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Rent a Room In a Mansion? Okay!

by J. Money on Monday, June 20, 2011

mansion on water
I just read this KILLER article about renting rooms out of mansions! If you’re subscribed to Smart Money you may have seen it, but in a nutshell it talks about people with freakin’ AWESOME homes who are struggling to keep them up due to the economy, and so they’re looking for new ways to offset the costs. The easiest & most obvious of them being to rent out 1 of their billion rooms they have in their palace! :) And when I say palace, I mean just that. Some of the places featured were insane! Pools, theaters, top of the line kitchens – you name it. One of the families even gives you access to their Mercedes convertible! It’s pretty dope.

So naturally the first thing I did was try and sneak it by the Mrs. to see what kinda hope, or not, I had of giving this a shot ;) And she actually surprised me a bit and said she’d be open to it!! Now, a whole mess of variables would have to line up in order for that to ever become a reality (they’d have to allow cats, it would have to be within driving distance to her school, we’d have to have a LOT of privacy, etc) BUT if there’s a one in a million shot, you better believe I’m gonna go for it! Haha… don’t tell her yet though cuz right now it’s just a “crazy idea” in my head like the rest of them :)

But think about it. How could would that be? To roll up to a gated mansion w/ your own room and access to everything you’d ever need? For as little as $600 in some cases?? If I were single I’d take it in a heartbeat. And even now I’m obviously still for it, haha… but then again I’m still in that minimalism phase where I think I’d be much happier with a smaller place w/ less stuff. (smaller as in “our” section – I’m totally cool living on palace grounds as long as I’m just responsible for a small patch of it!).

It’ll probably never happen, but it’s ideas like this that REALLY get my excitement going. Just for the fact there are OTHER ways to live out there other than the normal “home owner” route. I don’t know if I’ve ever told you or not before, but I’m so over my house!!! ;) Haha…. so that’s what I’m dreaming up over here in my head. What do you guys think about that? Could you ever see yourself trying it out for a year or two?

If I find a way to pull it off I’ll let you know, but either way Operation “Find a new place to live” is definitely back in the works. Anyone wanna buy a sexy townhouse for $300,000? :)

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(Photo by Christopher Gosselin)


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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sarah June 20, 2011 at 7:47 am

That’s kind of awesome – when you think about it – in a lot of areas, $600 wouldn’t cover rent for some small gross apartment in some skeezy area – to get what is likely some huge room, in a presumably safe area… Not too shabby.

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2 Melissa June 20, 2011 at 8:21 am

I have heard abou this too. I wonder how many people you would be living with? How many rooms would they rent out? Still it would be amazing for a few months.

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3 Mike June 20, 2011 at 8:56 am

My townhouse is dwarfed in size and amenities compared to those mansions. If I had a mansion I would not have a problem filling the empty rooms.

I question the lifestyle that those homeowners choose to live where they can’t cut back but forced to rent out a room. In my particular situation. I dont drive a mercedes or have a Michael Jordan autograph collection, im already living a low key living standard. Those homeowners should learn to cut back before they rent out the individual rooms.

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4 No Debt MBA June 20, 2011 at 9:02 am

It certainly can’t hurt to look at all the options, right? I don’t know how I’d feel about living in a mansion. I suppose I’d get used to it eventually? But it might feel really weird at first and it might also be hard to get over the feeling (and fact) that you’re living in someone’s house even if you are paying for the privilege. I agree that privacy would be key along with autonomy. I wouldn’t want to be constantly running into the owner.

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5 Rafiki June 20, 2011 at 9:32 am

Yes. I definitely would live in a room in mansion. Pretty similar to living in a gated community. If it has a theater I can use that would totally rock.

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6 Philip June 20, 2011 at 9:52 am

Seriously this is awesome… I am gonna go look to see what I can find, unfortunately the only place they mention being able to find them available was craigslist…

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7 Brian June 20, 2011 at 9:57 am

If I were single I would jump on this in a heartbeat, but since I have a paid for house, I wouldn’t even entertain the idea. I like knowing who is in my house at all times and knowing I was living (with my wife) with another family, I would be a little freaked out.

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8 retirebyforty June 20, 2011 at 11:40 am

I read that article. It’s pretty crazy to be renting rooms in mansions, but what ever help pay the bill. :)
We rented out a room at our old house a few times. Luckily, those renters were all workaholics and we never even see them. That’s the best way to go.

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9 Melissa June 20, 2011 at 1:01 pm

I don’t know if I’d be down with this! It seems like a really cool idea in theory, but it also seems a lot like the beginning of some sort of 1980s sitcom.

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10 MariaN June 20, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Well, hard times are hard times. I have come across several of these sites here in the UK – and if I were younger and did not have sons of different ages I will be very tempted. I am tempted to start renting as it is….

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11 Crystal June 20, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Our mortgage is $504 a month, so nope, I’m happy with our 3 bedroom place. I also couldn’t imagine having to ask for permission to do things in my own residence again. I like being able to rescue a dog whenever (I’ve come across 3 strays in the last year or two that I’ve been able to find the rehome) or being able to black out my bedroom windows with heat-resistent styrofoam stuff…

If you do end up living in a mansion though, be sure to post the pics of at least the rooms!!! :-)

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12 cashflowmantra June 20, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Very interesting concept. I have to go and check out the article. I don’t think I would do it with a family, but if I were by myself would definitely consider.

