Photo: Yevhen Roshchyn (Shutterstock)
Necessity being the mother of invention and all, it’s not surprising that when the economy turns the screws on people, they tend to get creative about their income sources. When you’re struggling to pay your bills, everything starts to look like an opportunity: You start to price out all that stuff in your garage for sale, you lay awake at night coming up with brilliant ideas for new products or services, and you start looking for opportunities to monetize the things you already own, like your car or your house.
When seeking to make money with your home, the obvious first thought is a platform like Airbnb. But that has a lot of downsides, especially if you don’t have a defined apartment or separate living space and you’d actually have strangers in your house. If your home has a backyard of some sort, however, you have more options than you might think when it comes to creating some fresh revenue streams. Here’s how you can monetize your backyard so you can leverage your property without dealing with strangers inside the house.
Build an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)
If you have a large enough backyard and local laws allow it, you might consider building an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) or converting an existing structure, like a detached garage or shed, into a living space. Tiny homes or RVs don’t require foundations or plumbing hookups, and you can purchase one pre-built and just have it transported to your backyard so you can begin collecting that sweet rent money. However, you will need to check the local zoning ordinances in your area pretty carefully. While some municipalities have made it easier to have ADUs or tiny homes in backyards to ease housing crunches, not every local area is a fan. Even if it’s legal, you’ll have to ensure you meet minimum square footage and septic requirements—sometimes it’s a lot easier to convert an existing structure. But if you can pull it off, it can be a steady, reliable income stream—and there are even companies, like Rent the Backyard, that will …….