Down the street from me is a HUGE Victorian house for rent that I`ve been eyeballing very hard. It`s on the national historic register and was a bed and breakfast until about a year ago.
The rent is about 3x more than I`m paying now, and I absolutely cannot afford to pay that yet, but get this -- it has EIGHT bedrooms, FOUR full bathrooms, and is zoned business/commercial. It`s right downtown and is less than a block from the library, the post office, the farmers market, my bank, and all kinds of restaurants and shops. Because it`s zoned commercial, I would be able to get a real sign to hang out front, and accept walk-in clients, which I can`t do now. I would also have room to expand my business into other things beyond graphic design which I`ve been putting off for lack of space.
Here`s what I`m thinking.... because it`s zoned commercial and is so close to everything, I think I might have a good chance at renting the upstairs bedrooms as offices and cover the full rent, essentially reducing my own rent to zero or even making some money on it. I can set up my own living space and office on the main floor, which would completely rock because my office would have a real fireplace.
The risk is that if I can`t sublease at least a couple of the rooms, I`m totally screwed.
What do you think? Are the potential benefits worth the risk?
You can see a picture of the house here: http://www.bellefontearts.org/Virtual_walk/Hamilton.htm
(you can`t tell from the picture, but that front porch is big enough to put a nice big table and have meetings with my clients outside. How sweet is that! There`s also a servants` quarters in the back that comes with it, currently used for storage, which I could probably also use for business purposes somehow.)