When I hear people say they wish they earned more, I always want to ask them if they have considered one of the easiest, yet often overlooked, sources of extra cash: rental income. Here in Calgary, there are several ways property owners can improve their finances by renting out their property, and it’s not nearly as problematic as naysayers believe! Take a look at these three sources of income, and how to ensure a great experience for everyone involved.
Turn your basement into a rental unit.
It doesn’t cost much to create a comfortable living area in your unfinished basement, but the rewards can be generous. In fact, your tenants will pay back your costs over the first year or two, which will leave you with a home that has more value than it did before; and from that point forward, it will be entirely profitable. Because you still live upstairs, you’ll be able to keep an eye on your tenants and they’ll be likely to behave well.
Rent out a home you own, but don’t live in it.
One man I know rented to a truck driver who only spent a few days each month at the house, but paid the full market rental price for the house each month. What a great way to earn extra money with very little wear and tear!
Of course, not all tenants are truck drivers. Many people shy away from renting out their properties because they’ve heard stories about bad tenants and costly maintenance. By hiring a good property manager (I recommend Red Line Properties), home owners can exchange part of their profit for someone who will investigate the tenant’s suitability, collect the rent, and ensure that your home is properly maintained. Property managers understand the laws, too, and help make sure that your rights are protected. It’s much better to spend a bit on professional property management than to let your emotions guide you!
Rent garage space.
In areas where parking is at a premium, such as downtown or in condominium developments, you may be able to rent your extra parking spot, if you have one.
By renting out your unneeded space, you can generate extra cash flow, but there are some common sense precautions to take. Always verify a potential tenant’s credit score and check his references. I recommend running a criminal check, too, just to be on the safe side. Finally, if you will do your own management, be sure to learn applicable laws and to occasionally visit your property to ensure that it’s maintained well.
Would you like a stress-free real estate experience? If you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell in the next few months, call me today at 403-605-6440 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll put you and your needs first.
About Brad Willson
Brad Willson has been making home buying, selling and investing in the Calgary area smooth and stress-free for nearly a decade. He is an awardee in the Calgary Real Estate Board Million Dollar Club, a member of the RE/MAX 100% Club and a recipient of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame Award, and is one of the few Certified Condominium Specialists in the Calgary area. Brad is as devoted to his clients as he is to his wife and two children who are now young adults.