Guest Post by Kaitlin Krull
For many homeowners, dealing with a mortgage is simply part of life. That said, monthly mortgage payments can easily become a nerve-wracking, financial burden. Apart from getting a second or third job to help make mortgage payments a little easier, it may seem like there is no way out. At Modernize, we know that this doesn’t have to be the case. Here are nine ingenious tricks to help your home help you make a little bit of extra cash in order to offset the financial strain of your mortgage.
Rent out your home (or parts of it)
Just because you don’t have an extra home to rent and generate income from doesn’t mean you can’t earn a little extra cash. Companies such as Airbnb and Flipkey allow you to list your entire home, or parts of it, for private rental while you are at home or away from home. Just be aware of potential safety pitfalls here, since you will be opening your home to strangers. If you’re open to the idea but would rather keep your home private, consider renting out your driveway or garage space to commuters and tourists, if you happen to live in a big city.
Become a pet sitter
Online pet sitting companies such as Rover allow you to become a dog sitter and earn money at the same time. Rather than visiting and feeding dogs in their homes, which can be inconvenient to you, you can opt to have dogs board in your own home for whatever length of time suits you. This is a formal business venture, though, so know that you will have to build a profile and set your own prices and work schedules if you commit to becoming a boarder.
Invest in solar power
Installing solar panels in your home requires a relatively large upfront cost, so this option may not be best if your mortgage is relatively small or on a shorter payback schedule. Over the course of a decade or two, though, your solar panels should end up saving you money and giving you a small profit. Another way to harness the power of the sun for your financial gain is to use solar powered appliances that won’t increase your electricity bills.
Make your home smarter
Smart thermostats like Nest and Hive are an energy, and thereby money, saver because they learn your energy usage patterns and adjust accordingly in order to make your home more environmentally friendly. If you use them correctly, they can save you a significant amount on your energy bills and you can transfer this savings into your mortgage fund.
Though this may seem self evident, many homeowners don’t think about the financial repercussions of recycling and reusing in the home. In addition to upcycling and repurposing home decor products, furniture, and anything else you can think of, a well maintained home garden and composting system can save you tons of money on your weekly grocery bills. These kinds of projects take awhile to set up, so if you’re serious about self-sufficiency, now is the time to get started.
Rent out your car
While most homeowners have probably heard about Airbnb and other home rental schemes, the lesser known peer-to-peer car rental companies such as Getaround and RelayRides can also make you money when you are away. While a large percentage of your profit will go to the corporation, you can still potentially earn a significant amount of money by renting out your car on a short term basis.
Become a filming location
If your home is particularly grand, idyllic, or quaint, it might be worth contacting local photography agencies or film companies to offer your home as a shooting location. You never know, your house might just be the next Downton Abbey.
Clear out your home
Having a household clear out is one of the best ways to make a profit from your home. If you’ve been in your house a while, you’ve probably accumulated a large quantity of things you no longer use or need. While most of these will earn you a little bit of money in garage sales, on eBay, or pawn shops, you might just discover a few hidden gems.
Refinance your mortgage
After all is said and done, if you’re still looking for ways to earn extra while repaying your mortgage, it might be time to consider refinancing. A popular option for many, refinancing can potentially save you significant amounts of money on your monthly payments. It’s worth a call to your bank or moneylender to discuss refinancing options and payback schemes.