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How to make money from your home

How to make money from your home

For many home owners, our house or apartment is the greatest asset we have. And if we are still paying off a mortgage, it's probably also the most expensive to maintain.

With this in mind we have put together some of our favourite tips for how to make money out of your home to help cut back on running costs - and even make a profit. This way you can ensure you are in a strong financial position day to day and well placed to keep up with your all-important savings goals.

How to make money from your home

It is very important that before you take advantage of these fantastic ways to make money, that your insurance company and your mortgage lender grant their consent (and provide you with any additional insurance cover if needed - this could be at a cost).

Here are our top tips:

1. Get a lodger

Letting out a spare room may be one of the more obvious ways to earn extra income, but there are several things to consider before you take the plunge.

If you're also living in the home, and take in a lodger, you can use the Rent a Room allowance to earn £7,500 per annum tax-free.

But you'll need to declare income over and above this amount and complete a tax return.

There are various options for people looking to rent out a room.

To make the most money you'll need to offer your lodger a double room with en-suite shower/bath, access to your kitchen and utility room and, ideally, the use of a separate sitting room and access to a garden. This would be for seven days a week for as long as the contract lasts.

Another option is to target professionals who only need accommodation for Monday to Friday, leaving you with your weekends to yourself.

There are various ways of connecting with the right audience. Websites such as SpareRoom.com, Badi.com, fivenights.com are just a few, but you will need to do a thorough search to find whatever works best for you.

It is also a good idea to sign a contract up-front, take at least one month's deposit and agree house rules - to avoid any awkward situations arising in the future.

2. Airbnb

This company, set up in 2008, allows homeowners to share any space without sign-up charges, from a bedroom, an outbuilding, to a second home and everything in-between.

There's lots of information on Airbnb's website.

While there are financial rewards to be had by letting your space via various websites such as Airbnb, remember this route may require you to do more work for your money - such as laundry or preparing meals.

However, on the up side you can choose your own schedule, prices, and requirements for guests.

On the downside, Airbnb type offerings do come with risks such as property damage or theft. You should also consider if the potential guest has the right to be in the UK. Airbnb has a page of considerations that everyone considering renting a room should review.

3. Rent your driveway

Imagine if you could make money from your humble driveway while you're out at work? Well, you can.

As you drive off for the early morning commute, you could be waving hello to the arrival of another commuter desperate for a regular parking space in your location.

Rent your driveway

Park on my Drive or Just Park are just two websites which can help you. Bear in mind that you can earn more if you live near a city centre, railway station, sports ground or popular attraction. Whereas if you live somewhere less busy, you're unlikely to get many takers.

How much could I earn?
The price you can set will vary depending on location. If you charged £2 an hour, for eight hours a day, you could earn £80 per week.

Park On My Drive charges a £15 fixed fee per year, and lets you take payment directly from drivers, in cash or via bank transfer, for example.

Just Park processes payments and takes a 3% commission of anything you make.

Please note that quote rates and fees are correct at the time of writing.

Also, just to be clear, Paragon Bank is not associated with any of the companies mentioned in this blog. Neither does it make any financial gain from any of the companies mentioned in this blog.

Keep in mind:
if you have a permit to park on the road, rather than a private driveway, check with your local council before renting it out.

If you hire out your driveway, you may be liable for accidents or injuries on your property. Make sure your or your service's insurance policy covers you for this.

4. Turn your living room into an office

The rise in flexible working has driven demand for flexible work spaces.

Your house, or one specific part of it, could be the working environment someone in your area is looking for.

So why not turn that unused living room or garden shed into a space for 'busy professionals' to work from? You can advertise locally, set your price and the dates your space is available, as well as the kind of work you'd like it to be used for. In fact, checking out the type of business and the equipment that may need to be stored for it at your home is vital before proceeding.

How much could I earn?
Typically users can earn around £100 a day.

Keep in mind:
The majority of spaces appear to be listed around London, suggesting this is where the key market is.

