I took pictures of this shared single-family house in Naples, Florida a few months ago. I guess there are lots of terms for homes like this: cohousing, shared housing, duplex, mother in law suite, etc. Can you think of any more?
I like the way space is split up between the floor levels on this one. The first floor is one unit and the second floor is the other; and they each have their own private entrances–a big plus!
Since there are already so many oversized houses in the market it’s a smart and environmentally friendly way to split a house up into more than one unit. Some people might decide to split their house in two.
Families might want to just create an in-law type of studio within their house. That’s what my Dad is doing. So here’s a quick pro/con list to renting part of your home’s space out.
- Rental income to help pay bills
- Less space to clean and maintain
- Share utility bills
- Create a community
- Can exchange rent for an expensive service that you need
- Someone to talk to
- Have someone around to help each other out
- Loss of some privacy; you might not want anyone there
- Money and time to restructure house
- Dealing with a tenant
- Responsibility to choose a good tenant
Issues to debate
- Will I just rent out an extra room?
- Or will I build/restructure for more privacy?
- Can I really share my kitchen with someone else?
- How much will it cost to restructure and purchase extra appliances?
- How much rent will I be able to get if I did this? (Check craigslist)
- How long will it take me to get my money invested back?
It’s obvious that for the right person the pros will outweigh the cons. I think the most important part is probably choosing the right tenant.
So, here are some helpful tips on choosing the right tenant the first time:
First and foremost grab a piece of paper and pencil, or a blank word file and start describing the type of person you’d like your tenant to be. This will help you attract the right person.
Think of all of the qualities you’d appreciate and that will work with you, and then you’ll be able to easily look for these qualities in the people you interview. So, here are the tips…
1. Find out where your possible tenant works
- Is it a permanent job?
- Call the employer and find out about him/her
- What position?
- How long has he/she been employed there?
2. Go visit their current home
- This will give you a chance to see how clean they are
- And exactly what type of person you are allowing into your home
3. Call their references
- Call all of the references that they provide to you
- They should at least have one person who says they’d be a good tenant
4. Get their credit score
- These days this can be harsh, but it’s still an indicator
- Gives you a way to check for honesty
- And you can use the tips above to determine how much this one matters
5. All in all — summary
- You want to find that special tenant that…
- Keeps clean and organized
- Makes minor improvements when necessary
My father is finishing setting up a nice “in-law” type apartment studio within their house and they’ll be using some of these tips to get their tenant.
If anyone else has any helpful tips please share them in the comments.
More Articles with Cohousing and Shared Spaces
- PodShare Coliving Concept: Membership Based Live/Work Community
- Seven Friends Build Simple Tiny House Community
- 700 Sq. Ft. Double-Studio Home Designed for Roommates
- 915 Sq. Ft. Small House for Roommates
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