Blog Stories 4 Ways to Make Money Off Your Home Without Being a Landlord

4 Ways to Make Money Off Your Home Without Being a Landlord

By Shannon Dooley, April 20, 2023

Written by Sorcha Porter, licensed assistant to Shannon Dooley.

One of my favorite things in the world is finding creative ways to make money. It’s part of what I love about home ownership. When you own your home you can dictate how it’s used and you can leverage it to create additional income. In fact thats kind of our team’s whole goal, to teach people how to leverage real estate to create their own Tiny Empires!

Normally people associate making money off of real estate with the following… Flipping real estate, long term rentals, short term rentals like Airbnb, and or house hacking. But many people don’t want to be landlords. Whether it’s for ethical reasons or personal landlord-ing is not for everyone. But it doesn’t mean you can’t use your home to create a side hustle and generate passive or low- work income. Here’s a few ideas to get you started! And if you’re interested in more, definitely check out my Podcast The Laddercast, on Spotify and apple podcasts for additional ideas!

1. Rent your yard by the hour as a dog park!

Idk about you buy I have 3 corgis and they are adorable nightmares. Going to the dog park is great for getting their energy out but since there’s 3 of them and they’re kind-of tiny bullies it’s very stressful. If someone there has a reactive dog, it’s dangerous. Enter Sniff-spot! It’s and app/ platform like Airbnb for your yard! You can list your back yard as a private by the hour dog park! Yah- you can RENT YOUR BACK YARD BY THE HOUR TO A CUTE PUPPY. I’d love to make $50-100 a day and watch cute puppies play in my back yard. That sounds real cool to me!

2. Have a spare parking spot? Why not rent it!?

When I worked in the corporate world I paid $180/ month for parking in an unsecured parking garage. It was bananas. I had to pay nearly 3 days wages at that time, to just come to work. That’s the story for a lot of people! I wish I’d had the option of somewhere else nearby to rent a spot especially since there were several residential properties near my office with empty driveways because many of those folks either worked elsewhere or didn’t have cars because the area was so walkable. Why not help a local worker and yourself?! got a spare driveway spot!? Rent it for $125-150, or 20-30% less than the surrounding parking garages! Throw pics of your driveway on facebook marketplace or Prked! It’s a platform that allows you to list your parking spot in your driveway. So if you live in a place where people who live/ work nearby and there is limited parking they can pay you to rent it while saving money themselves on market rates for parking spots!

3. Got RV Parking? Why not list it for locals visiting your area!

CampSpot much like other sharing economy apps provides a modem for people to rent space on their property much like airbnb to overnight campers. You can select if your space is available for tent, van, rv, etc. and people looking to stay in your area can book it online! The cool thing about Campspot and having RV parking in the city of Portland is that the nearest RV park for overnight parking to the City is actually in Troutdale over 25 mins away. So for people coming for conferences, festivals and events that’s a schlep and makes it hard to get in and out of Portland as there’s not a great public transit system near the outer region RV parks. This means on an event weekend or holiday you could easily bring in several hundred dollars just renting your empty RV parking area! SO COOL!

4. Grow a cut flower garden in your yard and sell bouquets!

I recently stumbled across the Vlog of this really rad woman at “Shifting Roots” on Youtube. She is a stay at home mom with three small children and has a small cut flower business that she started during the pandemic. She grows cut flowers in her garden and sells bouquets to neighbors, friends, and at pop ups and farmers markets. She also does flower arrangements for weddings and events. She started the business during the pandemic and very clearly breaks down the financials of her cut flower business. It also has the added bonus of making her garden look flipping incredible. The startup cost was very low, just a couple hundred dollars and she averages $15/ per bouquet and 30 bouquets per week to a 4×8 planter bed! Her first year she made $4600 profit and has grown it ever since. So if you’re someone who loves flowers, and enjoys the creative process of flower arranging or who wants to learn/get into that this is a great side hustle! If you want to check out the vlog here’s a link. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never paid less than $25 for a bouquet of flowers here in Portland, so it seems like a great opportunity for you green thumbs who would enjoy gardening with flowers anyway to make side hustle income!!

I hope these ideas have opened your mind to income possibilities that you hadn’t thought of and help you expand your horizons on the advantages of home ownership. The reality is, you can’t do a lot of these things on a normal rental lease. You can’t grow flowers at scale on an apartment garden balcony and you often can’t rent your yard as a dog park when you don’t own your yard. So if you’ve been on the fence about the cost of buying a home consider that ownership doesn’t just give you financial security of fixed monthly housing payments, or the ability to change your physical surroundings to suite your style. Home ownership gives you agency to leverage the roof over your head, and the property it sits on into tangible potentially life changing income you could not otherwise realize as a renter.

If you’re reading this, and that excites you, and you want to connect with our team at Tiny Empire group please feel free to give us a call or shoot us an email.

Shannon Dooley

Principal Broker in OR | Broker in WA | Earth Advantage | ADU Specialist


Long before I lived here I was enamored with the Pacific Northwest. Growing up in the high desert of Nevada I found the dichotomy of the moisture and associated life in the PNW incredibly appealing. As a teenager I was certain I wanted to live in Seattle, then one trip to Portland changed my mind. I was in love with this city instantly and knew this is where I wanted to grow and where I wanted to raise my daughter. That was 20 years ago and I’m still enamored. I have gotten to know this city inside and out and am continually grateful that my job is also my passion.  As a third generation REALTOR® I truly feel like real estate is in my DNA. Unlike many generational Realtors my business is built from the ground up. I started in 2016 and haven’t stopped yet. I believe in perpetual growth and am continually seeking knowledge and experience that will benefit my clients. I learned a lot about basic construction principles growing up with a father who could, and would, take on any home renovation project. More recently I took lessons from my former spouse who was a general contractor and home inspector. Those experiences provided a great base, but the most significant learning has happened since becoming a general contractor myself and starting a small construction company in 2019.  I love our communities, neighborhoods, and especially our houses. We are lucky to live in an architecturally diverse city where you can find almost any style of home and many vintage homes, some dating back to the 1800s. This can prove overwhelming for a lot of people, but I love these old houses and have an abundance of knowledge to help my clients navigate without fear.  I believe in real estate as the most important investment we can make for longitudinal wealth and want to help everyone realize that potential. For this reason first time homebuyers hold a special place in my heart, I love getting people started on that journey. The truth is I love it all. Seasoned investors who just want to talk numbers? Great. Coordinating with empathy and kindness to handle an estate? Yes please. Working with sellers to prepare their homes and finding the right way to say goodbye? Absolutely. I love it all. When I’m not obsessing over houses or helping my clients prepare for their next move you can find me hiding out in the mountains or at the beach, traveling internationally, re-learning the piano, meeting new people, attempting to keep house plants alive, exploring Portland neighborhoods, and supporting local businesses. I bought my dream house in North Portland where I live with my dog Arnold and the worlds most talkative cat John Meowkovich. I’m always taking on some sort of life endeavor and have been part of starting a food truck, owning and developing a small farm property, and writing a children’s book. “Can’t Stop - Won’t Stop” should probably be my motto. My adult daughter is an amazing human that brings me great joy. I couldn’t be more proud.  
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