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Room for rent

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We’ve talked a lot here about how housing trends indicate that the McMansion is going the way of the dodo. In addition to the money it costs to maintain such large houses, people seem to be seeking quality over quantity. Even when adding on for additional space, homeowners are putting thought into what sort of space is needed, not blindly adding in bedrooms and huge foyers.

But in the not-so-distant past, McMansions were being built by the truckload. And there they sit–it’s difficult to unload them at the moment. So if you own a McMansion and want to sell but can’t, or just need a little help paying the bills, what are you to do?

MSN’s Listed blog has an answer: rent out your rooms. The idea makes a lot of sense, under certain conditions. If you are an empty-nester in a five-bedroom home, that’s four rooms that are sitting empty when they could be bringing in income. One person interviewed in the post rents five rooms for $600 to $800 a month. The rental income helps him, with among other expenses, his $1400 (!!) monthly electric bill.

Would you take in a boarder if you had an extra room, let alone five? Would it be an imposition on your privacy, and something you’d do only to keep your home? Or would you consider it an opportunity to forge some new relationships while earning some money on space that’s not going away? What do you see as the pitfalls and advantages?

Image courtesy of hownowdesign on Flickr