Author Topic: Replacing a Roommate with Mustachian Creativity?  (Read 3098 times)

MokGiMa!

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Replacing a Roommate with Mustachian Creativity?
« on: November 07, 2013, 12:25:48 PM »
First time poster, be gentle!

I've been reading MMM for a year and I've had reasonable success in implementing many of his strategies. Recently I relocated much closer to work to enjoy the benefits for the shorter commute. I also dropped from 2 roommates to 1 and kept my rent steady with what it had been at the previous place. Yay!

My current roommate is moving out at the end of the month and I'm commencing to finding another. This place is pretty sweet and is very well placed in Oakland for the SF professional, so I shouldn't have any trouble finding an interested party.

The thing is, I don't want to. Of course, I can get over this attitude if I have to, but I'm curious whether any creative Mustachians can come up with a smart, convenient, legal way to profit from the extra room (enough to cover the rent) without needing a second roommate?

Thanks!

MokGiMa

dadof4

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the fixer

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Re: Replacing a Roommate with Mustachian Creativity?
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2013, 04:34:58 PM »
Do you know and trust anyone who's paying for a storage unit? Can you offer one or two people the opportunity to store their stuff in an extra room for a bit less than they're paying for their units?

Can you use the space for a side business run out of the residence (making crafts, dehydrating fruit/jerky, storing inventory)? This can be tricky to do legally, since all kinds of state/local regulations could come into play depending on what the business is, plus lease restrictions. If you can pull it off, though, you could probably claim a tax deduction for the space, which effectively reduces the amount you'd need to earn from the business to break even compared to a roommate. The biggest caveat is that you must meet the IRS's definition of a business. In a nutshell, this means you must be profitable (or at least be able to show that you're trying really hard to be), and you must regularly spend time on the business (as little as 5 hrs/wk is enough). If this sounds appealing to you, run it by an accountant since I only half-know what I'm talking about here.

MokGiMa!

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Re: Replacing a Roommate with Mustachian Creativity?
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2013, 05:13:04 PM »
Airbnb?

http://stirbystill.com/2013/05/08/roommate-vs-airbnb-guest/

This was definitely my first idea. But I'm having a hell of a time confirming whether it's legal in Oakland. Or if there are permits, etc. I have a good relationship with my landlord so I could probably get it put into the lease agreement if I had a legal method to do this.

http://www.sfbg.com/2012/05/01/problem-sharing-economy

MokGiMa!

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Re: Replacing a Roommate with Mustachian Creativity?
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2013, 05:24:12 PM »
Do you know and trust anyone who's paying for a storage unit? Can you offer one or two people the opportunity to store their stuff in an extra room for a bit less than they're paying for their units?

Can you use the space for a side business run out of the residence (making crafts, dehydrating fruit/jerky, storing inventory)? This can be tricky to do legally, since all kinds of state/local regulations could come into play depending on what the business is, plus lease restrictions. If you can pull it off, though, you could probably claim a tax deduction for the space, which effectively reduces the amount you'd need to earn from the business to break even compared to a roommate. The biggest caveat is that you must meet the IRS's definition of a business. In a nutshell, this means you must be profitable (or at least be able to show that you're trying really hard to be), and you must regularly spend time on the business (as little as 5 hrs/wk is enough). If this sounds appealing to you, run it by an accountant since I only half-know what I'm talking about here.

re: storage - I'm investigating this, but I'm doubting I can recover all of the money I need to recover through the storage fee alone. Will keep investigating tho.

re: side business - I like the 'dehydrating' idea. Any idea what research I'd need to do to connect with that industry?

Thanks for the thoughts!

the fixer

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Re: Replacing a Roommate with Mustachian Creativity?
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2013, 05:56:11 PM »
If you're making and selling food as your business, you'll run into various state-specific regulations regarding food safety. These may include getting some kind of license or training as a food handler, and worst-case you may even need permits for the space where you're doing the "processing." Your state might have exemptions for people who make and sell less than a certain amount of product, though. This is something I've considered doing but have felt overly intimidated by all the regulations and their costs. It definitely sounds easiest to just ignore them all and deal in cash, but that wouldn't be legal.

An easy way to investigate might be to find a local farmer's market and look for someone making food out of their home. Ask them what they have to do to comply with local regulations. Also ask the market about how to sell through them. This might also be a good place to find a "partner," a farmer with fruit to sell in-season that could use someone to turn it into more profitable products for sale year-round.

Another way to find out what to do is figure out what agency in your state regulates food producers, and call them. From what I've heard most of these people want to help good-intentioned people comply with the laws, so let them know what you have in mind and ask them what they'd need you to do.