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Renting out your house to fund your travels

Renting out your house

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%.

This article is a chapter from my eBook “Ten Small Steps, One Giant Leap.” You can download the full eBook for FREE by signing up for my newsletter below!

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Comment Section

10 thoughts on “Renting out your house to fund your travels

By Hannah on 15 February 2014

Sounds like a pretty sweet plan…just need to buy a house 😉 definitely something to keep in mind for the future! thanks!

By Jasper Ribbers on 15 February 2014

Hey Hannah! Depending on your contract and relationship with the landlord, you might even be able to list a house that you rent and make a profit ;-).

By Jessica | A Passion and A Passport on 15 February 2014

I’ve heard of AirBnB and contemplated renting out my apartment for the Super Bowl! Didn’t go through with it- but it seems like a great way to some extra cash easily!

By Jasper Ribbers on 15 February 2014

Hey Jessica, that would be a great weekend to rent it out. Just crash on your friends couch or something and make a few hundred $$$!

By Jessica on 15 February 2014

We have thought about doing this for our next long term trip, but I worry about the upkeep of the house if you have a renter. I wonder how that would work if you are around the world and something needs repair?

By Jasper Ribbers on 15 February 2014

Hi Jessica, I pay my cleaning lady extra for looking after the house and fixing things if needed. That way I travel worry-free and still make an extra buck :).

By antonette on 16 February 2014

Sounds like a great plan but unfortunately, my other half isn’t really into renting out our house to others. Luckily we usually have someone to house sit for us for free – keeping away the people who would want to break in … happy traveling!

By Jasper Ribbers on 17 February 2014

Maybe if he realizes how profitable it can be he would change his mind 😉

By Serena on 17 February 2014

Sure it is a good idea.
I’m just a tiny bit paranoid about leaving my house to someone else – but that’s just me, and then of course it depends on the ppl.
I’m not quite sure Italian laws allow this kind of rental thoug (I mean, the short term one)… and maybe if they do probably there would be a huge amount of taxes on it that would make it much less convenient… but I’d need to check it out, that’s just a feeling.

By Jasper Ribbers on 18 February 2014

Hey Serena, regulations differ by country and even city. Always good to check this first!

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