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9 Ways to Monetize what you Already Have

Whether you’re already an investor or aspiring to be one, the current market tides make it tricky to grow a portfolio. Depending on your own setup, and some flexibility and creativity, you might have options that don’t require coughing up a large lump sum of cash to purchase a new investment. Here are 9 ways to monetize what you already have so that you can generate additional income, and eventually cough up a large lump sum when you’re ready for that next investment.

Four hands sharing a tomato harvest
From renting out sections of your yard for gardening, to posting one of your rooms for rent, here are 9 ways to use the property you already have to make you more money.

Before getting too excited about any idea, remember to research local regulations, obtain any necessary permits or licenses, and consider the potential impact on your home and neighborhood before implementing any of these ideas. Start with your county’s website to understand regulations in your area.

Also make sure you consider additional costs, such as increased utility bills, and hired cleaning or management, when you’re determining target rents. Finally, ask yourself “how much time and energy am I willing to invest in starting up a new income stream?”.

  1. Rent out a room: This is the obvious one! If you have spare bedrooms, consider renting them out to tenants or becoming a host on vacation rental platforms like Airbnb. This can provide a steady stream of rental income, and you can set your own guidelines about background checks and privacy.

  2. Think about renting out your residence during vacations. Be careful not to kid yourself about how much work this can be. I’ve started the process to prepare for this exact endeavor; it is a. Lot. Of. Work! But I can tell you that the idea of earning income from my home while I am vacationing is very appealing, and so is the idea of developing a system to minimize, organize and pack up my family’s personal belongings at the drop of a hat. You can be flexible with this concept and put it to work for long vacations, or just short stays when you know you won’t be in your home.

  3. Create a guesthouse or separate unit: If you have additional space, such as a basement or garage, you can convert it into a guesthouse or separate living unit and rent it out for short-term or long-term stays. You might even be able to lock off part of your house that has its own entrance. Don’t be discouraged by a lack of kitchen or other amenities. I have friends who have created highly-rated AirBnB listings in their basement, without their own kitchens. There’s a lot you can do with a mini-fridge, coffee bar, and tea setup!

  4. Rent out parking space: If you have extra parking spots or a driveway, you can rent them out to individuals looking for parking in your area. This is particularly beneficial if you live in a busy city or near a popular event venue. My old colleague used to sell a spot in his driveway, and a permit spot in front of his house every time the Broncos had a home game. He lived right near the stadium and this brought in a few hundred dollars each football season. Or, if you have property with a lot of space, you may be able to rent out part of your land for RV or tiny house parking. I’ve done this! Quite by accident, I discovered a community of tiny home dwellers who are in need of small areas to park their homes on (hook-up needs vary, case-by-case).

  5. Host events or workshops: If you have a spacious backyard or a large indoor area, consider renting it out as a venue for events like weddings, parties, or workshops. This can be an excellent way to generate income, especially if you live in a picturesque location. You can advertise your space in local hotspots like the library, coffee shops, or schools. Don’t forget to collect deposits and have insurance to cover any possible damage!

  6. Rent out a part of your yard for gardening: many people have green thumbs, but lack the outdoor space for a garden. Consider renting out any unused part of your yard to rent out gardening space. Again, this is something that you can advertise for locally. Remember that this would up your water usage. It also wouldn’t hurt to have a failsafe in case someone forgets to turn off a water spigot!

  7. Rent out storage space: If you have extra space in your home or property, such as a basement, attic, shed, or detached garage, you can rent it out as storage space for individuals or businesses needing extra room for their belongings.

  8. Rent out equipment or tools: If you have tools, equipment, or appliances that are not frequently used, consider renting them out to neighbors or local businesses. This can be an additional source of income with minimal effort.

  9. Set up a home gym or studio: Convert a spare room or garage into a fitness studio, yoga space, or art studio. You can offer classes or rent out the space to trainers or artists looking for a dedicated area to work.

These ideas might seem a little daunting. They should! Starting a new income stream is a new business, and you should enter into it with that mindset. They also have the possibility to bring out new pride and hobbies, in addition to extra income. If you identify that your house or property has the potential to generate additional income, but you can’t get passed the thought of having strangers so close to your daily life, or you don’t want to deal with the ongoing work of managing this business, you should be honest with yourself. There may still be solutions, such as hiring teams to help you vet your tenants, or customers, or to help you manage the business (e.g. reliable property managers and cleaners). If you still decide that putting your property to work in any of these ways is not feasible for you, your family, or your lifestyle, you might still consider financially leveraging your property. I have used a home equity line of credit to have liquidity solely for the purposes of investing. You can use the equity you have on your property to take out a line of credit like this. Be cautious about these three things:

First, understand that the rates on a line of credit are often adjustable. Don’t let yourself get caught in a situation where you have a high amount of debt to pay off in a high-interest environment. Using a line of credit is a good short-term strategy; you should be prepared to pay this debt off in less than one year.

Second, this strategy could mean you would be highly leveraged. For example, if you already have a mortgage on your primary home, and then you take out a line of credit on your equity, you have two liens on the home you live in. Additionally, you may be taking out a mortgage on your new investment. If your investment doesn’t perform up to its projections, you can risk defaulting on the investment, and on your primary home. Minimize this risk by underwriting your investment very conservatively. Make sure it can easily pay for all debt you’ve accumulated to acquire the investment.

Third, remember that “good debt” is used to secure investments. Don’t take out a line of credit just to use it for lifestyle creep. If you know you’d be tempted to buy a new car with your line of credit, this may not be the best tool for you.

Bottom line: remember that real estate investing is about solving people’s problems. If you’re eager to generate more income, think about the ways you can solve a problem with the home, property, or other asset that you already have.


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