Owning a home is an expensive affair. Even though your property may be appreciating in value every year, you don’t get to see any of that unless you sell or use it for collateral. Meanwhile the money pours out in taxes, utilities, and maintenance. How about getting your home to pay for itself a bit more? There are plenty of ways to use the asset you live in to bring you an income.
Getting the Basics in Place
When you have had your bright idea, but before you start to do anything, run some checks. Contact your local authorities and confirm that what you are planning is allowable in your home. Do you need a licence? Are there special provisions that are necessary, like notifying the emergency services? Will there be additional taxes to pay?
Enquire whether your insurance will cover whatever you are planning. This is especially important if you will be having members of the public, or other people’s property, in your house.
If you have a mortgage, run your plans past your mortgage company. If you are in rented accommodation, you will need permission from your landlord.
Calculate the costs you will be incurring in setting things up, if any. If you are short of money it may be worth borrowing the start-up costs. This website shows how Captain Cash can help.
Using Those Empty Spaces
Many houses have space which is not used very much. It may be a room, a garage or shed, or the garden. Perhaps there is some way you can use that space to earn a few dollars.
People are often looking for storage room, and renting commercial space can be expensive. You can offer your space at a fraction of what they may pay elsewhere. Neighborhood storage may not be well established online in Canada, but things change quickly.
In some cities a room with a desk, chair and Wi-Fi can be let out as an office for the day. It is another idea that is taking off—described as Airbnb for office space, the advantage is that the space is available for you in the evening.
If you have an unused parking space in a busy area, or close to a major rail station, you may be able to rent it out to desperate commuters.
A traditional way to raise income from your home is to take in a lodger. Arrangements vary from culture to culture, and you need to decide before you start which spaces are shared and which are sacrosanct. You also need to have a way to vet your tenants, probably through an agency, but with the right tenant it can be very re-assuring to know there is someone else in your house.
If you don’t fancy ongoing tenancies, there are plenty of short-term options. Students are only in residence for a limited number of weeks per year. If there are language schools in your area, they will probably be looking for English-speaking families to whom they can farm out their students. Hospital doctors in training or in locum positions also need accommodation for a short time.
Would you consider providing a home for four-legged lodgers? Many pet-owners planning a holiday prefer their dog or cat to stay in a friendly home rather than going into commercial kennels or catteries. Or you could start a day centre for dogs.
Running a Business
You could take things further and consider running a full or part time business from your home. Bed and breakfast is a good option. It is especially appropriate in areas popular with tourists, but in every town there are always visitors needing a place to stay and preferring to avoid hotels.
If you have particular skills, your home may be the place to turn them into an income. Cooking, crafts, and gardening are all potential sources of a thriving business.
Childcare is an area which is obviously subject to very strict control, but if you have the space, the time, and the skills, it can be a most rewarding occupation.
Don’t Let the Grass Grow Under Your Roof
Your home is probably the greatest asset you own, or ever will own. For very many people, the essence of home is a place where you retreat from the rest of the world and from the workplace. But for others it is an opportunity to engage with the outside world in a new, creative, and potentially profitable way.
Louise O’Donnell writes about how to make extra money; something most people are interested in hearing about!