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Making money when the kids leave home

25th Jan 2017

For those of you who haven’t yet stumbled across the likes of AirBnb or HomeAway.com, there has always been a way to monetize your house or spare rooms by short-term renting them to holidaymakers, travellers or the like. So, when the kids decided they wanted to move out of our little duplex, it made sense for us to consider renting it out. Now we had already decided we wanted a tenant rather than a guest, partly for trust reasons and partly for income stability, but we spoke to a local estate agent in Borehamwood who happened to get us on the right track, definitely worth recommending!

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It’s always weird accepting the idea that someone you don’t know is going to be sharing a roof with you, but with it being a duplex and having two kitchens, we knew we’d be able to maintain our privacy without feeling too infringed upon. So anyway, we listed our property with the lettings department of the agency and within a week had six of the most diversified potential candidates all looking to make our house their home. After whittling down three almost instantly based on their credit checks, we debated the pros and cons of the other three options: a young married couple, an ambitious banker and his girlfriend and an elderly man who was looking for a place and seemingly some companionship. We shortlisted the couple and the elderly man quickly and despite both me and the hubby having different viewpoints – I of course won and the elderly man was soon inducted into our kids empty rooms, giving us the ability to start paying off the mortgage even faster.

While the cash is not always as persuasive as renting out your rooms for the summer on AirBnb could be, it makes a lot more over the year and requires little to no maintenance (as we’d be doing it anyway if it was empty). Not to mention that after hearing some of the horror stories of renting your place to rowdy holidaymakers only to come back to it damaged or smashed and then deal with the headache of insurance claims thereafter, the only real way to get peace of mind is to explore a long-term rental route. Whatever you choose – just remember that, if done right, this can generate a secondary income that could come in handy for a rainy day.

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