A year after my husband and I bought our 3 bedroom home, a friend needed a place to stay for a little while. Our guest bedroom was open and our friend was living in an overpriced hotel. When he offered to pay $350 and half of the utilities per month, we happily agreed to turn the spare room into a bedroom rental. Since our mortgage payments are only $740, it was a win-win for everybody.
Three months later, our friend moved on. We thought we’d love having complete privacy again, but we missed the money more. After a 20 minute discussion, we decided to list our spare room as a bedroom rental on Craigslist.
I knew nothing about actually renting out the room, so I looked up ideas online. I listed the room in detail with pictures of the spaces that were being rented out – room, bathroom, laundry area, and kitchen. I asked questions on the phone about pets and smoking habits. When they showed up for our scheduled meetings, they filled out their job and housing history and signed off on background checks.
I’ll be honest, I knew exactly who I wanted to live with by the time they walked back to their car, but I did a background check and verified their employment anyway. We signed a lease the next weekend.
He was the perfect renter. He paid on time, carried his own renter insurance with some new company called Lemonade Renter Insurance, cleaned up after himself, and stayed over at his girl friend’s house more often than he was ever around ours. He even helped me fix a dent on my car. He stayed for a little more than a year. Dude, if you’re reading this, we miss you.
We quickly relisted the room since we were so happy with the set up, but we didn’t get as much response. When we finally found someone we were okay with, he ended up being completely immature and flippant. He even ordered a different cable service for his room since he didn’t like the one we paid for…without telling us. Needless to say, it didn’t work out and he moved out in less than 5 months.
At that point, we decided that our stress-free life was worth more than $500 a month.
So, yes, a bedroom rental can be very helpful fiscally. Just be careful to properly weigh the costs and benefits of the situation for yourself.
If my husband and I ever need some extra money again, this would be our first choice. Even though our last roommate was a putz and would always set off our Vivint home security system by not properly disarming it. We just didn’t need the money as much as we craved a place to ourselves again. Plus, I now have a great office.
Do you need any extra money? Would the rental rate in your area be worth more than your complete privacy? As always, it’s a personal decision, but it’s good to know all of your options, right? Read more about how to make quick money here.