A House That Pays for Itself

By: Anne Eliason

So you've seen the perfect house, with the perfect yard in the perfect neighborhood, its just twice as big as you want! It happens often these days, big properties are very sought after, and still being built, in spite of the environmental and green movements.

At first glance, if you are looking for a smaller home, you may brush aside the prospect of buying bigger. After all, you could argue, it will mean bigger heating and bigger mortgage, both true, BUT you can get someone else to pay your heating bill and part of your mortgage.

Yes, it is true many banks and mortgage brokers will count part of a rental income and extend your credit...so read on.

No one likes to share their home - leastways, not usually. But if a home can be shared without it ever being realized, it could considerably ease your financial burden. To do this, there are two basics that must be considered, the layout of the house and the type of person who would be sharing.

If you decided to search for a house that can help to pay for itself, you will usually be looking for a basement home. Assuming your budget will be stretched you will not want to do any more improvements than necessary - so look for a home with a separate basement entrance. It is quite common to have a third back door.

As you will likely be utilizing part of the basement for yourselves, it will also be imperative to have a locked door between the tenant's accommodation and the rest of your home (this is fairly inexpensive to put in.) The minimum amount of space you need for an apartment is roughly the size of a double garage plus a small workshop behind. (In fact people have converted this area just to rent it out. It works well as there is already a separate door.)

You will also want a house that already has a full bathroom in the basement. Be prepared to give that one up. Heating will most likely already be in place, and is not expensive to extend. Check that the bathroom is near to an area that could be a small kitchen area, for ease of running hot and cold water pipes to a small sink. Finally you will need confirmation that there is enough power to carry an extra stove. This is not critical as some people these days only use a microwave and toaster oven, especially career people - and this is the only type you want.

Many single career people would like to live in a proper residential neighborhood; the trick is to find one who has the same values as you e.g. bedtimes, noise levels and morning routines. Remember, you make the rules!!

One last plus is that you will have an extra deterrent against burglaries and a built-in house sitter when you leave for vacation.

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