5. Rent out storage space

If your home isn't full to the brim with your own stuff, you can still put any empty garage, spare room or attic space to use.

Services such as Store Mates connect people with spare storage space to people who need it. You can list your space, its size, and your price online.

Rent out storage space

How much could I earn?
Looking at current listings, it appears you could make £70 a month for renting half a garage in Birmingham.

Keep in mind:
Renting out space for storage is un-intrusive, and requires little effort, especially when compared to hosting overnight guests or 50-strong film crews.

The downside is other people's belongings may affect your insurance cover, especially if they raise the value of your contents above your insurance limit. Some services may cover you with their own insurance policies but always contact your insurer if you're uncertain about this.

6. Host a premium dinner party

Keen chefs can host paid-for dinner parties or cooking classes with a service such as EatWith.

Again, the liability insurance needs to be considered and you should bear in mind food safety requirements / certificates.

You design the event and control the number of guests who can attend. Then you cook them a meal and eat with them.

This is definitely the most social way to make money from your home. It's one of the most rewarding, too, since it lets you improve your cooking skills. Plus, it's the only entry on this list that will prepare you for a stint on Come Dine With Me!

How much could I earn?
Hosts appear to charge between £20 to £60 in general, which could add up quickly if you can accommodate a lot of guests. But the costs of food will offset whatever you make.

Keep in mind:
To gain approval to use EatWith, you'll need to host a demo event and earn positive reviews.

You'll also be competing with established businesses and restaurants, such as Tube Train Supper Club and The Vaults in London.

7. Host an international student

The amount you can earn from being a host family can vary a lot. At the lower end you'll probably be looking at around £70 per week for a single student. Look around and speak to different schools and you won't find it difficult to find schools who will pay a host family more. It's quite common to find schools that will pay around £120 per week (or more) for a single student, with the average being around the £100 per week mark.

One of the best things about earning money as a host family is that it's generally tax free too, providing the amount earned does not exceed £7,500 per year.

It is also worth noting that peak season for the majority of language schools is summer, and this also happens to be the time of year that many of us are on our holidays or busy doing other things. Factor in those two things and it can be the most challenging time of year for schools to find enough host families for their students. As a host family, this is very good for you as not only does it mean that student availability is good - it also encourages some schools to pay more over this period to encourage hosting. Summer supplements will vary school to school, but typically you can expect to earn around £20 more per week over this period.

You can earn more if you are able to offer an en-suite bathroom and if you are able to cater for specialist dietary requirements. Check out Money Magpie for more information, as well as a plethora of alternative internet sites.

8. Rent out your house for a filming location

Letting out your home as a filming location for movies, shows or TV commercials is perhaps one of the most unusual ways to make money from your house - but it could be the most lucrative, and it's definitely the mostglamourous. As always, you need to check out the insurance situation - whether the film company has the correct paperwork in place or if you need to arrange cover yourself. Whatever the case, ensure you see the insurance documentation ahead of filming and be careful to read the small print.

To see your home on the silver screen, get in touch with film location agencies such as Shoot Factory, Lavish Locations, or the BBC's locations department. If they're interested, they'll send someone out to gauge your home's multiplex appeal.

Rent out your house for a filming location

How much could I earn?
This is potentially a big earner with location fees for filming ranging up to around £1,500 a day. But the income is likely to be intermittent, as you won't always have bookings.

Keep in mind:
Renting out your home to a film crew can be intrusive and disruptive. Bigger projects can take a long time, with crews unloading vans of equipment and dressing up your home to their liking before the shoot even begins.

On the bright side, they're obliged to return your property to the way they found it and should be fully insured to cover any damage.

It will also give you the opportunity to meet some interesting people, including A-list stars!

Please note that Paragon does not receive any income or commission, nor does it endorse any of the websites mentioned. Paragon does not guarantee the amount of money any of these options could earn. Any fees quoted were correct at time going to press.

Paragon Banking Group PLC.  Registered in England number 2336032.  Registered office 51 Homer Road, Solihull, West Midlands  B91 3QJ.