The following is a guest post written by Mark Macaluso, who writes on the topic of Masters in Accounting. He welcomes your comments at his email id: mark.macaluso985 (at) gmail (dot) com.
It’s the American dream to own a home, but what if you own more than one?
No, it’s not necessarily a more advantageous situation, especially if you’re not making any money off the homes you don’t live in. They’re white elephants that drain your finances by means of taxes, mortgages, maintenance and repair costs, and unless you have a bottomless bank account, you need to start planning to earn some income from your additional home. There are many ways to do this, starting with:
Renting it out: Not many people are keen to rent out their homes to strangers, but if you’re facing money shortages, you must do what you can to earn enough for the upkeep of your home. Regular rent money helps take care of mortgage costs, taxes, and maintenance expenses. If you don’t want to trust your home to complete strangers, look for people who you know will take care of it instead of neglecting its upkeep and letting it fall to pieces – relatives and friends who are looking for a place to stay make good renters if they’re prompt in paying their dues without hoping to leach off you.
Fixing it up with the intent to sell: Some homeowners are just tired of all the responsibility that comes with owning more than one home, so they feel that the best option would be to spruce it up and put it on the market. If it’s a sellers’ market, then this is a very good idea as you’re sure to get a good rate for your home, enough to recompense you for the maintenance and renovation costs and other expenses the house has entailed.
Using it as a vacation home: Some folks are happy enough to keep their second homes, especially if it’s in a place with a salubrious climate or in a location that’s perfect for a vacation. You can take your family there on a holiday every year and avoid the high costs that go hand in hand with vacations. However, on the downside, it could become monotonous and boring because it is repetitive, and you could end up bearing a vacation home and the costs associated with it, and the expenses that a vacation entails.
Short term rentals: The key to keeping a vacation home and making money out of it is to let it out in the short term – people looking for a place to stay for a few weeks or months would be happy to live in your home at a reasonable cost. You make money off the place, and also get to use it whenever you please. You could ensure that you have access to the home throughout the year by renting out only a part of the home and keeping the rest of it closed for your use.
Additional homes are a luxury, and if you don’t have the means to maintain it well and provide for its safety (from vandals, thieves, and the elements of nature), it’s best to find ways of making money from it.