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You might not feel like you “own” your home if you struggle to pay the bank every month. However, you might be sitting on one of the biggest passive income money-makers without knowing it. Believe it or not, you have capital or property capable of producing surplus value.
Can You Airbnb Your House If You Have a Mortgage?
There are no rules against renting out your house when you still have a mortgage. However, you always need to check with your loan provider before going through the process to ensure you do not violate the terms of your loan. It may not be illegal to rent out your house, but each provider has their own rules and standards they stick to.
After checking with your loan provider, you still need a plan for the highest return on investment. How can you protect your family’s security? Your belongings? Do you have to vacate the premises when guests arrive? Should you stick to a strict vacation business model or explore long-term rental solutions?
The good news is you can Airbnb your house if you have a mortgage and get that puppy paid down more quickly. Here are four money-making tips to help you do so.
A Brief Overview of Airbnb and How It Works
The founders of Airbnb envisioned a service that lets individuals profit the same way hotels and inns do — by listing everything from full home vacation rentals to spare bedrooms. The advantages of using their services include the following:
- No listing charge: Listing your property with their service is free. They get paid a percentage of the bookings completed.
- A diversified tenant portfolio: Airbnb will perform a guest background check in select markets, currently the USA and India.
- No license fees: Typical hotels and boutique inns face various fees to do business that Airbnb covers for you.
- Host protection: You’re covered by insurance if something goes amiss.
Airbnb is subject to local market restrictions. For example, some places require you to spend up to 275 days in the home per year as your primary residence to address the housing shortage. Otherwise, wealthy investors scoop up every available property in tourist areas, leaving would-be homeowners high and dry and impacting the area’s economy. With no housing for workers, it doesn’t take long for storefronts to shutter.
You have considerable freedom with Airbnb. For example, you don’t have to host guests every weekend if doing so doesn’t work for your family. You select the dates your property is available, letting you enjoy private time for birthdays and holiday celebrations.
4 Money-Making Tips to Airbnb Your Mortgaged House
You’re interested in using Airbnb to help pay your mortgage. What money-making tips can fuel your success? Here are four considerations.
1. Privacy, Please
Maybe you dream of meeting new people from around the globe who want to share your spare bedroom. However, please remember your guests are on vacation — and sharing your table while regaling you with tales of their homeland might not be on their itinerary.
Do everything possible to encourage guest privacy, including adding a separate entrance. Doing so also enhances your family’s safety by keeping visitors out of common areas and may be a legal requirement. For example, you need two points of egress if finishing your basement as a living space. Perhaps a standard entry door is a better choice than an egress window?
Another way to increase privacy is to make your Airbnb a separate structure by adding a backyard ADU. You’ll have to check with your HOA and local zoning board first to see if you can legally park an RV or add a dwelling to your property. Given how high housing costs have risen, you might not need to do the heavy lifting of building. You can rent some of your land to a boondocker, so they have a safe landing space for their rig between their road warrior adventures.
2. Anticipate Guest Needs
What makes a hotel stay memorable? Let’s face it, most rooms look remarkably similar, from the plain white sheet set to the obligatory boat or nature print hanging behind the bed. It’s the little touches that make an impression.
Do the same for your guests. Try to anticipate their needs and delight them with little surprises like the following:
- A complimentary bottle of champagne and chocolate-covered cherries for honeymooners.
- Small toys and coloring books from your local dollar store for visiting families.
- Small bags of trail mix and dried fruit for hiking and biking adventures.
3. Make Your Offering Unique
Can you imagine spending your vacation in a treehouse or a yurt? Some travelers will pay top dollar for the experience.
If something makes your property stand out, highlight it in your listing. You might not get as creative as building a backyard ADU in an elm tree, but amenities like a small in-room kitchen make your listing stand out.
Some features that can make your Airbnb listing sparkle include:
- Pool or hot tub access
- Children’s play space access
- Catering to special events, like weddings
- Providing information about local attractions
4. Consider Your Guest Profile
Take an objective look at what you have to share. Maybe the best you have to offer is a single spare bedroom without a lot of bells and whistles. Does that mean you can’t Airbnb your mortgaged house?
You can still turn a profit. How? Consider your guest profile. While you might not attract someone with deep pockets, a single long-term tenant — like a student or young adult just starting out — can provide passive monthly income without the need to change sheets and clean the room between guests. Airbnb allows you to feature monthly and long-term rentals on their site, and you could find the perfect win-win for you and someone in need.
Using Airbnb to Pay Off Your Mortgage
Did you think that you couldn’t Airbnb your house if you have a mortgage? Think again. Creating a passive income stream from your property is one way to pay off the balance owed more quickly.
Use the tips above to create a listing that gets attention and starts attracting repeat guests. The little bit of extra work that goes into vacation rental ownership can pay off big time when you use Airbnb to pay off your mortgage.