BEFORE: Renovating a Basement Storage Room into a Mini-Apartment

 

If you’ve been following my journey to FIRE (retiring by 45 years old), you probably know I spent the first 6 months of 2019 renting out my home (or my master suite) on AirBNB to cashflow my entire mortgage each month.

Honestly, I loved all of the people I met through Airbnb Hosting (even two new friends - Jason & Arvind - and a scientist I want to be when I grow up)! I loved being a tour guide in my own community and sharing my wonderful 100 year old cozy home with others. I’m even a superhost now!

But, Airbnb hosting was really a “bandaid life plan” that accidentally happened as I started traveling as a digital nomad more and worked toward doing better at life hacking. With literally - ALL OF THE HOUSING OPTIONS to consider - I still want to leave my options open as a position for a big move (TBD) spring of 2019.

possible spring 2020 housing options

  • move to Fort Wayne as a home base (tech city, parents, 1.5 hours from airport, adorable nieces) or stay in Central IL (community, friends, established career path, cheap, client-base)?

  • travel full-time or just once a month and all of December?

  • sell my house or rent it out?

  • buy a fourplex for a homebase and House Hack or keep my house

  • pay cash for an Airstream and full-time RV - because why not?

  • And, there’s always buying a lot of land on lake in Northeast Indiana and contracting someone to build a tiny home container house…

My current “plan” is to probably to jump back and forth between Ft. Wayne, IN & Decatur, IL when I’m not adventuring. In Fort Wayne I can work on the investment property I’m doing with my parents, do Grit HQ work without interruptions, and spend time with other family and my adorable nieces. Then I can spend a few weeks in Central IL each month meeting with clients, spending time with friends, and planning my future traveling.

But, my mortgage + housing expenses for ONE HOME in Central IL are around $1,050 a month. So, two “home bases” plus traveling will not help me get to FI.

HERE’S MY HOUSE HACKING PLAN TO KEEP MY HOME IN DECATUR AND MAKE MONEY OFF OF IT WITHOUT RENTING IT OUT FULL-TIME:

Considerations for converting my basement storage room to a mini-apartment

Well, here’s my short-term solution to save up for ANY (or multiple) of the above - rent out a second room in my house and convert my large, finished -ish storage room in my basement to a studio office/bedroom (sans bathroom and kitchen). I anticipate being able to rent out a house that sleeps 4 (instead of 2) and a second bedroom on Airbnb will cashflow my entire housing a positive $400-$900 per month.

I’m taking my biggest expense - housing - into a fun, income opportunity!

My goal is to convert this unused space in my house into the coolest, urban loft type space where I look forward to working in! Wish me luck.

BEFORE PHOTOS:

Total Budget for conversation of basement storage room to studio apartment: $1,200

My goal is to get this project completed in one month (hopefully before Fin Con)! This is what I anticipate needed to purchase or do to make the room badass with a cozy and comfortable atmosphere!

PROJECTS:

  • paint paneling white

  • spray paint shelving charcoal

  • add lighting

  • add super cheap, yet awesome vinyl flooring

  • large gallery wall (or two)

  • move office furniture downstairs

  • set up mini-closet for 2 weeks worth of clothing

TO PURCHASE:

  • good dehumidifier

  • large, really cozy rug (think super poofy)

  • at least 3 more lamps

  • full-sized mattress, bed frame and bedding

  • space heater

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