Business Tips for Everyone – How Your Garage Can Create a Passive Income
The garage is one of the most commonly unused spaces on the property. Especially if no one in the household has a car. Is yours also just standing empty, waiting for its time to shine? Yes?Then you have come to the right place.
Did you know that your garage can be a great way of creating a passive income? It’s actually a win-win because not only do you earn money every month without doing much, but you also put into good use a space that otherwise would be wasted.
Are you interested in finding out more? Let’s just get started then.
Empty Garage = Passive Income
As experts from A1Garage.com suggest, the garage is actually one of the most effective and easiest passive income ideas. You might be wondering – What exactly can create that income? The answer is transforming your garage into a rental space.
What’s more, it doesn’t even have to be a living space. Nowadays, many people are willing to pay some extra cash every month just to get additional storage space. Especially if they are doing a renovation in their house, as they don’t have to worry about their property being damaged on the construction site.
Is It Legal?
There’s no specific answer to that, as everything depends on the location. Something might be legal in one city but considered to be an offense in another. So, the best thing you can do to make sure that everything is done legally is to perform your own research.
The first thing you should do is to check whether someone in your area is renting out their garage. If you find out they are, it’s a good sign – however, it doesn’t mean that your work is done. If, on the other hand, you don’t see anyone doing it, it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. It might just mean that it’s not something people usually do. Once that is done, check the laws that cover the renting of storage space or a garage. Usually they fall under the jurisdiction of Landlord and Tenant laws.
When it comes to a garage converted into a living space, the important thing is that it has to meet the building codes. If the unit does not meet the code or the state law standards for habitability, but you are still renting it out, you might be in big trouble.
To make sure that everything is done in accordance with the law, you can consult a lawyer. Since the law is their specialty, they will be able to tell you exactly what you can and cannot do.
How to Prepare Your Garage to Be a Rental Space for Passive Income?
The process of preparing your garage for rent will be different depending on whether you are renting it out as a living space or as a storage space. Let’s take a look at both.
Once you have found rentals for your garage, it’s time to prepare it for their arrival. Here are some things you can, or rather should, do beforehand.
Clean the Garage
Cleaning your garage is essential. Remove all the junk that might have accumulated throughout the months or years of you living there and other personal belongings to make space for the renter’s possessions. Next, give the floor a good sweep with a broom. Additionally if you want to and have one, you can use a shop vac.
Last but not least, you can consider hosing down the garage. And, if you feel like DIY-ing, you might even paint the walls or the floor to give it a fresh look.
Secure the Garage
No matter if you are renting your garage or keeping your personal belongings there, it needs to be secure. In most cases, the garage has a rather big door that opens and closes vertically, usually with an electric door opener.
If you want to provide your rental with more security, you should arrange the locks in a way that allows them to close the garage from the inside – provided that they still have a way in and out.
Partition Your Garage (Optional)
This step is applicable only when you are not renting out the whole garage (or some other space, such as the basement), but only a part of it. This will not give you as much passive income, but allows you to keep some space. You might want to put some kind of divider to separate your side from the rental’s side in such a case.
If you have some construction skills, you could go to the nearest hardware store, get some lumber and nails/screws, and make one yourself. However, if you’re not that handy, not all is lost, as you can always purchase an already made one from Amazon or a similar platform.
Transforming your garage into a living space that you can rent out to tenants requires more work than renting it out as a storage space. Here are some of the things that are part of the process:
Take Care of the Legal Matters
Before you start doing anything to the garage, you need to get the necessary permits. For these you will most likely have to visit the county courthouse or your town hall. Although the good news is that you don’t need to collect as much paperwork as you would have to if you were building something from scratch. However, you still have to get permits to add electrical wiring and plumbing.
What’s more, once you finish with the transformation, you will also have to arrange an inspector. They must review the property before you start earning passive income from renting.
Think About the Garage Doors
When it comes to converting the garage, the garage door is one of its biggest challenges. The contractor might be able to convert it into an exterior wall space or, if you are willing to spend more, into a bay window.
If you decide that you actually don’t mind the door as it is at the moment, you will have to insulate it. You might also want to seal the edges with polyurethane foam or basic caulk to create a tight seal.
Evaluate the Floor’s Slope
Some garages have a sloped floor so the water can drain out more easily. If your garage is built this way as well, leveling out the floor is another step you’ll have to take. Usually, just a bit of concrete is enough to do the trick.
Once you level the floor, you might want to paint it. Although it’s not a necessary step, it might add a homey feel to the space. If you don’t fancy a painted floor, you can choose one of the alternatives such as carpet or linoleum floor.
Connect the Pipes and Wires
When it comes to such things as pipes and wires, remember that the best (and the safest) option is to have a professional take care of them. If you want to maximize your savings and your passive income, make sure that the bathroom and the kitchen are located close to the wall that connects the house with the new unit. Remember – the further the pipes and wiring are, the more you will pay to connect them to the utilities.
Decide on Heating and Cooling
When it comes to heating and cooling, you have two options. You can either connect the apartment to the systems in your house, or you can purchase a separate heater and window air conditioning unit. If you want to develop your estimate, you can compare the daily wattage used by those devices to your current cooling and heating bills.
Install the Insulation
Once you are done with all the steps above, it’s time to install the proper insulation and use drywall to cover the walls fully – by doing this, you can significantly decrease the cooling and heating bills.
If there is enough space, you might add interior walls to define rooms in the new apartment. This is best done in bigger garages storing multiple vehicles. In a garage that only accommodates one car, the best thing you can do is leave the space as open as possible – like a studio apartment.
Paint the walls with the color of your choice, purchase the necessary appliances and furniture, and voila – you now have an apartment that you can rent out.
How to Find Rentals for Your Garage?
Now, you might be wondering – Okay, but how do I find people interested in renting space in my garage? It’s actually easier than you might think – especially since there are several ways in which you can look for them.
The first one is putting the ad in the newspaper. However, due to the fact that not as many people read newspapers nowadays as they used to do back in the day, this method might be the least effective one.
The second way in which you can try to find rentals is by advertising your garage on Craigslist (or a similar website). Just be aware of the scammers, as there’s quite a bit of them on Craigslist.
Finally, you can place an ad on a specific platform that connects people who want to rent out their place with those who are looking for a place to rent. An example of such a website is neighbor.com.
The Bottom Line
If you have a garage, but you are not using it, and it’s just standing empty or is filled with piles of junk, you are actually wasting an opportunity to make money. Renting out the garage is one of the most effective ways to create passive income. You can rent out your garage either as a storage space or as a living space.
The first doesn’t require you to do much. This type of rental property has been growing in popularity over the past couple of years. Nowadays, there are several people willing to pay money just to rent out storage space. They just want to store their possessions so that they don’t have to worry about them getting lost or damaged.
Now, when it comes to renting it out as a living space, the matter is much more complicated, as you have to convert it, which can take a few weeks. Although the initial costs tend to be quite high, it all pays for itself in the long run.
No matter which one you choose for your garage, we wish you good luck!