Taking on a 30-year mortgage is a daunting commitment for anyone, but are there ways in which you can use your home in order to help you get out of debt?
Home expenses can be excessive, especially in the wintertime when those utility bills start to climb. Cut costs by ‘winterizing’ your home before the cold weather sets in and put that saved money toward other bills. Cutting winter utility costs can be as simple as closing the drapes or blinds anytime the sun isn’t shining in. Homeowners wanting to spend money to save money can benefit from energy-efficient windows and doors. Better insulation will also go a long way in saving extra cash.
The more obvious ways to save involve switching off the lights when they aren’t in use, minimizing the time spent using hot water and cleaning the dryer vent regularly. Take advantage of daylight from windows that let in direct sunlight so you can use artificial lighting less and close any fireplaces to avoid losing heat out of the chimneys.
Homes with finished basements or garage apartments can take advantage of the growing rental market. Depending on the type of space you have to rent out, you may be able to pay your entire monthly mortgage or even earn extra income by taking on tenants. Even if you don’t have an entire level that can be dedicated to tenants, renting out a single room or even a driveway, depending on where you live, could be an option.
Urban areas where the majority of residents live in condos often have parking lots that charge a couple of hundred dollars or more per month. If you own a private parking space or driveway that is within walking distance of condos, subways, a train station, or businesses, you can earn a nice monthly income. The same can be said for garages. Urban homeowners with unused garages can rent them out for parking or even storage.
Large houses with plenty of elegant space or big gardens could be rented out for parties and other social events. Similarly, rural homes with acreage and older barns could become popular wedding and reception venues. Older homes with ambitious homeowners can even be turned into bed and breakfasts. Anything you can think of to turn your home into a moneymaking business is going to help pay off debt, so get creative in figuring out how you can profit from unused space.
Of course, refinancing your home is a more traditional way to turn your house into a money-maker. Remortgaging your home will get you a lower interest rate and lower your current monthly payments, which is money that goes straight into your savings account. On top of that, some refinancing terms may allow you to walk away from the remortgage with cash that can be used toward credit card and other debt payments. This all depends on the increased value of your home or how much equity you have.