Author Topic: Is renting out a room worth the hassle?  (Read 6410 times)

gales78

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Is renting out a room worth the hassle?
« on: February 02, 2015, 11:30:56 AM »
Hey everyone! I'm new here, just found this awesome blog over the weekend, and I'm feeling empowered.  We've been toying with the idea of renting a room out in our home. We are married in our late 30's, no kids. We could get between $500-$600 for a room (including utilities) in this market.

The problem is I'm kind of territorial and somewhat easily irritated. I want the extra money, just not the hassle, but I'm trying to be stoic and future-thinking.

Do any of you have any insights as to what it's like to have a stranger share your home? Thanks!
« Last Edit: February 02, 2015, 11:34:32 AM by gales78 »

MrFrugalChicago

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Re: Is renting out a room worth the hassle?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2015, 12:00:41 PM »
My wife and I have rented to a close church friend before. She was single, super clean, super low maintenance. Was a lot of help, could call her to preheat the oven or lock a door we forgot to lock on the way out of town. If I had to work late, my wife would have someone to watch a movie with. Win win.

Now rando dude off craigslist? No way. I need my space and my privacy. $500 is a pretty low chunk of my income, I would much rather find $500 to cut or a few hours of side jobs to avoid the rando roommate.

sandandsun

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Re: Is renting out a room worth the hassle?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2015, 12:26:36 PM »
Agree totally with MrFrugalChicago... I've rented rooms to friends multiple times without incident (oh, maybe have had to remind them to pick up after themselves in the kitchen or laundry room, but nothing consequential)... but no way I would share living space with someone I didn't know relatively well...

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Is renting out a room worth the hassle?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2015, 01:08:20 PM »
Rented out a room to a college student interning at my office for a summer. Didn't know her from Adam beforehand, but given the way I met her I wasn't worried. Worked great, but I wouldn't do it with somebody who wasn't similarly incentivized not to make problems for me, especially now that we have a young child.

MandyM

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Re: Is renting out a room worth the hassle?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2015, 01:37:34 PM »
I actually found my roommate on Craigslist, 5 years ago. I met with multiple people before I offered her the room. We have our ups and downs, but ultimately its been a good experience.

Honestly, I'm not sure you are going to keep your sanity if you are territorial and easily irritated. It starts as a landlord-renter relationship, but if it doesn't evolve into a more well rounded relationship, I see trouble. You don't have to be best friends, but there will be plenty of give and take. My roommate always piles dishes in the sink, which drives me crazy. Its just not something she is going to change (she does eventually put them in the dishwasher). On the flip side, I do plenty of things that make her want to murder me. If its going to be "your way or the highway" save yourself some stress and find a different way to make a little money.

Imagine dealing with all the bad habits of your spouse, or sibling, or friend, but without any love for that person to counteract the annoyance. Can you handle that?

Philociraptor

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Re: Is renting out a room worth the hassle?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2015, 01:40:23 PM »
Wife and I rent out 2 rooms (at one point 3) in our house to friends we met in high school. Very few issues so far. Being friends with the people you live with will make all the difference, little annoyances are not a big deal and a foundation of trust needs to exist.

CanuckExpat

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Re: Is renting out a room worth the hassle?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2015, 02:37:10 PM »
Depending where you live, you might want to consider renting your room on AirBnB instead of full time. We've done that and it worked great. You generally get more money, can rent for a shorter period of time, and can not rent on say weekends when you want the space to yourself. Plus it's easy to screen people, to stop renting the room, and you tend to meet interesting folks. The best part is they leave :)

If you are interested, I happen to have a referral link, that gets you an extra $75 on the first person you host (or $25 if you use it to rent a room from someone else)   :)

gales78

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Re: Is renting out a room worth the hassle?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2015, 03:43:20 PM »
Thanks for all of your insights everyone! I have a better view of the situation now. AirBnB might be the right option. Thanks!

richschmidt

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Re: Is renting out a room worth the hassle?
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2015, 04:17:08 PM »
Depending where you live, you might want to consider renting your room on AirBnB instead of full time. We've done that and it worked great. You generally get more money, can rent for a shorter period of time, and can not rent on say weekends when you want the space to yourself. Plus it's easy to screen people, to stop renting the room, and you tend to meet interesting folks. The best part is they leave :)

If you are interested, I happen to have a referral link, that gets you an extra $75 on the first person you host (or $25 if you use it to rent a room from someone else)   :)

But... with AirBnB, wouldn't the guests tend to be even more "random" than the person from Craigslist that you've had a chance to meet, screen, and see that you can get along with?

