Overwhelming Number of Homebuyers Willing To Rent Indoor and Outdoor Spaces as Side Hustle — Are You?

Red For Rent Real Estate Sign in Front House.
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In the age of the side hustle, it’s not surprising that more Americans are looking for new ways to bring in extra income. For homeowners, that means renting out space to others — and many are doing just that.

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Nearly half of Americans say they would be interested in renting extra space in their homes, according to a new survey from Realtor.com. An even greater percentage of recent homebuyers — 69% — would rent out part of their home if it had a separate entrance, kitchen and bathroom.

The vast majority of homeowners (85%) would invest in creating additional space to monetize their homes, with half willing to spend $30,000 or less. Sixteen percent would rent space to “anyone” if they really needed the money, regardless if they had any previous relationship with the renters.

Homeowners aren’t just looking to rent out living spaces, either. Many of them, particularly new homebuyers, are open to renting out outdoor space for social and recreational use. Some are even open to renting out parking spaces.

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These ideas all align with the broader sharing economy movement, said George Ratiu, manager of economic research at Realtor.com.

“As the next generation of home buyers has embraced ridesharing and short-term rentals, it’s a natural next step that they begin to think of their biggest asset — their home — as a potential income stream,”  he said in a press release. “For people looking to take advantage of the sharing economy … it may be worthwhile to explore creative solutions, such as listing your home as a vacation rental when you leave town or renting your outdoor space or pool. Even a small amount of income each month can multiply over a year or more and can turn into bigger returns.”

The survey of more than 3,000 Americans, conducted in July by HarrisX, found that younger people are more comfortable with sharing space than their older peers. About 67% of Millennials and 57% of Gen Zers expressed interest in doing so. Additionally, homeowners in urban locales were more open to sharing space than those in suburban or rural areas.

The need for additional income has intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic, which left many Americans struggling financially. The Realtor.com survey cited a number of reasons homeowners might want to rent out parts of a house, including the chance to earn extra money, offset higher monthly expenses, boost savings or enjoy extra spending income.

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Despite the allure of earning extra money by renting or sharing space, Ratiu urged caution for homeowners considering it.

“It is important to keep in mind that while today’s sharing economy may make it sound easy to make rental income off of your home, there are many factors to consider before taking the leap,” he said.

He suggested taking the following steps first:

With all of those factors to consider, would you be willing to go through the effort if it meant a substantial increase in supplemental income?

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Last updated: September 26, 2021

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
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