Investing in real estate has long been a way for average people to earn rental income from properties they own. In most cases, that income is derived from properties specifically acquired to provide it.
However, there are ways to generate income without acquiring a property separate from the one in which you live. Here are four ways to earn rental income from your primary residence.
Buy a duplex
This isn’t an unusual way to get a start on real estate investing. If you’re ready to buy a home for yourself, you might consider a duplex rather than a single-family home.
The idea is to live in one half of the house and rent the other half out to someone else. Depending on the area, you might be able to charge enough rent to cover your mortgage payment. In this case, you’d have a place to live basically at no charge.
If you can rent the half you don’t live in for even more than your monthly home loan payment, you’re turning a real estate profit on a home you’re living in for free.
Share your space
Another way to earn rental income from your primary residence is to rent a bedroom you’re not using. If you have, say, a three-bedroom home and only use two, you could advertise a room for rent and attract a tenant.
If your home can accommodate it, you might even be able to rent out space that you don’t have to occupy at the same time as your tenant. A basement with a separate entrance, or a living space above a garage, or an under-utilized attic could be converted to rental property without you having to cross paths with tenants in a common living area.
If you have a garage and don’t use it all, or if you have a lot of land, there might be opportunities to rent space for parking or outdoor storage.
Parking and/or outdoor storage space is frequently in demand. Not everybody uses every car they own, and boats, campers, ATVs, etc. are often in need of storage. If you have available space, you can probably rent it out.
Even in urban areas, where parking is at a premium, you might be able to rent out a street parking spot if you don’t need it. If your city residence comes with a parking spot that you don’t require, someone else probably does. And you can charge for it.
Let someone live there when you’re not
Thanks to popular websites that market your property for you, short-term rentals have become all the rage. If you travel a lot, you might consider advertising your home as a short-term rental. It’s as easy as signing up online and listing your place as available when you’re not there.
Private residences are often more economical for travelers than hotels, and your furnished home might attract folks who will pay you on a per-night basis, which can be more lucrative for a property owner than long-term subleasing.
If you get a keypad-type door lock, it’s just a matter of texting guests a code. You can charge for a certain number of nights’ minimum, and even ask for cleaning fees. It’s easy these days to get paid for your home while you’re out of town.
Again, the common perception is that generating rental income involves purchasing a property specifically for that purpose. Plenty of real estate investors do that, but there are also ways to generate rental income from the place you already live.
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