How to make your property work for you
You worked hard enough to finally own a property; now it’s time for your property to start working for you. In buying a home, you’re making an investment in your future, and with each bond repayment you are creating wealth for yourself. This is why owning a home is better than renting – mortgages ultimately benefit you as a homeowner, while renting benefits your landlord.
However, between bond repayments, insurance, taxes and maintenance, you may not be feeling as though any wealth is coming your way. Below are five ways you can remedy this and start making money from your investment right now.
List your house on Airbnb
Cost-conscious travellers and those looking for a more authentic travel experience are increasingly turning to Airbnb instead of hotels for accommodation. If you have a spare room or a granny flat on your property, you can rent it out for a few nights a month to make some extra cash.
Recent Airbnb research in South Africa shows that half of new listings that were activated in early 2021 received a reservation request within seven days, with the average annual earnings per host who had welcomed at least one guest was R55 800.
So, what are you waiting for? Before embarking on this journey, though, ensure that you’re legally allowed to be an Airbnb host – check local zoning regulations or consult your homeowners’ association if you belong to one.
Rent a room
Roommates aren’t just for students and young singletons. If your family home has a spare room or a granny flat, give it a makeover and rent it out, or consider converting your garage. With 12-month leases being standard, this gives you regular income that you can add to your bond payment (effectively paying off the capital portion of your bond off quicker).
However, avoid making any rash decisions before you understand the rental regulations in South Africa and are aware of your rights and responsibilities as a landlord. And get references from any potential tenants, and their permission to do credit checks on them.
Offer storage space
Don’t like the idea of sharing your property with other people? Think about renting out your garage, shed or garden cottage as storage space. Renting storage space is costly and many people need more affordable options for storing their household items while they are in between homes, or even long-term solutions for storing extra vehicles, boats or caravans.
Share your garden
If you’re lucky enough to have a large property, or live in a rural or agricultural area, think about renting your garden out for markets, small weddings and other functions, or as a setting for photo shoots. Many people are opting for smaller, more cost-effective events in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Make sure to check your local bylaws to see what commercial activities are allowed on your property and whether they require special permits.
Use your space for business
Get the most out of your outdoor space by starting your own doggy day care or dog grooming business. If this requires more energy than you’re willing to spend, consider renting your space to a business who offers these services, or any other small business that requires outdoor space.
Before turning your home into a money-making machine, there are a few things you need to consider. Check your insurance policy – if you are using your property in ways not specified on your insurance certificate you may risk not being paid out in case of fire, theft or other disaster. Think carefully also about what you are getting yourself, and your family, into. Renovations can be expensive and stressful and dealing with people on your property can be draining. After you’ve given it some thought and decided to take the plunge, get creative with sharing your space – the extra income will make your home ownership journey all the more satisfying.