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According to data from the Federal Reserve, consumers ended 2021 with debt totaling a staggering $15.6 trillion. In the fourth quarter alone this was a year-over-year jump of $333 billion. In addition to the biggest quarterly gain since 2007, the largest annual gain was recorded going back to 2003.
What was the largest debt-load increase? Well, it should come as no surprise that this comes from mortgages — which comprised 87% of consumer debt. By the end of 2021, balances skyrocketed by nearly $11 trillion, including $890 billion in the fourth quarter. Originations of mortgages reached a record high of more than $4.5 trillion for the year as well.
Since a majority of people in the U.S. own a home, 65.5% to be exact as of April 2022, this can be a huge financial burden. And, this is particularly true if you’re struggling to make ends meet or are short on cash because you had to cover an emergency.
The good news? You can actually make money with your home. In most cases, this can be a passive income, meaning that you don’t have to put in too much time, energy, or money. And, you can then use this extra income to pay down your debt or cover expenses like property taxes, utilities, or homeowner’s insurance.
So, without further ado, here are 15 ways that you can make money with your home. Seriously.
1. Get a roommate.
Roommates help save money on rent, and they’re a great income source when you’re a homeowner. With roommates, you can make extra cash to pay down your mortgage faster or split the cost of utility bills. If they’re cool, they can even help with household chores or be a companion if you’re single.
At the same time, it’s not always easy living with roommates — particularly when the homeowners have priority. As such, you may have to make difficult decisions when living with roommates. To mitigate such complications, establish clear rules and have your roommate sign a long-term lease.
While you can post a listing online through sites like Craigslist, I’ve also found word-of-mouth to be best. Having someone vouch for a potential roommate ensures that your personalities click and that they won’t stiff you on rent.
How much can you make with a roomie? That depends. However, with one roommate, you could earn back 30% of your housing costs each month. If you have three roommates, you could earn back 50%.
2. Add a rental suite.
Your home can be converted into a rental suite if you have the space and live in an area that allows it. For example, you can build a traditional in-law suite or basement suite.
Or, you can convert your garage into an in-law suite or build a separate structure if space and regulations permit.
Before you renovate or build a legal suite, make sure you research the regulations in your area. A legal rental suite is usually required to have a separate entrance, as well as a full kitchen and bathroom.
Unlike a roommate, this gives everyone more space and privacy. And, because they have their own area, you can charge them more money.
Before deciding to create a suite, however, make sure you know how much income it will generate. Calculate when you will start making money as a landlord after you have invested the money you had to spend on renovations. The Rentometer is an excellent tool for checking rental prices in your area.
3. Become an Airbnb host.
There are many options to make money with your house, but Airbnb is perhaps the most popular. With its platform, you can list a second residence, a guest house in your backyard, or a spare room to potential guests. And, depending on your schedule, you can rent your home or spare room whenever you like.
In North America, the average Airbnb host made $41,026 in 2021. Your earnings will be influenced by where you live and the space that you’re listing. For example, renting a single room in your house with shared facilities will not bring in as much money as finishing a basement with its own entrance, bathroom, and kitchen or renting an entire house.
4. Rent your lot.
People are opting to downsize and save money by moving into tiny homes. However, the homeowners face a number of obstacles, including figuring out where to park their home. What’s more, many counties don’t allow stand-alone tiny homes unless they’re next to a traditional house.
It is possible to make money by renting your property to tiny house owners if you have a large enough lot or reside out in the country. You can charge more if you provide water, electricity, or septic hookups.
Even if you don’t have the utilities available, you may still be able to rent the property. With the help of solar panels, water reservoir stations, and composting toilets, a lot of tiny house owners live off the grid.
On sites like Try It Tiny, you may be able to charge anywhere from $350 to $1,500 per month, depending on your location and the amenities you provide. If you decide to rent out your lot, check your local zoning laws and county ordinances to make sure it’s legal.
5. Store other people’s stuff.
Does your home have lots of extra space? How about a garage or shed you aren’t using? If so, you could rent the space for storage.
There are many people looking for affordable alternatives to storage units because they cost around $108 a month — and are rising.
Furthermore, you can sell storage space if you don’t need it. Short-term rentals can also be accommodated by households in transition, who need to temporarily store some boxes. Additionally, you may decide to lease your garage for a whole season for storing an RV or a boat. I have an uncle who rents out his large garage to a mechanic to bring in an additional and recurring income stream.
6. Share out your driveway.
By using websites such CurbFlip.com, you can rent out your space when you don’t need it. These websites allow you to list parking spots at hourly, daily, and monthly rates for free. To receive money from renters, you will need to link your bank or PayPal account when you create a listing.
Note that the highest demand for parking will likely be found near public transportation and major attractions. I’m talking about stadiums, concert venues, and the trendiest neighborhoods. Also, residents and tourists in major metropolitan areas may be willing to park on your property instead of fighting for spaces or paying for an overpriced spot in a garage.
FYI, these sites do charge a fee. As an example, CurbFlip charges 16% for completed transactions.
7. Run a B&B.
Your home may be ideal for a bed and breakfast if you have several rooms available and would like to maximize your rental income.
It should be noted, however, that bed and breakfasts are not high-income businesses. “This is not a business you go into to make a lot of money,” warns Nancy Sandstrom, a former lecturer on B&B startups and innkeeper. “You can make a profit, and many of your personal expenses are semi-covered. But it’s a lifestyle decision. You’ll make your real profit when you sell.”
