Supplementing Your Retirement Income with Renters

September 27, 2011

By Margaret Hennessey
Park Georgia Realtor

Creative Way to Help Pay Your Mortgage

It’s a myth to say that everyone retires with enough money on which to live comfortably. Another myth is that we are all mortgage free in our senior years.

I have a lot of older clients who definitely have a challenging time financially when they reach retirement. Moreover, many are carrying mortgages into their seventies.

Oftentimes these circumstances can create a significant hardship on older people when they hit that golden age. Many are looking for ways to supplement their income and provide a little more comfort to their everyday living.

One such couple I worked with recently explained their circumstances. Theirs was not an uncommon situation, they wanted to downsize, but also needed to look for ways to supplement their income as they had a sizeable mortgage. Going back to work was not an option, due to health reasons.

The solution was to find them a home with a rentable basement suite. Amazingly enough, while house prices may fluctuate in any given market, rents rarely, if ever, roll back and there will always be renters.

In my 25 years in this business, I have never seen such consistently favorable mortgage rates and yet there will always be people whom for financial or temporary accommodation reasons will choose to rent

In my local area of Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows, a one or two bedroom basement suite can rent for $950+. In fact, some are renting for a lot higher than that, depending on area, condition and location.

For a couple trying to maintain a comfortable lifestyle in later years, without too much financial stress, the idea of another $1000 or more each month coming in is very appealing.

Finding a Suitable Tenant

We’ve all heard the horror stories of renters however and it’s important to be acquainted with both landlords and tenants rights. There are lots of good tenants out there and you may even bring in a management company to find them for you.

We’ve had a rental property before which we rented out to a police office recently posted into the area that worked out really well.

Others have found good tenants by posting “for rent” notices in the nursing quarters of local hospitals too.

If you decide to interview a potential tenant yourself, here’s a tip. Go outside and have a look in their car. How they treat their car is likely how they will treat your house.

If an additional income supplement is a desirable direction for you, consider that house with a basement suite as your next move. It can certainly alleviate a lot of financial stress.

Margaret HennesseyAbout the Author: Margaret Hennessey is a 25 year award winning real estate agent who sells property in Pitt Meadows & Maple Ridge. She specializes in the housing needs of baby boomers. Many of clients are long-term clients who now need advice on their post retirement moves.

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