How to make money from your house

With interest rates on the rise, many homeowners are eyeing rising mortgage repayments with some trepidation.

Rawson Property says people are getting creative when it comes to generating income from their homes. “It’s not just yard sales, or lodgers, or selling crocheted doilies on the internet anymore,” said Tony Clarke, MD of the property group.

One of the most profitable ventures, is offering your home as a location for films and photo shoots. “The South African film industry is booming, and we’re definitely on the map as a great location for international production houses of all types,” said Clarke.

“That means there are a lot of people looking for interesting places to use as sets or backdrops for their shoots. Your home, garden or views could be exactly what they’re after.”

It’s not only high-end luxury properties that are in demand as locations, either, Rawson stated. Everything from shabby chic cottages to barbershops, to crumbling factories and car parks could have film and photographic potential.

“The most important aspects that production companies look for tend to be light, space and a unique character,” said Clarke, “as well as enough parking to accommodate their team, of course. If your home fits the bill, it’s definitely worthwhile getting in touch with a location agent. Your property could bring in as much as R5,000 to R10,000 a day if they decide to represent you.”

Additional money generating ideas include:

  • Supper club. Pop-up dining concepts like supper clubs are gaining a lot of popularity, and their intimate nature makes them ideal for a home-based business idea.
  • Bed and breakfast. With websites like Airbnb, it’s also particularly easy to do.

“With Airbnb, you can host guests whenever you want to,” said Clarke, “unlike a traditional B&B that generally stays open all year. You can rent a single room, a sleeper couch in your lounge, or your whole home or apartment, and set your own rates, picking and choosing guests through an online vetting process. It’s all backed by Airbnb’s Host Guarantee insurance as well, which means that even if things do go wrong, you’ll be covered.”

In Cape Town, Airbnb rates range from R200 per night for a bed in a shared room, to over R70 000 per night for an entire, top-end, luxury property.

“There are plenty of home businesses that don’t require any special zoning or permits,” Clarke said, “but you need to be completely sure that yours complies with any regulations if you want to avoid future trouble with your municipality or disgruntled neighbours.”

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How to make money from your house