buying your first home - what you should know

Looking At A Newly Empty Nest? 3 Ways To Make All That Extra Real Estate Pay

Watching your last little fledgling pack up their things and head out to make a home of their own for the very first time can be an emotional time in any parent's life. Mixed in with a bit of sadness is a sense of pride in their independence and maybe even a bit of excitement at the thought of reclaiming their old bedroom space for your very own. But later, as you stand in the doorway of that empty room, you may suddenly realize that you really don't know what to do with the extra space. If this dilemma sounds familiar because you already have an empty nest or will have one soon, the following tips can help you make that space pay for itself - and even more!

Earn rental income by becoming a landlord

Renting out your child's old room can be a profitable venture, especially if you happen to live in an area with a strong rental market, such as near a university. Students, single professionals and seniors are just some of the renter segments that are often in the market for rental rooms in private homes.

Before putting your space up for rent, however, always remember to check to make sure that doing so will not violate any local laws, HOA rules or subdivision restrictions in your area. In addition, make sure that you have updated your home insurance policy to cover any potential liability should your renter become injured in your home.

Let your house send you on a long vacation

For those who have already retired when their nest becomes empty, another option is to consider leasing the entire home out for a year or two and taking an extended vacation or hitting the road in an RV. Make sure that the incoming rent from the home is sufficient to cover the mortgage, upkeep and homeowner's insurance on the home while you are away so you can focus on relaxing and enjoying your adventure.

Downsize into a smaller, more efficient home

If looking at your empty nest has caused you to worry about the cost of heating and cooling bills and upkeep on space that you really don't need or want, then downsizing into a smaller, more efficient home could be the perfect choice for you. This is an especially good choice for sellers who will net enough from the sale of their home to purchase the smaller one outright, after their current home's mortgage and any expenses involved in the sale are satisfied.

Before making a final decision about whether to rent any part of your home, sell or keep it, consider meeting with a reputable real estate agent in your area to review your opportunities and learn more about both the rental and sales market.