When seeking an extra income stream, most people will consider opportunities to work from home – and it’s easy to see why such an option is popular. When you work from home, you don’t have to fund travel expenses, and you have flexibility and convenience that few forms of standard work are able to provide.
However, if you are currently looking for “work from home” ideas that can bolster your own income, there may be a hugely advantageous idea that has been overlooked: you can use your actual home to earn more money, rather than just using the property as an office for your ventures. If you’re curious to find out more, then this guide should help to shed light on the matter, starting with a look at six different ways you can use your home to boost your income…
#1: Run Regular Yard Sales
Yard sales are often seen as something that only take place as and when needed, usually when you have had a clearout and want to avoid sending items to landfill. However, the general concept of a yard sale – using your home as a place from which to sell items – can actually be done whenever you want. Initially, you could focus on selling items that you currently own but no longer need; the conventional yard sale approach. However, in time, you could begin to expand the idea further; for example, you could specifically grow vegetables in order to sell directly from your home, or browse bargains on internet auction sites and then list these for sale. Ultimately, your yard can act as your own retail shop but without the need to find premises or pay expensive overheads; all you need is to ensure you advertise effectively in order to draw customers, and the rest should fall into place.
#2: Hire out Your Parking Space
Renting out the parking space at the front of your house can be a surprisingly lucrative way of earning extra funds, and requires relatively little maintenance and management on your behalf. All you need to do is set a price and then advertise your space in the local press or online classifieds, and then ensure that the space is free for renters to use as and when needed. For the most part, the most popular spaces tend to be those that are located close to local amenities – such as sports stadiums, business centers, or shopping malls – but even if your home is relatively isolated, the simplicity of this idea means it’s always worth giving it a try.
#3: Build a Granny Flat
There are two reasons to contact granny flat builders and start work on your home, both of which offer huge financial advantages. First and foremost, building a granny flat will increase the overall value of your property; an obvious, long-term financial benefit that no other idea on this list can offer. Secondly, when complete, the granny flat can provide an income in and of itself. You could rent the space out to tourists if you live in a popular area, or use the space to take in a lodger who pays a consistent weekly rent – either choice can provide significant returns. If you’re looking for a relatively hands-off income stream that won’t place unnecessary demands on your schedule, then building a granny flat could well be the right choice for you.
#4: Provide Home Boarding for Pets
When pet owners go on vacation, they can either arrange a pet sitter in their own home (which is thought to be beneficial for pets, but is expensive) or take their pet to a boarding kennel or cattery (which is often less than ideal for the pet). There is, however, a third way that has become increasingly popular over recent years: people can take their pets to board in someone else’s home, which allows their pet to enjoy the benefits of staying in a comfortable home environment – your home environment, if you decide to give this idea a go. If you have experience caring for domestic animals, and would be happy to share your property with other people’s pets, then providing home boarding can be a great way of earning a little extra cash. You will need to advertise your services and can ensure you have enough time to look after the pets under your care, but the process is relatively straightforward and can be hugely enjoyable for any animal lover.
#5: Rent out Yard Space to Campers
As odd as the idea may initially sound, renting your yard out to campers can actually be a viable way of adding to your income. The most popular yards tend to be large, with an element of privacy, but if your home is located close to major tourist attractions, then even small spaces can be attractive to campers and RV owners who are looking for a convenient place to stay. If you have the space available and want to give it a try, consider sprucing up your yard, taking a few flattering photographs, and advertising online to see if you find any takers.
#6: Rent out Your Unused Storage Space
We’re all familiar with conventional storage locations; rows and rows of storage units, usually located in an industrial setting, that allow people to securely store any items they do not have room for in their own home. However, conventional storage can be prohibitively expensive, and often require a car to access – which is why home storage options have become more common. If you have available storage space in your property, or are willing to add a shed in order to make more storage space, then this option could work very well as an extra income stream. It’s usually best to start by advertising very locally – simply tell your neighbors that you have storage available if they need it – but you can also advertise online if needs be.
Considering Giving One of the Above Ideas a Try? You’ll Need to…
- Check your insurance. When you change how your home is used in any way, it’s always important to consider the possible ramifications for your home insurance. Before implementing any of the above ideas, call your provider and ask if you will need to change or extend your policy to ensure your home remains protected. If you do need to pay more to continue coverage, then you will need to factor this amount in to your potential earnings.
- Find out whether you need to get permission or a license from your local authority. With some of the ideas above, you may need to obtain a permit or license from your local authority. As a result, it’s best to call and explain your idea to the relevant government office and ensure you have all paperwork in place before you put your plans into action.
- Be cautious of “middleman” agencies. With some of the ideas we have mentioned above – such as home boarding or parking space rental – you will often find dedicated apps or agencies that promise to “simplify” the process of using your home to generate income. However, while these agencies can be somewhat useful, the help that they provide tends to come at a significant financial cost. It is therefore usually preferable to manage the advertising and marketing for your venture yourself, as this allows you to avoid having fees eat into your potential profit.
- Talk to your local Homeowners’ Association (if applicable). If you are a member of a Homeowners’ Association, you may need to request permission before adopting any of the ideas above. As with checking bureaucratic requirements with local government agencies, it’s always best to make sure you have all the requisite permissions in place before putting full plans into action.
- Make sure you thoroughly research your prices. Whether you’re considering yard sales or renting out storage space in your home, researching to ensure you set competitive prices is incredibly important. Look online for local listings to see what others are charging for a similar service and then try to compete while still ensuring your prices deliver the returns you require.
- Keep good records. With all of the ideas above, it is important to keep financial records, both for any money you invest (for example, the cost of building a granny flat or buying vegetable seeds) and for the money you earn as a result of your efforts.
- Speak to a tax advisor. Finally, always speak to a tax advisor before you try any of the ideas above, so you ensure you can set aside enough funds for any tax you may have to pay as a result of your extra income.
When we buy a home, the property becomes our home and our greatest financial asset – but it can also serve as a method of increasing your income with relative ease. Hopefully, trying one of the ideas above – and keeping the tips for helping to make sure all goes well in mind – will allow you to give your finances a boost for many years to come.