Renting a Room - More on What to Charge
Here are a few more tips on what to charge when renting a
room. If you missed it, be sure to start at the first page on
this topic; How
Much to Charge for a Room.
1. Ask people who live in the town if people rent rooms very
often. Only use this to confirm that rooms are commonly rented,
though, because non-renters may have no idea.
2. Ask young people (18 to 28) if renting rooms is common
there. While you are at it, ask how much they usually rent for.
3. Check bulletin boards for rooms for rent. You can find
these in some stores near the entrance. Maybe there is one where
you work as well.
4. Look at old newspapers online. Maybe there just don't happen
to be any rooms advertised this week, but it still is common.
Old issues of the paper can clue you in. Many newspapers have
their classified ads archived online for months now.
When You Really Have to Know
Suppose you can't get enough information from the newspaper
or other sources. Or suppose you know that people rent rooms,
but you just can't pin down the rental rates. Maybe you need
to know for sure before you buy a home there. If you absolutely
need to know what you will be able to rent rooms for, there is
a way: advertise a room for rent.
Put an advertisement in the classified section of the local
paper for Saturday and Sunday. Make your best guess as to where
you might buy a home and what you might charge for rent. The
ad might read something like this:
"East side room for rent in a nice home. All utilities
and cable television included in the rent. $90 per week; no deposit.
Call Joe at 555-1212"
When the calls come in, politely let the caller know that
the room is already rented. The point is just to see how many
calls you get. If you only get one call, you may want to reconsider
your assumptions. If one weekend advertisement nets you six or
more calls, I would say it's a safe bet you'll be able to rent
rooms for $90 per week.
If you feel bad about wasting that minute of your caller's
time, you can take their name and number in case you buy that
house before they find another room. Alternately, you could let
them know if you saw any other rooms for rent anywhere.
Update: I recently discovered a great website where you can
research what people are charging for renting a room. It is http://www.metroroommates.com.
You can select your city and get ads for rooms for rent. It is
still pretty under-developed for smaller towns, but I found more
than 10 listings for Tucson, Arizona, a medium-sized city.