Bed and breakfasts hosts are also expected to do more than simply rent out a room. For instance, they are expected to provide breakfast for guests. You may also have to make renovations and purchase necessary items like new towels and bedding. And, a number of other licenses and permits from the city and county will also need to be obtained.
8. Rent out your yard.
Does your property have attractive amenities like a pool or renovated barn? If yes, you can advertise your home’s amenities at an hourly or nightly rate.
You can use an app like Sniffspot. Essentially, this app converts your property into a private dog park for your neighbors to use when their four-legged friends need exercise or training. Likewise, Swimply lets you charge others an hourly rate to swim in your pool.
These investments are unlikely to cover your entire mortgage payment, but they provide a great boost for expenses like maintenance and insurance.
9. Make your home a star.
It is possible to make anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000, or even more, per day renting out your home for filming. In fact, your mortgage payment is usually the industry rate for daily rentals. Say you have a $2,000 monthly mortgage. You can earn $2,000 a day. But, this still varies depending on location, size of the house, and production budget.
A producer can find homes in the area they’re filming with Set Scouter, a tool that allows you to list your home.
However, despite the fact that you can make a lot of money renting out your home, you shouldn’t count on this income being constant. In one month, you could schedule three commercials, and then not have any more booked for the next year or more. Due to that unpredictability, commercials should be treated as windfalls rather than as regular income.
10. Host events.
If you own a large space, you can host events like weddings and concerts. It may be necessary to get special permits and bathroom arrangements, which can be quite expensive. Fortunately, it’s possible for one large event to generate thousands of dollars in just one day.
Rural or agricultural areas can celebrate their local food production and culture by hosting agri-tourism events such as seasonal mazes, wine tastings, and mini-markets. I also have family friends who renovated a barn that is now used for baby and wedding showers,
11. Become a pet sitter.
Are you an animal lover? Become a pet sitter through an online service such as Rover.com, which claims to have over 150,000 sitters who specialize in dog-only in-home boarding.
While a background check is required, certification isn’t necessary. In addition to providing training resources, the site charges sitters a 20% fee per booking for taking care of pets. I’m actually a satisfied customer Rover. I love that when I need to leave town, I can leave my dog at someone else’s home instead of boarding her. And, after a couple of visits, my dog looks forward to her visits with the sitter.
12. Start your own market garden.
It is possible to grow enough fruits, vegetables, or flowers to sell, even on a small suburban lot. You can increase your growing options even further if you have several acres. The ubiquitous roadside stand sells fresh flowers, fruits, nuts, and local produce during peak season in many places.
The market for fresh, local foods is growing as people become increasingly aware of food safety and wholesomeness. You could put your green thumb to work and sell your produce at a local farmers’ market or your own property if you have one.
13. Sell your clutter (or rent it).
If you’re like most people, you have a closet full of clothes you don’t wear and a kitchen pantry full of appliances that haven’t been used for years. There’s also all that baby gear gathering dust in your basement or garage that your kids no longer need.
With that in mind, the next time you do a little spring cleaning, sell these items on sites such as Tradesy, Poshmark, Gazelle, and OfferUp. Just note that these items should be in decent condition and these sites also charge fees.
If you don’t want to part with these items, you can still make money off of them. How? By renting them out on sites like Fat Llama, BabyQuip, or Splinster.
14. Launch a home-based business.
Regardless of if this is a side gig or a full-time work-from-home position, there are’s no shortage of home-based business ideas. Even better? Most of these business opportunities can be started today with nothing more than your computer and internet connection.
While this isn’t an extensive list, here are twenty suggestions you might want to pursue;
- Start a blog
- Self-publish a book
- Create and sell handmade products
- Refurbish and upcycle furniture
- Launch a podcast or YouTube channel
- Virtual call center
- Online teaching or tutoring
- Home bakery
- Catering service
- Barbershop or salon
- At-home car-wash
- Drop-off repair service
- Business consulting
- Accounting and tax preparing
- Launch a subscription service
- Private tutor or instruction, such as offering music lessons
- Invest in stocks or real estate
15. Tap into your home’s equity.
Equity in your home refers to the part of your house you’ve paid off. This is the difference between the value of your home and the amount you still owe on your mortgage, explains Diane Costagliola for Bankrate. Equity from homeownership is a critical part of building wealth over time for many. The equity in your home grows over time as its value increases and as you pay down the mortgage principal.
“Equity provides many opportunities to homeowners, as it’s a great source for savings and for financing,” says Glenn Brunker, president at Ally Home. “For example, the equity amassed in a starter home may later provide the down payment needed to purchase a larger home as a family grows and needs more space. It’s a time-tested way to build wealth.”
When it comes to big expenses, home equity is often regarded as a better financing option than credit cards or high-interest personal loans, adds Costagliola. The best uses of home equity would be debt consolidation, growing your business, or covering emergencies, education, or a wedding.
Equity can usually be accessed through HELOCs, home equity loans, as well as cash-out refinances.
Final Words of Advice
You have an opportunity to earn additional income when you own your own home that isn’t available when you rent. But, before chasing these opportunities, there are two points to consider.
First, there are insurance risks. In the event of a fire, flood, or other catastrophes, your insurance may be invalidated if you use the property in a way not listed on your policy. In any case, your property must be properly insured, as well as securing the necessary licenses and permits.
The second way to ensure you’re not taking on too much is to not overextend yourself. The process of renovating can be physically demanding as well as costly, for example. In addition, not everyone is cut out to run a home-based business like B&B or a wedding venue.
Nonetheless, if you have carefully considered both of these things, why wait to see if you make money off your home when you could do so right now?