Photo (cc) by Sushi cat_
How much money are you making off of your spare bedroom?
It could be worth $5,200 per year in spare cash, according to a recent analysis by Finder.com.
The financial information site found that Americans’ spare bedrooms are collectively worth $174.9 billion per year.
Here’s the math, based on data from the U.S. Census:
- There are 357,032,421 bedrooms and 323,391,100 people in America, leaving at least 33,641,321 empty bedrooms — and probably a lot more than that, considering that many couples share a bedroom.
- If each spare bedroom were rented out for $100 per week — which Finder.com says would be considered cheap in some parts of the country — Americans would make an extra $174.9 billion collectively every year. That is $5,200 per American.
Finder.com co-founder and director Fred Schebesta, who rents out his spare bedroom through vacation rental website Airbnb, tells the Fiscal Times that it has enriched his life as well as his wallet:
“When I was trying to save money, instead of cutting spending out of my life, I looked for ways to try to earn more money. I’ve met some very interesting people over the years.”
Before you hang a “For Rent” sign or sign up as an Airbnb host, though, Finder.com advises considering the following issues:
- Check with your accountant for the tax implications of the extra income and how to handle relevant tax payments.
- If you’re a homeowner, check on relevant county or state laws surrounding letting spare rooms.
- If you’re renting, check if the terms of your lease allow subleasing of rooms, and if there are…relevant local regulations.
- Make sure that your home insurance policy covers tenants as well.
- Do careful background investigation of potential tenants. Interview them in person and ask for financial records that demonstrate their income.
- Request a rental bond and two weeks’ rent in advance — this will offer you some security if your tenant proves unreliable.
For more tips, check out “15 Steps to Profit by Renting Your Home to Visitors.”
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