Ways to use your home for extra income

Times are tight and the sunshine economy of our province has been shadowed by uncertainty, causing people to batten down their hatches as they try to limit spending in uncertain times.

I think that all is going to be OK but it doesn’t hurt to be a little cautious when it comes to spending – the exception to this is when you are spending money on your home for income or sale potential.

There is very little else in our world that actually makes us money when we spend money. Our homes may be an untapped resource which could contribute to the household income if we are willing to look at our living conditions in a slightly different way. Many of us live in a home which is too large for our needs or have extra space that may be just what someone is looking to rent. Garage spaces, garden plots and even general storage are in high demand.

I have three sets of winter tires in my shed belonging to people I know right now!

Because we have more than we need, many people are desperate for storage of things like winter tires, garden tools and even Christmas decorations.

Many people who live in condos are searching for space to do minor repairs on vehicles and for someone to store their garden hoses – you may have a proficient little business right in your own back yard. Even a few chickens in your back yard will give you fresh eggs to sell to your neighbours – it might be a good way to meet new friends who love eggs.

This is one of the few instances where you spend money to make money. Rental income can be found in a spare bedroom or basement space and even if it’s not a ‘formal’ rental you may utilize the space for housing exchange students or temporary accommodations.

If you have the imagination and the finances available you can create a space for rent to even the briefest of tenants.

Web sites like flip key and home exchange offer ways for you to connect with travellers who may want a room for a night or two or even a seasonal house exchange.

I was chatting with a client yesterday who is transitioning from one home to her custom built home but with 60 days in between possession dates she is having a hard time finding a short term rental. This could be a simple money making opportunity for someone with extra space who don’t want a long-term tenant. Providing temporary shelter or storage for someone will help out a neighbour and possibly put some much needed bills into your pocket.

You will be incurring some up-front costs to build or modify while you get ready for your new backyard business venture but get ready to reap the rewards of your efforts.

You would be amazed at what your home is capable of if you use a little creativity. Spaces that you never thought possible can be created in just a few weeks and can be done so smoothly you would never have believed that the transformation was possible. Take a look at your home and yard with a new perspective, a perspective that makes you some additional household income!

Kim Wyse is an interior designer with Carpet Colour Centre in Red Deer.

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