Mozo guides

How to make money with your home

Family looking at laptop in living room with others in background, considering how to make money using property.

If you’re like most people, your home is probably the most expensive thing you’ll ever purchase. You likely scrimped, saved and took out a home loan to get your hands on it.

Now, nobody’s arguing that it isn’t a good investment – a home can be a building block for your family life, it’s a great asset to have and it keeps you dry in bad weather. It’s already pulling its weight, and you probably don’t regret a single dollar you spent on it.

But if your frugal brain is thinking, 'how can I make money from my house to earn some of those dollars back?', then check out these money-making strategies for homeowners.

Rent out a room

One of the most popular ways to make money from your home is to rent out space. Obviously the more space you have to put on the market, the more you may be able to earn. But, if you're also living at the address (i.e. it's not an investment property) you'll have to get a bit creative. There are a few ways you can go about this:

  • Rent to a long-term lodger

If you’re open to company and have a spare room going unused, why not rent it out for an extra income stream? Long-term renting is a great option if you don’t want the hassle of having lodgers come and go. While renting out a room in your house probably means a certain level of sociability, if you’ve got a granny flat to rent out, you can keep as much distance as you please.

How to do it: You can find lodgers through Gumtree or for something a tad more reputable, most real estate websites, like realestate.com.au or Domain, offer a sharing option where you can list your room.

  • Offer short-term stays for students

If you’d rather not commit to a long-term lodger, you can choose to rent out a room for short-term stays. One way to find a reliable stream of short term tenants is to get in contact with universities in your area. Lots of exchange students need a place to stay for a semester, and one of the good things about this set up is that the uni will often regulate it – meaning you’re more likely to get a well behaved tenant.

How to do it: Check out the websites of universities in your area and see if they have a program in place for housing international students.

  • Rent out storage space

Not so keen on having a stranger in your house? You can still make some extra cash by renting out storage space in your home. You’ll have to think about things like accessibility (will the space be open to the renter 24/7?) and security, but this can be a simple, long term way to make an extra buck. 

How to do it: Check out online services like SpaceOut to list a storage space.

Rent out your garage or driveway

Maybe you take the train to work and your car barely leaves the garage or you park your car at work all day. Maybe you don’t have a car at all. In all these cases, an empty garage or driveway can be a neat little moneymaker, especially if you’re near a business hub or in an area where parking is scarce. 

How to do it: Again, online services are a good bet to list your parking spot for rent. Take a look at Spacer.

Rent your home as a film set

Lights, camera, action! Do you ever sit in your carefully arranged living room and think it looks like something out of a glossy magazine spread? 

Filmmakers, advertisers and photographers are always on the search for great locations and your home could be one of them! This likely won’t mean a regular paycheck, and the odds of having a Hollywood flick filmed in your house are low, but it can be a great way to score the occasional cash bonus.

How to do it: Register your home on industry sites like Big House so filmmakers, photographers or advertisers can contact you.

Turn your backyard into a campsite

This one’s great for rural or larger out-of-the-way properties, but all you need is space to pitch a tent in your backyard and you can charge a fee for the experience. Bonus points if you’ve got a lake, a fire pit or some other outdoorsy draw card.

Remember that the better the camping experience is, the more likely you’ll have a regular flow of visitors – so think about what kind of access to things like cooking facilities and toilets you can offer.

How to do it: Register on Home Camp – a site that connects travellers with unique camping destinations on private properties.

Put your home on Airbnb

The old classic, how could we leave Airbnb off a list like this? Rent out space in your home – whether it’s an entire granny flat, or a futon in the corner of your living room – to travellers from all around the world. One of the positives here is that Airbnb is well known and regulated, so everything’s already in place for you to fill your empty room and make some extra money!

How to do it: Head over to the Airbnb website and register your space. Remember to set a fair price and put some effort into your profile – the flip side to using this well-known brand means there’s more competition. Airbnb offers a photoshoot (the cost will be taken out of future bookings) so you can get your listing looking suave and inviting.

Produce your own energy

Not keen on guests? Don’t have enough spare space to share? You can still make money from your home by fitting it out for green energy production.

The most popular way to produce your own eco-friendly energy is by installing solar panels. Not only can this cut your electricity bill down considerably, but you can actually make money through feed-in tariffs, which funnel any of your unused solar power back into the grid, in exchange for credit on your energy account.

How to do it: First, make sure your home is compatible for solar power. Then, choose someone to set you up with solar panels from the Clean Energy Council’s list of accredited solar installers. And don’t forget to head over to our energy comparison, to find the cheapest green energy enabled plan in your area.

Tips for earning income using your house

Before you get too carried away with the veritable goldmine that is your family home, there are a few things you should consider, just so you’re doing everything on the up and up while you make money from your house. So first things first, don’t forget to:

  • Check in with the ATO. Yes, the taxman needs his cut of your extra earnings. Just about all of these methods produce taxable income – with the possible exception of green energy – so make sure you check the tax guidelines and declare everything properly.
  • Talk to your local council. Different areas have different rules about things like short-term rentals or camping sites, so make sure you’re within your rights to have tenants on your property.
  • Update your insurance. Will your home insurance cover renters? Make sure your policy is up to date so that if something goes wrong, you don’t end up out of pocket.
  • Think of your neighbours. While your home is your own, you should take your neighbour's feelings into consideration. Having travellers come and go all the time might get annoying – especially if you live in close quarters, like an apartment block. Not only can this cause you trouble with your neighbours, but your tenants might leave bad reviews about grumpy neighbours and damage your home's earning potential.

And as always, the best way to make money is to not spend it in the first place. So, make sure you're not throwing unnecessary cash at a costly home loan by comparing your rates and fees against some of the options below. 

Compare home loans - last updated 27 May 2024

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Olivia Gee
Olivia Gee
Money writer

As a personal finance writer at Mozo, Olivia investigates insurance, banking and property. After completing a double degree in journalism and media and communications, Olivia became a lifestyle editor at Time Out Sydney and freelanced for notable publications such as Guardian Australia and SBS News. Now she is Mozo’s resident car insurance enthusiast, and is certified (ASIC RG146 Tier 2) to provide general advice in general insurance. She also creates audible finance adventures as co-host of Mozo’s podcast, The Finance Burrito.

* WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. The comparison rate displayed is for a secured loan with monthly principal and interest repayments for $150,000 over 25 years.

** Initial monthly repayment figures are estimates only, based on the advertised rate. You can change the loan amount and term in the input boxes at the top of this table. Rates, fees and charges and therefore the total cost of the loan may vary depending on your loan amount, loan term, and credit history. Actual repayments will depend on your individual circumstances and interest rate changes.

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Home Loan Awards

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