5 ways your house can help pay for your mortgage

By Beverly W. AviAntoun, Region Manager, Mortgage Division

According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, housing prices rose 83 percent in the second quarter of this year in 178 major real estate markets. Housing prices are now only 2 percent less than they were at the market’s pre-recession peak in 2006. The rising cost of housing has made it more difficult for first-time home buyers to purchase, even if they have middle class incomes.

Fortunately, if you are looking to buy your first home or currently own a home but would like a little help in paying your mortgage each month, it’s possible to put your property to work. Here are five ways your house can help you pay for your mortgage.

1. Sign up with a short-term leasing company like Airbnb. Airbnb is a short-term leasing service that allows you to convert your home, or even a single room within your home into a mini-bed and breakfast. Whether you let tourists rent your space when you go out of town or let a lodger stay in a single room you aren’t using, short-term leasing can be a good way to put your extra space to work. Expected Income: $35 to $300+ per night

2. Rent out your parking spot, garage or driveway. If you live in a densely-populated, urban area, parking may be at a premium. Homeowners with extra parking can take advantage of this situation and make money. Rent out your parking spot or driveway on a monthly basis or during big local events like parades or football games. Services like justpark.com can help connect you with parkers in your area. Expected Income: $75 to $250+ per month

3. Turn your home into an event space. Event organizers are always looking for space. Connect with event organizers in your area and turn your home into space for classes, weddings, and more. Expected Income: $100 to $4,500+ per event

4. Start your own “hoffice”. You may have heard of co-working spaces- shared offices where independent entrepreneurs rent out desk space to get their work done. If you have a large enough area in your home, you may be able to turn your house into a “hoffice” where you charge workers a monthly fee. Hoffices have taken off in Europe and are becoming more and more popular in the U.S. as well. Expected Income: $150 to $300+ per month per renter

5. Turn your yard into a grazing area. Many of these ideas work best for people who live in urban areas. If you live somewhere more rural and you have a few acres of land, one idea is to turn that land into a pasture. That is, contact local farmers and arrange a deal where their herds graze on your land for a fee. Expected Income: $14+ per animal per month

Bonus! Refinance your home. If you are an existing homeowner, after a period of time you may be able to refinance your home loan at a lower interest rate.

Remember: when you are looking to buy a home, if the prospect of a mortgage seems daunting, it’s possible with a little extra work to turn that new home into a source of revenue to help keep your mortgage under control.