Now, it’s all about passive income. Our once grand plans to renovate the house to a high spec have been shelved since we caught the bug. And there’s no point spending the money if we’re going to rent the house out to sustain our campervan life.
The upgrade will only happen if and when we decide to settle back into the house on our own. We’ve agreed that we need to set a deadline for our plans for the house, completing the van conversion. It’s easy just to talk about getting out on the open road and not do anything about it. Not only will a date give us something to work towards but it will make it a reality. We’re fully committed in our heads and to each other about our plans, but we need to make them more concrete.
Passive Income: Being The Hosts With The Most
We know we can supplement our income by hosting language students until I have built up enough additional income. However, we also decided to explore the option of a longer-term lodger. I had resisted this previously because of a perceived invasion of privacy as we enjoy our own space, but guess what so do our lodgers! The house is big enough for it not to have been an issue so far. Most of our students are out and about during the summer months or all year-round in some cases. But if you’re somebody who would prefer only to rent a room Monday to Friday, take a look at the myriad of websites offering this service, including Homestay, Booking.com, and Airbnb.
Passive Income: Reverse Engineering
I think once we also have sorted out the planning permission for the extension and put the plans for the house into action, we can ‘reverse engineer’ (as one of my former London bosses was fond of saying), i.e. what we need to do by when, how much money we would need at each key stage, how long things are likely to take, etc. We’re now waiting for the architect we hired for our kitchen/diner plans to draw up plans for the ensuite extension. This part of the house requires planning permission as it will extend beyond the length of the main house, but we have earmarked the early part of 2019 to work on it, so fingers crossed this should give us enough time to obtain the go ahead. And the money we are saving now from the students and lodgers should cover the hiatus when just myself, Dave and Darakht are living here during the building works.
Passive Income: Rental Mental
Upstairs is almost finished so the focus will now be on the landing and stairs while we await planning permission. Then we’ll think about the hallway, open-plan kitchen/diner, and extension beyond that. We plan to install Velux windows and bi-fold doors which we should be able to get at cost price thanks to Dave’s occupation as a conservatory installer. USB sockets have gone into every upstairs room to eliminate the number of electronic items which need to be plugged into the walls.
Passive Income: House Renovation Savings So Far:
- Brand new Bosch induction hob & oven (Dave bought for £50.00 from a customer)
Office conversion (from the third bedroom):
- Installed ceiling height storage – it’s a small room so they don’t take up any floor space (thanks to my brother-in-law for that tip!)
- Bought Ikea kitchen cupboards instead of more expensive ‘office’ cupboards
- Used a long piece of kitchen worktop as a wraparound desk (my brother is a kitchen fitter and bought it at a discount)
- We installed carpet offcuts throughout
Used contacts and tradesmen we know:
- Family & friends helped out quite a bit, mostly in exchange for dinner/a few pints
- A friend’s son does all our electrics
- Traded goods/skills/services:
- A friend finished the bathroom and Dave returned the favor
- My brother will build storage for coats & shoes in exchange for a website
If you don’t know any tradesmen, ask around and always go by recommendation.