The Going Rate

Between visiting friends and hosting relatives who really should use the opportunity of staying at my place to hunt for a job (hint*hint*), my 2nd bedroom has been fairly occupied. However, I do plan to rent it out again for summer and the 2009-2010 academic year. The big renovation of 2007 wiped out my emergency fund. It wiped out all my funds. Near the end of 2008, I finally finished paying off the air conditioning. Next year I want to take care of the cellar and finish putting a shower in the 1/2 bath. I can’t do another loan. And so begins the slow build up of the house/emergency fund, which requires money, hence the renting out of the 2nd bedroom.
Figuring out how much to rent it out for requires a bit of research. If I was just renting my place, logically I’d go halvies with whomever I was renting with. But I’m a homeowner and my mortgages alone are a tiny bit more than the average rental price for a 2 bedroom in the far eastern corners of Shaw. Also there are other costs such as repairs, maintenance, etc., that I haven’t figured out monthly. I check what people are asking for as far as roommates go, because that’s the market I’m in. The general price in a roommate situation varies between $600 and $1100 a month. The fun part is trying to figure out what justifies the higher price. Some places include utilities. Some don’t. Some places have Internet and cable, some don’t. Then there is maid service, private bath, proximity to the metro, size, number of roommates, pets in the house, and other factors.
Back when I only had 1 mortgage, I could charge something cheap, $575 including utilities. The second mortgage made me jack it up, but I don’t think I found the right price since. I had one roommate negotiate the price down, because I was so far (7-10 mins walking is far) from the metro. So once again I’ll make up a number, run it up the flag pole and see who salutes. And seeing how many bites I get (not counting the Nigerian scam artists), I’ll know what the going rate is.