Real Estate News

Startup 'Rent the Backyard' Is Here to Make You Some Money and Solve the Affordability Issue

Written by Jaymi Naciri

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Your backyard. It’s just sitting there. Doing nothing. Sooooo lazy.

Wouldn’t you love a backyard that actually did something“ How about one that can make money for you“ That’s the idea behind Rent the Backyard. Or, part of the idea anyway. The other, much more important part is how this new company can help address a lack of affordability in the real estate market, especially since the company is located in the Bay Area, home to some of the most expensive real estate in the world. 

Here’s the deal. 

Rent the Backyard partners with companies to build prefab studio homes for free on unused land. Specifically, your unused land. If you have at least a 30-by-30 space to spare and you live in the Bay Area, you could be a candidate. 

“They’re partnering with companies like NODE, who make sustainable, carbon-neutral homes that can be installed in just a few days,” said Dwell. “Utilities will hook up to the property's principal dwelling, and they'll be metered and reimbursed. Participants can expect to add roughly $10k to their annual income (dependent on the going rate for a studio apartment in your city), and cities will get new affordable housing in previously unused space.” 

About that “for free” part

Yes, there’s no upfront cost to customers. No. Upfront. Cost. 

And once the prefab studio apartment is built and rented—They also find tenant to rent the unit!—the company splits the profits with you. Sure, you could go out and build your own tiny house, but are you really game for that“ Think of all the hassle. Just the thought of dealing with permits makes us want to run. Did we mention that Rent the Backyard takes care of all the permits, too“

Rent the Backyard estimates that homeowners can make between $10,000–$20,000 in added income per year with a unit in their backyard, depending on the unit, the location of the home, and a few other factors. 

The one downside: It’s only happening in the Bay Area. Co-founder Spencer Burleigh told us they are “really focused on the Bay Area right now and have no immediate plans to expand beyond the Bay Area.” 

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