Americans love their cars. After all, this is the country that gave the world the Model T -- and the Corvette. And thanks to our automotively affectionate culture, some homeowners have the potential to generate income from renting out their garages or driveways -- providing they don't need the space for their own sets of wheels.
According to Anthony Eskinazi, founder of ParkatmyHouse.com, one person is earning as much as $400 a month after posting his rental space on the five-year-old site. He noted that's the highest he's seen on the site for a U.S. parking space.
Folks living near a stadium can expect to charge anywhere from $25 to $50 per game, while driveways and garages near major transport hubs can fetch approximately $250 to $500 a month, Eskinazi says.
"A parking space in a suburb, 10 minutes from the nearest subway is likely going to be significantly cheaper than a space two minutes from the station," Eskinazi says. "The same applies to parking spaces for rent near major sports stadia. Distance, demand, availability, safety and convenience are the five major contributors to the price of a parking space."
Commuters tend to favor six-month leases, while someone with a classic car may seek out something longer such as a two-year contract for a garage, he notes. And, of course, homeowners close to stadiums, major events like the Pasadena Rose Bowl parade, or airports may attract the one-day user crowd.
A Place to Call Home ... for His RV
Robert Gil of Cambridge, Mass., falls into the long-term renter category. He's currently looking for a driveway to park his recreational vehicle --- preferably one with an electrical outlet and a water hookup.
Gil says he's planning to live in his RV year-round, and he's willing to pay $250 a month and provide yard maintenance as part of the deal. Finding a homeowner willing to make an arrangement like that isn't so far-fetched, as evidenced by postings on Craigslist -- though the rent and availability depend a great deal on where someone like Gil wants to live.
Since the recession hit, interest in the ParkatmyHouse website has increased.
"The recession caused many home and business owners to investigate new methods of generating extra income," Eskinazi says. "With the majority of our customers' assets tied up in property, making money from your under-utilized driveway or garage seems like a no-brainer."
Homeowners, however, should allocate some of those brain cells to reviewing additional insurance coverage.
"It should be made very clear to those renting your garage (in writing) that there is no coverage under the homeowners policy for any damage done to the person's personal belongs or car," said Loretta Worters, vice president of the Insurance Information Institute, in an email interview. She added the renter could potentially have coverage for those types of mishaps under their own automobile insurance, but that many insurance companies do not provide coverage for vehicles that are left at a landlord's home, but remain accessible to their owners.
Check out more about the potential pitfalls of renting a slice of your property.
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