Shacking up: Empty nesters can earn big bucks renting out a spare room

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Room for rent sign on mailbox
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If you’re a cash-strapped homeowner, there could be an opportunity to pick up thousands of dollars annually from an asset that’s sitting right under your nose.

Read more: Convicted burglar reveals 9 secrets to keep your home safe

Renting out a room in your home could be the answer

With home prices on the rise again, wages stagnating and student loan debt blowing up, a lot of people who could be out there buying homes are instead choosing to rent.

Nearly 37% of us were renters in 2016, according to the latest data from Pew Research. That’s up from 31% in 2006 and roughly equivalent to the amount of people who rented way back in 1965.

The uptick in renting we’ve seen in the last 10 or so years presents a great opportunity for cash-strapped homeowners who need to bring in extra money.

Real estate blog Trulia estimates there are 3.6 million rooms in people’s homes across the country that could potentially be rented out to a family member or stranger.

Renting a room could bring in up to nearly $14,000 annually depending on the market where you live. That’s a lot of extra money in the pocket of someone like an empty nester who is in need of more cash.

So if you’re a Baby Boomer and the kids are off to college, you might consider renting a room in your home as a way to bring in some extra income.

There are plenty of millennials fresh out of school looking to leave their parents’ nest who would love to rent a room in the right situation!

For them, renting a single room directly from a homeowner could offer savings in the tens of thousands of dollars, according to Trulia.

Many generations under one roof set to become the norm

The idea of millennials and Baby Boomers sharing living arrangements may not be as odd as it sounds at first pass.

The reality is we have a variety of living situations today. It’s not uncommon for multiple generations to live under one roof as part of an extended family.

If you talk to builders, you’ll find they’re building to account for three generations under a single roof: Grandparents, parents and kids.

So this is the way of the future. Why not make the leap right now and be ahead of the curve if you’re a struggling homeowner and have a room to rent?

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Theo Thimou About the author:
Theo is director of content for clark.com. He has co-written 2 books with Clark Howard, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Clark Howard's Living Large in Lean Times.
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