I don't think I could feel good about leaving the house in the morning knowing that a total stranger will be there after I'm gone... with full access to everything in the house.

Over the years we've had 6 or 7 different people live with us for a while (longest was about a year and a half). But we knew them all beforehand, so there was some level of trust already. I think I could get that if I were renting a room long-term and had a chance to interview/meet someone first. There's no way to do that with a short-term, AirBnB-type arrangement... right?

MsFrugalista

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Re: Is renting out a room worth the hassle?
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2015, 05:17:27 PM »
I second the Airbnb suggestion. After many years of using Airbnb as guests, we rented our second bedroom in our home for 7 months last year and had a pleasant experience. Unfortunately we have had to stop hosting since we welcomed our little one recently. If I had a spare bedroom, I would host again without a question.

We shared our one and only bathroom and had no problems with our guests (total of 22 in 2014). All of our guests were respectful of our home and always left our place neat and tidy. Airbnb allows you to block off days/weekends that you don't want to host on (e.g. if you're having a dinner/party on a particular day) and set different prices on different days as well (e.g. peak time, sporting events, etc.). The best part was meeting a variety of people from different parts of the world - we have had guests bring us chocolates from belgium, bottle of wine, and even coffee from Costa Rica.

If you do go down this path I would recommend joining a local Airbnb host group. It's a nice way to meet fellow Airbnb hosts and swap stories, ideas, and field questions you may have about hosting in your area. Also, I've had good experience with Airbnb customer service related to refunds, cancellations and such.

tariskat

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Re: Is renting out a room worth the hassle?
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2015, 05:39:12 PM »
You can also review the people who have stayed with you, and they will review you and your space in return.  You can use those public reviews to help you decide if you will rent to them (and decide you'll only rent to people who are not brand new renters, or something).  You can also change the prices for various weekends -- e.g., for incredible popular concerts or conventions, where you know people will want to stay at your place because it's close, you can raise the rate for that weekend.

As the rentee, I like to tell potential hosts why I am in town and where I will be going (it's usually for a conference at a nearby landmark, like a museum or hotel or convention center) to
a) make sure I can walk easily to where I need to go and
b) convince them that I am respectable and will be a non-intrusive addition to their life for a few days.

adamcollin

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Re: Is renting out a room worth the hassle?
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2015, 01:38:14 AM »
 It completely depends on the tenants. You should get complete background check done before letting them in the house.

Static Void

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Re: Is renting out a room worth the hassle?
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2015, 02:08:06 AM »
We've had long term tenants and airbnb guests. It's sharing our house, but it's pretty big and they're not in our main (full) kitchen, so that gives some context for us.

Definitely found that getting first-person referrals (friends of friends) for long term worked well.

AirBnb guests were all awesome. Like MsFrugalista, we met an interesting assortment of travelers, including someone doing their graduate studies in Cuba. Cuba! Everyone we met was a "pro traveler" and totally respectful & easy. And then they go away again, peace!

escolegrove

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Re: Is renting out a room worth the hassle?
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2015, 10:06:00 AM »
Everyone has different opinions. In the areas we lived or live air bnb and Vrbo wasn't an option. So room rentals are our only option. That being said when we were first married and living off one income and going to grad school. The extra $500-$800 was a huge deal. Now the extra $500 as a married couple who both work stressful full time jobs with great salaries isn't as worth it. Roommates while amazing are still another person in your house! So it really depends on what YOUR goals are and current income.

JLee

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Re: Is renting out a room worth the hassle?
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2015, 10:15:05 AM »
Depends on your tenants. I'm renting one room to a good friend and another room to a young couple (via Craigslist). We are all great friends now and it is adding 23% to my annual gross income. Absolutely worth it.

zephyr911

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Re: Is renting out a room worth the hassle?
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2015, 10:44:10 AM »
I'm kind of territorial and somewhat easily irritated.
This is probably not a good idea for you. I'm a very understanding and non-territorial person, and it worked for me, most of the time.
I had to end the experiment when my wife moved in because she's more like the way you describe yourself.
Quote
I want the extra money, just not the hassle
If only we could have the money without the hassle... kinda like a paycheck without a job.

But seriously, I did have a lot of good experiences with random Craigslist roommates, most of whom paid reliably and some of whom are still friends. If you're interested in trying to change your mindset, I can tell you without a doubt that renting out a room would do that. You'll have new and fascinating experiences, and some of them will suck, but your horizons will be broadened for sure.