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One of comments from naysayers in regards to renting out a room is “I’m done with roommates, they’re messy, inconsiderate. It’s not worth it to me.”

There’s no doubt from a pure financial perspective, without the hassle of roommates in the equation, renting out your spare room is without a doubt worth it

So is the rental income worth the hassle of having roommates? In another words, how much crap do I have to put up to earn in exchange for that rent check every month. This was uncertain when I initially rented out my spare room.

To answer find answers, I did what every tech savvy person would do – search the internet.

My research didn’t turn up and any solid answers. I did find some useful articles, but nothing that really show cased someone’s own account or experience.

I was on my own to answer that question.

Today, I’m here to answer my own question from six years ago.

Obviously, this venture proved to be worthwhile or else I wouldn’t have continued to rent out my spare room for the past six years. The financial goals I achieved were simply amazing.

As of today, here’s a list of accomplished goals:

  • Paid for graduate school in full.
  • Paid off a $32,000 second mortgage in 4 years.
  • Built an emergency savings fund.
  • Had a little fun and traveled.

With all these accomplished goals, was the hassle of roommates in exchange for the aforementioned goals worth it?

From my own personal experience with my particular roommates, there really wasn’t much of a hassle. Sure, my residence does show some accelerated wear on the carpets. My place does get dirtier because there are more people. The former is just expected and the cost of renting out your spare room. The latter is an issue you as a “live-in landlord” must deal with by implementing a policy.

Despite these issues, I’m glad that I’ve exchanged the inconveniences for the goals.


However, I still had Regrets

After I moved into my residences, I didn’t start to rent out my room until a full year later. At that point, I only rented out one room versus two rooms. Had I known this endeavor would have proved successful, I would have started to rent out my room as soon as I moved in.

In hindsight, one can make an argument that had I started this endeavor sooner, I might have not found that ideal first roommate which made the transition to having a roommate a lot more comfortable. Had I started earlier, theoretically, I would have made more money, but that’s water under the bridge.

The driving impetus to start this endeavor wasthe realization that tuition for graduate school wasn’t going to pay for itself nor was I ready to take out additional student loans.

So, I gave it the good ole’ college try and found my first roommate. Then the rest just kind of fell in place.

So what’s your driving force to start?

photo credits: © holidayextras


I’ll testing a new payment service called dwolla to receive rent money. What I like about the service is the low fee of $.25 to receive funds greater than $10.

On another note, one of my current roommates is moving out and a new one is moving leaving no gap in vacancy. This is the first time I’ve had that transition.

{ 1 comment }
  • kathryn February 28, 2013, 8:52 pm

    If you are flexible with short term rentals…you can charge more.

    When we travelled to Australia a couple years ago, we rented a room with a family.Our ‘make your own breakfast’ was included, and kitchen prividges for the rest of the day. Also unlimited tea and coffee was provided.
    This family was making a good business. We paid $600 for the 2 weeks we were there. We used it as a base for sightseeing. They had lots of DVDs to watch in the evenings.Was a lot cheaper than a hotel. (we are thrifty and middle aged)
    Some of their boarders had evening meals included.


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