After decades of rising house prices, many homeowners have found themselves property rich but cash poor.
In other words, you might be worth a lot of money on paper because your home has soared in value, but you can’t get your hands on it until you sell.
Well, the good news is that you don’t have to move out to turn your house into a cash machine, as these four entrepreneurial property owners show.
Homeowners reveal how to turn your home into a money spinner without getting stung
By renting out spare rooms or driveways and even letting TV crews film in your home, you can use the extra money to pay for a holiday or help your children get onto the property ladder. Best of all, our homeowners say they have had amazing experiences and met wonderful people along the way. Here they share their tips on how to turn your home into a money spinner without getting stung…
Rent out your garage
Father-of-three Raymond Brown has converted his garage in Cambridge into a tiny house with a double bedroom and en suite bathroom. It was Raymond’s late wife Lisa, a GP, who first came up with the idea of turning the space into a spare bedroom. It has taken a couple of years for Raymond, 59, a crime reporter on the local newspaper, to make the project a reality following Lisa’s death from cancer in 2016 at the age of just 43.
In the end it cost £22,000, but the property is now listed as a ‘quirky wee cottage’ on Airbnb and is already making £2,200 a month. It has only been up on the website since February but it is booked up for the next two months, so Raymond looks set to bring in £24,000 a year. It means he will recoup his investment and then have a substantial income boost.
Raymond’s new partner Shelley, 40, an entrepreneur, deals with most of the bookings and they share the burden of laundry and cleaning. He says: ‘We had to dig up the garden for pipework and for months it looked like a wet summer at Glastonbury. But it was worth the upheaval . . . I love meeting guests from around the world. Many are parents visiting their children at university.’
‘Lisa would have loved what we have done. It will provide a nest egg to get the boys through university and it has made our home even more special.’
- Earn up to £7,500 a year tax-free through the Government’s Rent a Room scheme. It only applies if you are letting a spare room in your home.
- You can earn £1,000 a year free of tax under a separate relief on other types of holiday let, but you can’t claim under both schemes at once.
- You’ll have to pay 3 per cent commission to Airbnb on each booking, but there’s no cost to list your home.
- Cover for damage is included in the commission, but you still need to notify your insurer.
- Watch out for local rules. In London there’s a 90-day limit each year if you are leasing your entire home on Airbnb.
Turn your home into a film set
When Alyson Jackson-Petts received a knock on the door of her barge from a ‘charming’ BBC location scout called Casper, she was delighted. He wanted to use the interior designer’s boat, which is moored just off the River Thames, for a scene in Silent Witness. What’s more, he would pay her handsomely for it and promised to take care of her floating home.
Now Alyson, 56, is planning to promote her boat through location agencies and on her website Tristram Design, after being told that barges are in high demand. The boat was nearly used in a scene for the hit drama Killing Eve, but the producers decided the tilt on the deck made it too tricky to film. She says: ‘Silent Witness is one of my favourite shows so it was wonderful to meet the actors starring in that scene and see how it’s put together.’
Alyson is not allowed to reveal how much the BBC paid her for filming, but location scout Simon Hassard says that good properties can earn between £2,000 and £3,000 per day.
According to TV location scout Simon Hassard, good properties can earn between £2,000 and £3,000 per day when used as film sets
- It helps to have a quirky property such as a boat or a church, but large suburban homes are also popular for TV dramas and adverts.
- Your rooms will need to be spacious enough to fit in a lot of cameramen and actors.
- An open plan kitchen where the worktop is on an island is perfect for food commercials.
- Sign up with film agencies such as UK Locations, Shootfactory and JJ Connect.
- Scrutinise the contract and make sure the company will cover any damage — you’ll still need to notify your insurer.
- Insist on staying around for filming so that you can meet the actors and check the crew is taking care of your property, but don’t get in the way or you won’t get any future bookings.
Host glampers and campers
Former hairdresser Andrea Downton and her husband Daniel, a farrier, bought an old shepherd’s hut to turn into a lodge for glamping. Andrea, 41, has been working full-time running the couple’s B&B business near Bristol for the past 12 years, as well as looking after their four children Joseph 11, Samuel, nine, Zach, six, and Rosina, four.
While living in their Sixties bungalow, they converted outbuildings into two self-catering barns called Hillcroft Accommodation. Demand kept increasing, as it is an ideal spot for city-dwellers seeking a cheap, easy getaway. It is only a mile from Bristol Airport so many people choose to stay there before flights.
FIVE MORE WAYS TO EARN
- Rent out storage space in your loft or basement on websites such as stashbee.com and storemates.co.uk.
- Advertise for freelancers to share your home as a work space through vrumi.com and officeriders.com.
- Host foreign students through websites such as brightworld.co.uk.
- Cash in on commuters who need a room for weekdays through mondaytofriday.com.
- Become an Airbnb host without the hassle by using a service such as Pass the Keys or a local firm to manage everything for you, from bookings to cleaning. This normally costs between 12 and 25 per cent of your earnings.
The couple needed more room to accommodate guests so they decided to cash in on the trend for ‘glamping’. They bought a Lotus Belle Tent, which looks like a giant bulb of garlic and can fit a brass double bed, and set up the website goblincoombeglamping.co.uk. Last year they bought an old shepherd’s hut from a friend for £8,000, which can also sleep a small family. They have already made their money back and can watch the profits roll in.
- Direct people to your own website rather than booking sites when you can, as you won’t have to pay commission so you can offer them a big discount.
- Consider whether you are going to install bathroom facilities or let guests use those in your home.
- Our goats and pony are a huge draw for families, but if you have less space consider getting rabbits or hens, which kids will love to feed.
Retired businessman Taran Mundra, 68, is a full-time carer for his wife Kashmir, 69, at their home in Derby. She has been suffering from early onset Parkinson’s since her 40s but now requires round-the-clock care. Taran decided to rent out his driveway through JustPark after seeing staff and visitors at the local hospital struggling to find a spot.
The hospital charges visitors £9 a day, so Taran was happy to let families, doctors and nurses park on his driveway for just £2.50. As it’s big enough for four cars, he makes £1,200 a year. Taran says: ‘They are nice friendly people and I get a mixture of ad hoc bookings and longer-term clients.’
- Don’t be too greedy – offering competitive prices will help ensure your drive is full.
- Factor in commission. JustPark charges 3 per cent for short-term bookings or 20 per cent upfront and 3 per cent thereafter on longer contracts.
- Don’t cause road rage by double-booking your spaces.