There’s $6 Billion Being Wasted in America’s Spare Bedrooms
Life + Money

There’s $6 Billion Being Wasted in America’s Spare Bedrooms


If Americans put their spare bedrooms to use as rentals—rather than junk rooms, man caves or craft stations—they could pocket as much as $6.2 billion a week.

A new analysis from found there are over 9.4 percent more bedrooms in the U.S. than people -- 357 million bedrooms  but only 323.4 million people. That leaves at least 33.6 million spare rooms. And there are likely even more extra bedrooms since many couples share a room, the analysis concluded.

These rooms could earn $184 a week, the average rate for private rooms on AirBnB. That translates to almost $10,000 a year if the rooms were rented year-round.

“When I was trying to save money, instead of cutting spending out of my life, I looked for ways to try to earn more money,” says CEO Fred Schebesta, who rents out his spare room through AirBnB, a move that has enriched his wallet and his life. “I’ve met some very interesting people over the years,” he says.

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Americans in bigger cities could get significantly more than the national average. For example, Phoenix residents can get $338 a week ($17,576 a year), while people in Nashville, Tenn., can rake in $572 a room per week to the tune of nearly $30,000 a year.

There are crucial steps to take before posting an advertisement for your bedroom. If you’re a renter, check your lease for rules regarding subleasing; homeowners should check local and state laws regarding renting extra rooms.

Make sure your homeowners or renters insurance policy covers tenants. If not, services like AirBnB often offer their own policies that cover your home and possessions and liability if guests get hurt. Take the extra step of doing background checks on potential guests and securing any valuables in your home. Ask for a security deposit or advance rent to protect from a delinquent tenant.