Room to let

I’ve got a room to rent in my house. I’ve been having a hard time filling it: I’ve been advertising the vacancy for a little over a month. Usually doesn’t take this long to find a renter, and this time, I’ve had very few respondents to my ad (and fewer who are remotely appropriate). It makes me wonder whether the lousy local economy is causing an exmigration of people looking for greener pastures, though I’m not sure where that’d be. Well, I’ve always complained about Austin getting too big. Guess I’m getting what I wanted.

I did have one likely suspect at the end of last month. A tall, attractive woman in her late thirties. Self-employed, she had recently moved here from San Francisco hoping to find a new market. She liked the place, and after calling her references, I was satisfied with her. I offered her the room, and she said she’d drop off the deposit check the next day. She didn’t. She called me to tell me she was moving back to San Francisco instead.

A few days ago, another candidate came by. A tall, attractive woman in her late thirties. Self-employed, she had recently moved here from Tennessee. She was enthusiastic about the place. I checked her references and was satisfied. I e-mailed her, offering her the room. No reply for over a day. Then she writes back to tell me she was moving back to Tennessee.


I’ve got a woman who just moved here from Houston coming by tomorrow…

6 thoughts on “Room to let”

  1. Try renting six or seven rooms in your house some time. That’s what I tried in my large, 3,000 square foot house in North Austin for a while. It ended in a nightmare with me selling the place.

    Warning, don’t try this at home.

    For about two years it worked and I was getting $2,800 a month income and some pretty good people. Then the bottom fell out of the rental market and signs started popping up around town that said things like “Six months free rent”. And I was stuck with begging whoever came along to rent and had to cut the rent to $350 a month plus utils.

    The quaility of candidates went down, there weren’t many to choose from anymore. And the beer parties started. And one time a guy drained the huge pool in the backyard completely dry to change an underwater light without asking! This cost me at least $150 to fill the pool back up. My garage got robbed at another wild party. It got crazy, wild, weird and too much to handle. I sold out by the skin of my teeth.

    So now I’m renting rooms in a 3,000 square foot 8 bedroom house that I built next to my home. And now I don’t have to sweat high mortgage payments and living somewhere else. And it’s working out pretty well. I just take as long as it takes to find and keep good people. And I’m able to put up quite a few people for SXSW for a couple of weeks each and provide them with spacious bedrooms with walk in closets, private baths, net connected computers and tivos. I can tweak it, work on it, keep improving it. Too late this year, but next year I want to have a little webvillage for SXSW and offer it for an extremely low rental to some creative webbed type people.

  2. I’ve oft fantisized about starting geek communes… Groups of geeks living in a geek-house, sharing rent, growing food in the backyard (cultivated by robots, naturally), doing projects that they release to the community.

    How far are you from “the city?”

  3. Treyvaud Jean-François

    Dear Sir,

    I am coming in the universitiy of Austin to study the MoT masterprogram from the 1er June to the 12 July.

    I search a room for 6 weeks near the university.

    Do you have some room to let for me or do you advise me where to go.

    I am a swiss citizen 46 years old.

    Bests regards


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