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Short Summary: With the cost of living rising every day, people are thinking of new and creative ways to afford their mortgages and keep food on the table.
With the cost of living rising every day in Houston, people are thinking of new and creative ways to afford their mortgages and keep food on the table. One way to keep your bills paid is to rent out a room in your house. If you have the extra space and don’t mind sharing your home, this can be a great option.
However, there are many ways for an arrangement to go sour quick, and a lot to consider before even interviewing prospective live-ins. Here are the first things to think about before even posting an advertisement.
In today’s economy, the price to ask for changes constantly. Some houses in Houston might be able to get $750 a month, while other areas won’t be able to get above $350. It all depends on the area, how big the space is, and what type of people you are considering as boarders.
College students in Houston, for an example, won’t be able to spend as much on rent as a young professional. In college towns, there are off campus and group house options. With that in mind, it might be better to ask for a lower price. In that same example, if you are strongly opposed to housing a college student, having a higher rent rate will drive some of them away.
Some boarders may be willing to just split the utilities, which would be easier on you. However, this may drive potential boarders away. If you decide on a flat rate, make sure to accommodate for the highest months for bills. In the summer, electricity will often cost you much more since you’ll be running the AC. Don’t base what they’ll pay in August on what will get you by in February.
There will have to be a lease agreement before allowing anyone to take residence in your home. This agreement protects both you as the owner of the home, and the new boarder. It may be smart to consult in a Houston lawyer you know, or ask someone that’s into politics at some level.
If neither are an option for you, make sure to look up your local laws. There are nuances in Seattle, WA that do not apply to Houston, TX, and vice versa. There are plenty of websites and sources on the topic. There are also plenty of templates and examples to base your agreement off of. You may ask the potential boarder for input and create the document together, if it makes you feel more comfortable.
If someone doesn’t want the room furnished, or you have personal belongings in the room you wouldn’t want to stay with a tenant, you’ll have to figure out some sort of storage system. Throwing everything into a garage may clog up your space, and trying to fit everything in other spots of the house could get crowded quickly.
If you decide to go outside of the house, you’ll have to weigh your storage options with convenience and price in mind. While it may be cheaper to find self storage in Houston, it may be better in other areas to find portable storage. Portable storage and public storage have some downfalls. Portable storage has the issue of where to put the portable storage itself, and public storage doesn’t have the same privacy involved with self-storage.