Renting out your house to fund your travels

Renting out your house to fund your travels

If you own a house or if you are renting long term, you can gain significant income from it while you travel abroad, possibly more then your mortgage or rent payments.

There are two ways to monetize your house: renting out long term and short term. Your preferred option depends on your situation, both options have advantages and disadvantages

Renting out long term or subletting

This can be a few months up to a few years. The advantages of this option are:

-Steady income: you’ll know in advance how much you’ll make
-Familiarity: you know who is going to stay in your house
-Little management: once you find a renter, you don’t have to deal with much

The drawback of this option is that you will most likely be making less then your mortgage payments or rent.

To find a renter, ask around in your social circle. It’s always best to have a renter who you have a vague connection with. If you don’t find anyone this way, it’s best to contact a local broker or find a local website where you can list your place.

Always create a rental contract; even if you’re renting to a friend, this can prevent problems in the future! Ask for a deposit to cover yourself against potential damages. One or two months rent is common.

Renting out for short stay

Renting out for short stay means that you’ll rent out your place for a few days up to a few weeks. Your customers will be mainly tourists or people who visit for a conference.

The advantages of short stay are:

-Profitability: it’s more profitable, typically you can make 50-100% more than when you rent it out long term

-Flexibility: you can control when you want to rent it out and when not. You might want to block the agenda if you return home for a while or you have friends or family that want to stay at your place.

-Guarantee: you have the guarantee that your guests will leave. In some European countries it’s hard to terminate a rental contract if the renter doesn’t want to leave.

Listing websites

There are several short stay websites where you can list your place. Most of them are free and will only subtract the credit card fee, usually 3%. The guests will pay the other fees.

My favorite short stay company is Airbnb. The reasons are:

-It’s Free: it’s free to list your place
-Traffic: They get a lot of traffic
-Reviews: It’s a social network, i.e. you can see reviews of your potential guests
-Easy to use: the website is very user friendly
-Smartphone app: They have a great app for smartphones
-Insurance: They offer good, free insurance coverage

Other short stay websites are Wimdu and Homeaway.

If you live in a big city and you don’t want to deal with managing check-ins, cleaning and other management task, Google ‘short stay management company in X’, where X is the town you live in. Good chance there is a company that offers these services. Typical fees range from 15-30%.

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