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13 Work At Home Market June 20, 2011 at 4:56 pm

“I’m so over my house”…can I just say AMEN. I am so ready to downsize!

I think it’s a cool concept! I’d be extremely open to it if I could live near the beach to boot.

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14 Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager June 20, 2011 at 7:10 pm

I would definitely do it. We have a bunch of top of the line condos here that are only 20% occupied and the developers have started renting out. A pretty sweet deal if you ask me.

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15 Kathryn C June 20, 2011 at 11:08 pm

OMG there was a special on TV about a guy who did this. He had a phat mansion, I think it’s the one in the pic, 60 minutes or something went and interviewed him, and all his “tenants.” I was laughing because all his “tenants” looked like play boy bunnies, yes they were all women. There were all women, hot, frolicking in the pool and sipping margaritas. He convinced the interviewer that he was doing it “for business” because he lost so much after the real estate crash. I was like MY ASS…… you are Hugh Hefner! It was classic…..I’m sure he’d love to have you…and your wife.

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16 Stephanie June 21, 2011 at 9:53 am

I can’t see myself living long-term that way, but it would be kind of a cool alternative to staying in a hotel for a vacation!

But I also have a home with a mortgage, so renting is not an option. Although our house is a 3-bedroom, 1.5 bath, 1400 sq. ft. ranch, so it’s the perfect size. And the mortgage we took out was only for $140,000. I just ran a quick search, and our mortgage payment (including taxes and insurance) is about $300-500 LESS per month than the going rate to rent a comparable house in our zip code, and that’s only 2 years after we bought it. It was a short sale, and waiting on the seller’s bank to approve our offer was kind of agonizing, but totally worth it in the end. :-)

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17 Mercedes June 21, 2011 at 10:10 am

I think I read an article about that guy a few months ago. he only rents to women, and they all have a movie night together. Not a bad deal for all parties involved though. They get to rent a room in an insane house for a few hundred bucks a month, and he gets to keep his insane house! I’ve thought about renting one of my spare rooms, but I just don’t know if I can live with another person for an extended amount of time right now…. Plus I’ve got no issues with the bills. Now if I loose my job, that is a whole new story!

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18 Burnette June 22, 2011 at 9:32 am

I met a guy who, with his wife, rented an apartment in a castle in New York – very similar to a mansion. Now he gets to proclaim that he lives in a castle!

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19 J. Money June 22, 2011 at 11:07 am

@Sarah – I know! I mean, some were much more than $600 too, but still – overall GREAT deal when everything’s factored in :)
@Melissa – Yeah, I think some had like zero others, and then other places had like 10 others, haha… guess it depends on how big the place is and how much trouble the owner’s in ;)
@Mike – Yeah, though at this point renting rooms would give them a decent income stream for a bit while they learn to hurry up and cut back more efficiently :) I think some of them would love to just sell the whole lot, but it’s no longer an option in today’s maket eiher so they’re pretty much stuck… but agreed – they need to tone it down more if they’re looking for a long-term solution.
@No Debt MBA – Haha, in some of those places you may never have to! :)
@Rafiki – True true – it would be like a small apartment in a gated community. Only much more impressive to look at/live in ;)
@Philip – Yeah :( They mentioned they have to be low-key with it too due to community rules and stuff like that. It would be nice if there was a website specifically dedicated to this kinda setup!
@Brian – Haha, for sure… one of those owners mentions he can only have women staying there since his daughter is a teenager and he doesn’t trust men ;) Though on the other side, as a women it would be weird knowing there’s one man of the place and a gaggle of ladies! haha…
@retirebyforty – Oh yeah! Workaholics are awesome for those kinds of situations – esp knowing they’ll probably have no trouble paying since they work so much! :) (unless they’re the kinds that work so much becuase they have bills up the a$$, but those aren’t “workaholics” – more like “forced workers”?)
@Melissa – Hahaha… and? :)
@MariaN – Yes! I want to go back to renting soooo bad!!!
@Crystal – $500 a month! That ROCKS!!! Well done my friend, damn. Well done… (and yes, I will take pics if I find a way to pull it off ;))
@cashflowmantra – Having a family def. changes the picture.
@Work At Home Market – Yeah I bet you can totally find a place near the beach! Would be more expensive of course, but def. do able esp if you are ready to downsize anyways and rid yourself of all that “stuff” that takes up money ;)
@Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager – I bet there’s some CRAZY nice places in Portland too – I still need to get out there and vist y’all!
@Kathryn C – Ahahahah… maybe he was that same guy who said he couldn’t have men staying there because of his young dauhter? Cuz he wouldn’t trust them? :) But either way though, way to go brotha!!!! Haha… though if you’re accustomed to that sort of lifestyle, I’m sure it’s not as exciting to him as to the rest of us if we had a year or two like that ;)
@Stephanie – Wow congrats!!! You guys were much smarter than us who bought a place for DOUBLE that and then lost money the very next year ;) And I don’t even want to own anymore! haha… but good job working all that out, very impressive.
@Mercedes – Yeah, it def. all makes sense if the situation ever arose like that. I’d probably be okay with renting out our basement in any event for the extra money, but def. don’t think the Mrs. would be okay with that ;) Or our cats who’d probably change their bathroom area just to show us who’s boss.
@Burnette – AWWWEESOME!!! I love your friends!!

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