Your kids have either gone off to university, or left home and you are left with a lovely house and extra rooms. Sure, you could convert one into your dream craft space, and the other into the dog's personal castle... but why not bring in a few extra $$$ a month by renting out the rooms? This is room and board, without the board.
Renting out a room is very easy, here is what you should provide:
- source of light
- mini fridge (not necessary, but highly recommended)
- desk + chair (not necessary, but highly recommended)
Your tenant will also need access to a washroom and the kitchen.
When renting out a room, look for going rates around the area and then undercut them a bit. If you can't find any going rates around the area, I suggest taking the price of a bachelor suite near the area and cutting the rent cost in half.
Benefits to the tenant:
- You are providing them a place to live at a reasonable price
- Many people cant afford the cost of an apartment on the wages they make
- They get to know new and interesting people (you): great for networking
- Helps them save money for their own place
Benefits to you as the renter:
- You make money during difficult economic times
- Get to know new and interesting people: great for networking
- Ease the emotional burden of empty-nest syndrome
- Makes use of under-utilized space
So now the general excuses I get from people who have large houses and are unwilling to rent rooms out:
- Question: What if the person is 'bad'?
- Answer: Request a police clearance for all serious applicants. It is pretty cheap to get and will screen out most the 'real baddies'.
- Complaint: I don't like people I don't know in my house.
- Answer: You are short on trust, and faith in humanity, and I get that. But you will get to know this person, trust me.
- Question: What if they bring someone home with them?
- Answer: Have a surcharge for a second occupant based on a nightly rate.
- Question: What if they do something in the house I don't like?
- Answer: Set up house rules. Type them up. Have you and your tenant sign them. The best answer is generally prevention.
Now for some anecdotal evidence. When I moved out on my own, the first place I moved was into a little ol' lady's basement. She had a spare bedroom and an extra fridge. She also had a spare bathroom, but I had to use her kitchen for cooking. This was 7 years ago, and she charged me $300 a month when the cheapest Bachelor apartment I could find was around $600 in that area. It was a total life saver and her influence, knowing there was someone there if I needed to talk, was awesome.