How to turn your home into a money-spinner

Here are a few ways to generate a healthy income from your home

With interest rates on the rise, many home-owners are eyeing their bond repayments with some trepidation, wondering how they’re going to make ends meet.

The good news is that the answer to that question might be closer than we realise – in fact it could, quite literally, be right under our feet.

“The options for generating income from your home have increased dramatically over the last few years,” says Tony Clarke, MD of the Rawson Property Group.
“It’s not just yard sales, or lodgers, or selling crocheted doilies on the Internet anymore – people are getting creative and the results can be far more lucrative than you’d expect.”
One of the most profitable ventures, in the short-term at any rate, is offering your home as a location for films and photo shoots.

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“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,” says 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. 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,” says 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-R10 000 a day if they decide to represent you.”
If you prefer to be more hands-on and happen to be good in the kitchen, you might find the new trend of supper clubs a more interesting proposition. 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.
“You would need a permit to run a food-service business from home, but it is a great way to earn income while meeting new people and maximising the use of your property. You could also venture into catering or home-baking in a similar way,” says Clarke.

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Running a bed and breakfast is another method of generating income from a property and is perfect for social homeowners who enjoy interacting with interesting guests. With websites like Airbnb, it’s also particularly easy to do.
“With Airbnb, you can host guests whenever you want to 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.
“If you have the extra space, or are planning on being away from home for a period of time, listing your property on Airbnb can bring in a considerable amount of cash,” says Clarke.
He advises home-owners to ensure that there aren’t any restrictions limiting the use of their property while it is still bonded.