About a year after I rented out my very first room, I decided to renovate my basement. My goal for renovating the basement was to generate more rental income by renting out the master bedroom I was currently occupying, while I lived in the basement. The main driver for the rental income was to use the additional rental income to take more classes during a semester so that I can graduate sooner.
After more than a year after graduating, I still occupy the basement by choice. I had the opportunity to move back into the master bedroom earlier this year when it became unoccupied, but chose not to. Ultimately, I re-rented the master bedroom.
Side Note: I want to re-iterate that my basement is not a dungeon where it’s constantly damp or that mildew smell often associated when the thought of a basement comes to mind. The atmosphere is actually quite clean and the finished décor definitely makes it habitable. However, the master bedroom does offer nice amenities such as closets and an air conditioning. So it’s definitely more comfortable living in the master bedroom.
Why I Chose Not to Move Back Into the Master Bedroom
When I initially moved into the basement I never made any plans of whether I would continue to rent out the master bedroom. I just never really thought that far ahead. I was really more focused on graduating without debt.
What I knew for sure was that moving into the basement was one of the sacrifices I had to make to finish my graduate degree sooner. After moving into the basement, I missed the closet space and air conditioning the master bedroom offered, but over time, I became accustomed to the sacrifices.
It’s funny how you get accustomed to things over time. For example, living in urban area, you grow accustomed to the slow moving traffic because you’ve been living with it, but as alien to these conditions, the slow traffic will be unbearable.
The same applies to my situation. When the decision of moving out of the basement back into the master bedroom was upon me, I grew accustomed to living in the basement and with a second roommate that I didn’t mind my current living situation.
Second Rental Income is Awesome
Surely, the second source of rental income was definitely a motivating factor. I could have easily moved back into the master bedroom and rented out the basement, but I grew comfortable with the basement and the hassle or moving my belongings wasn’t worth the effort.
Getting familiar with the word “Sacrifice”
Moving into the basement wasn’t the only sacrifice that I made during my journey of renting out my spare rooms. The other sacrifice I made was the loss of privacy through sharing the bathroom, kitchen, and washer/dryer. All of this got amplified when my second roommate moved in.
So, sacrificing the comforts of the master bedroom by moving into the basement was just pouring another bucket of water into a swimming pool, it made little difference to me.
To get to this point of familiarity with the word sacrifice, it started with finding one roommate to finding a second roommate. The initial shock of going from zero roommates to two roommates would have been overwhelming.
I knew I could endure sharing a place to live with one other roommate for several months, but never thought that I would be renting to a second roommate in a 1500 sq/ft place.
A litmus Test for Sharing Living Arrangements
If you’ve never lived with roommates let alone strangers as roommate, but want to try it without making long term sacrifices on your own terms. Perhaps starting with a simple litmus test might be of some help.
The simple litmus test I have in mind is staying in a hostel for a night the next time you are on travel. A hostel is like a hotel, but when you stay at a hostel, you share a common bathroom and TV area.
The cost per night of a hostel is considerably cheaper than a hotel and often times the preferred choice of younger single travels. If the thought of staying in the hostel makes you uneasy, then renting out a room may not be for you.
However, if you are brave enough to try out a hostel for a night to figure out whether the sacrifices of sharing living is bearable, then you might just what it takes to rent out a room.
Are you prepared to make sacrifices? What other sacrifices have you made in renting out a room?