Five ways to make thousands from your home!

No need to worry about house prices - your home is an asset you can easily make money out of, without having to sell up!

It's not been an couple of years for homeowners, with frequent pessimistic stories about the state of the housing market.

Even the current resurgence has been dismissed by some as little more than a false dawn, the calm before the storm of a possible second crash.

But fear not! Even if your home is worth less than you paid for it,  you can still make a tidy packet out of it.

And best of all, you don't even need to sell it to do so!

Moneymaking tip #1 - Get a lodger!

If you have a spare room that you don't really use, why not rent it out?

Some top tips to get you into the savings habit

Under the Government's Rent a Room scheme, the first £4,250 you receive in rent is absolutely tax free. That comes to a little over £81 a week. In fact, you don't even need to own the property in order to join the scheme - you could just be a fellow tenant and sub-let (if you're allowed to under your tenancy agreement).

Of course, there are downsides to consider. As well as having to share your home with a stranger, there may also be issues with your home insurance or mortgage to consider, so you'll need to do your homework before inviting Joe Bloggs to rent out your spare room.

There are health and safety issues to consider as well. For example, you must carry out annual gas safety checks on your boiler, and provide smoke alarms and fire-resistant furniture. Visit the website for more details.

You'll also need to ensure that the room is in your main family home, furnished, and provide cooking facilities and a bathroom. So if you can't cope with a queue for the shower in the morning, then you might need to consider alternative moneymaking schemes!

Of course, if you do decide to go with renting out a room, sites like EasyRoomMate and Gumtree let you post your room advert for free, so be sure to bear them in mind.

I'd certainly recommend having a read of How to make an extra £4,250 per year! for the full lowdown on the scheme.

Moneymaking tip #2 - Rent out your driveway!

If you have a parking space or driveway that you don't always use, what are waiting for? It's about time it started paying its way!

There are a stack of agencies that you can sign up to, including Parkatmyhouse, YourParkingSpace and ParkLet, which will match your driveway to motorists looking to park in your area.

Rental periods can be just a few hours, or daily, so you can soon rack up regular earnings. Obviously, if you live near an airport or major train station or even sports venue, then you are likely to get a lot more business than if you live out in the countryside, but there's money to be made.

Moneymaking tip #3 - Use your home as a film location

It sounds crazy, but you can actually make a wad of money from renting out your home as a film location!

Many TV shows and films are more than happy to use normal homes as sets for their productions, so if you think your property has a bit of character about it, why not explore your chances?

All you need to do is sign up to a film/TV location company's website. It doesn't usually cost anything upfront, but you will usually need to take a number of photographs of your property (or fork out for them to provide a professional photographer to take the snaps). These will need to be approved and registered in the company's library.

Then, when film directors and producers are on the hunt for suitable locations, fingers crossed they will take one look at your home and get straight in contact.

Don't underestimate just how lucrative this could be, if your home is signed up - the typical minimum location fee is a cracking £500 a day!

However, the sites you register your property with will take a chunk of this as their commission. Check out the table below for a guide on how much some of the main sites charge.


What commission they charge

Film London (only suitable for London locations)


The Spacemen




Amazing Space


Moneymaking tip #4 - Grow your own food!

Ok, so this is more likely to save you money than make you cash, but if you have a bit of land on which to grow your own veg, I reckon you must be mad not to make use of it.

In the year since the Mrs and I bought our place we have grown carrots, beetroot and strawberries (By 'we', I mean 'she' - my uses extend only as far as cutting the grass).

The carrots are lovely, though a touch small, and the beetroot is starting to look pretty good. Not quite sure why we are growing strawberries, as neither of us like them, but it's the thought that counts!

Moneymaking tip #5 - Holiday homeswaps

Your home can not only make you a small fortune - it can even pay for your holiday!

If you fancy heading off on vacation, and don't want to pay through the nose for accomodation, why not try a homeswap? It works very simply - you pair up with someone in the country you want to go to, and swap homes for the duration of your holiday. So I might get two weeks in Florida, while an American family enjoy my little maisonette in sunny Hertfordshire.

The biggest home-exchange site around is Homelink, and while the process of swapping is completely free, you do have to sign up for 12 month membership at £115 (with further charges depending on how many photos you want to use for your property's profile).

However, there are absolutely loads of other sites to choose from, including (which charges £25 a year), UKholidayswapshop (which only deals with UK properties) and Home Base Holidays (which charges £29 a year).

Be sure to have a read of Go on holiday for free for the full lowdown on how these sites work.

Of course, you don't have to go down the homeswap route, and could instead simply sign up to rent out your property  while you're away. Your best bet is probably to speak to local letting agents that specialise in short-term letting deals, or register on Gumtree.

So there you have it - a property is an amazing asset, but you don't have to rely on its value increasing in order to make a small fortune out of it. Indeed, you don't even need to own it in order to put it to good use and make money!

This article is a classic, originally published on 21 August 2009 and updated.

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