The U.S. economy is slowly staggering out of the Great Recession and employment figures show signs of promise, but after nearly three years of financial drought, many Americans still feel their budgets are under pressure. Faced with depleted stock portfolios and shrunken savings accounts, homeowners looking to pump up their finances may want to turn to their greatest assets -- their homes.
But when we talk about turn your castle into a bank, we're not talking about using it as a home-equity loan cash machine as so many did during the bubble years. We're talking about ways to actually bring in extra income from your property.
The ideas we'll present, while varied, all carry a common theme -- renting out some portion of the property. The degree to which that might intrude on a homeowner's lifestyle varies, too: Renting out your backyard to campers or gardeners, or renting a driveway to frustrated commuters who can never find parking will have more of an impact on your daily life than leasing a 500-square-foot parcel for a cellular tower.