Tuesday, February 11, 2014

What Ever Happened to People Renting Rooms in Their Homes?

There was a time that many people would rent a spare room in their home as a way to make additional income. Although it’s not as common today as it once was there are still some areas of the country where it’s possible to find a room for rent in someone’s home.

Financially it makes a lot of sense for homeowners looking to make a little extra money. After all, most of us are paying that mortgage anyway and the additional cost for a single boarder’s utilities is minimal. The real concern here is for the safety and security of those already in the home. Finding a “good” boarder would be your first step and I imagine a college town would be a great location for such an enterprise. Popular destinations such as resort towns and historic locations might also prove to be a great place for this type of home business.

Naturally one also needs to consider the legal side of things such as any permits or licenses that might be required, additional insurance to cover paying guests and perhaps even an inspection by the local governing authorities would be required but I don’t believe any of this would be that difficult provided there were no zoning issues.

I can imagine times when this would be an excellent situation for all involved. What about the sweet elderly woman at the end of the block? Her husband passed away many years ago and her children have all moved away. Surely a little extra money would be of benefit to her and a little company at dinner time could be a welcome change. And what if she fell and was injured or some other emergency arose?

I’ve heard stories (and seen movies) before my time when larger homes were turned into actual boarding houses with 4 or 5 quests staying in their own private room and sharing the common areas such as the living room and kitchen. I remember an old black and white movie where everyone was seated at the dining room table enjoying dinner together and discussing their day. It was more like a family and less like a commercial venture.

Have we really strayed so far from those simpler times? I suppose that we have and today I would imagine that many homeowners would be so concerned with the possibility of being sued or discovering missing items in their home that they wouldn’t even consider renting a room to a stranger. Still, I imagine that there is opportunity here for some homeowners that still live in “Mayberry” to make a few extra dollars and share dinner with some friends. Or is Mayberry gone forever too?

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