
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2015, 08:28:08 AM »
  I do like the idea of climate controlled storage.

How would this change your insurance needs? You would likely need commercial insurance to cover other people's belongings that you are being paid to store.  What would that cost you?

Rubic

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Re: Extra income with a spare bedroom? Without getting a roommate!
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2015, 11:55:26 AM »
I am in the same situation. I have a very nice bedroom suite in the basement, with a kitchenette. I am trying to work myself into the emotional place of dealing with a tenant. Someone quiet, mature, etc. who can put up with my household (two kids, two cats, one dog, boyfriend) and won't be a PITA. I am having an egress window installed this week. I would rather have a tenant than Airbnb, because I don't want a bunch of random people in and out.

My solution is to have a foreign grad student as a roommate, with a preference toward students in STEM studies.  They won't do anything to endanger their student visa status (drugs, theft, etc.).  It's been working out well for me so far.


MsPeacock

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Re: Extra income with a spare bedroom? Without getting a roommate!
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2015, 01:48:28 PM »
I am in the same situation. I have a very nice bedroom suite in the basement, with a kitchenette. I am trying to work myself into the emotional place of dealing with a tenant. Someone quiet, mature, etc. who can put up with my household (two kids, two cats, one dog, boyfriend) and won't be a PITA. I am having an egress window installed this week. I would rather have a tenant than Airbnb, because I don't want a bunch of random people in and out.

My solution is to have a foreign grad student as a roommate, with a preference toward students in STEM studies.  They won't do anything to endanger their student visa status (drugs, theft, etc.).  It's been working out well for me so far.

How did you find these students? That sounds ideal, actually.

Rubic

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Re: Extra income with a spare bedroom? Without getting a roommate!
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2015, 03:14:44 PM »
My solution is to have a foreign grad student as a roommate, with a preference toward students in STEM studies.  They won't do anything to endanger their student visa status (drugs, theft, etc.).  It's been working out well for me so far.

How did you find these students? That sounds ideal, actually.

Craigslist, originally.

Now that I'm queued up, however, I'm expecting to maintain occupancy via word of mouth, as I'm in a desirable location for University students.  I'm likely have another 18 months before I need to worry about it again.



brokemom

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Re: Extra income with a spare bedroom? Without getting a roommate!
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2015, 03:40:55 PM »
We host a high school student from China through an agency called Green Planet/Cambridge Institute.  In exchange for the room, meals and rides to and from school, we net about $1000 a month. These kids are largely self sufficient, have plenty of spending money and are well behaved.  It has been a great way to monetize space we were not using. There are several agencies that do this around the country.

Trudie

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Re: Extra income with a spare bedroom? Without getting a roommate!
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2015, 11:31:22 AM »
We live in a small college town with a shortage of hotel rooms.  There are 4-5 weekends per year (ie graduation, family weekend) when people associated with the college need places to stay.  We provide a private room (with its own bath) in our basement and make breakfast for up to two people and charge $75/night.  The guests are arranged through the Alumni Office, so there's minimal work on our part.  I enjoy it.  We don't make big bucks, but enough to buy a few things we need.

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Re: Extra income with a spare bedroom? Without getting a roommate!
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2015, 09:32:32 AM »
Doesn't earn money, but you could turn the spare room into a tiny gym and save a little if you were already paying for a gym somewhere. 
You could rent out the space for storage as others have suggested, or you could use it as a storage space for a re-sale based side hustle or an office for working from home.  What about an art studio?  Or a room to fix computers or something if one of you enjoys doing that kind of work.
The possibilities are endless!  I suggest sitting down and brainstorming with SO on all the options.  Let us know what you come up with

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Re: Extra income with a spare bedroom? Without getting a roommate!
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2016, 08:40:12 PM »
Pretty tough to make money from spare rooms without renting them out. It is super easy to do though, and the only "work" is dealing with the occasional hassle of boarders. For an extra 1K a month, I'd take a couple of them in, at least to try it.

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Re: Extra income with a spare bedroom? Without getting a roommate!
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2016, 09:18:30 PM »
I like jaysol's  idea. Turn it into a hobby studio/gym and then run lessons, or invite friends to share. You don't even need to charge friends to share, because having a place to workout or craft together saves you money on going elsewhere together. For a gym, you might save $30/month. For a craft studio you could save $15 a month in coffee out, and make things to sell on etsy.

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Re: Extra income with a spare bedroom? Without getting a roommate!
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2016, 08:53:02 AM »
...and you might get a midnight no-knock search from the DEA who think you're growing something illicit, not lettuce.

That's probably the only crop that would be financially viable. 

OP, you may be able to break even by growing certain things inside, but I'd only recommend it as a hobby, not a money saving venture.  It would be more financially beneficial to grow the garden outdoors and leave the room vacant.

Candace

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Re: Extra income with a spare bedroom? Without getting a roommate!
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2016, 09:31:16 AM »
I have the same issue. I thought about renting it as climate controlled storage, but two things made me hesitate. First, what happens if I have a fire or something and their stuff gets destroyed? I don't want to be responsible. I suppose I could have a contract that would make me blameless, but it's still a consideration. Second, people buying storage usually expect to be able to access it when they want to. What if I'm not home, or away for the weekend? I'm certainly not giving out keys to my house, and don't want someone coming in at all hours. I suppose again, that could be handled by the contract stating the amount of notice that would be needed. There's also the potential issue of bugs or mold coming in with someone's belongings.

Probably all of these things could be addressed with the right contract, and wouldn't even be an issue if I rented to an acquaintance who just needed more space.