Make Money on Housing

If you have a property and own it you can put it to work by renting it out. You can’t rent out your rental apartment as that would violate the lease. How much money you can make depends on location, season and duration.

Short-Term Housing

Air BnB: You can short term rent out your condo, vacation house, beach condo or even townhouse. Location is everything in real estate so a beach location, in a big city or near the ski slopes will earn more than a house in the boonies.

Often such rentals are seasonal in nature.

In a college town you can rent out your place for graduation weekend. You know the time of year when all the hotels jack up their rents. You just need to stay with a friend or head out of town.

In a city with lots of tourism like NYC, DC, SF, LA there won’t be a season if you are in a prime area. However real estate in each location is very expensive. SF is where AirBnB got it’s start after all. The guys started by renting out a spare room with an air mattress in Silicon Valley. Thus the name.

There are also brokers that do weekly and monthly rentals in vacation destinations you could work with. See my section on vacation rentals. The rents likely won’t cover your mortgage for the year and other associated costs.

Being a landlord

If you truly have a second place you can be a landlord. It’s much harder than people think given you have to screen tenants, get leases signed, collect rent, unclog toilets and deal with other problems. The key is to minimize turnover once you get a good tenant.

That’s why many people hire property managers. Usually they do all the work but they take a management fee such as 10% of the rent.

College Housing Landlording

An interesting take on the landlording game is college housing. This is where parents buy a property in a college town near campus. Their kids live in it and rent out rooms to their friends. Once the kids graduate the property is often sold. In essence you are paying yourself.

Some may decide to keep the property and continue to rent it out. This is a lot of work and college kids may trash your place.

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