This Startup Will Build a Studio in Your Backyard, Then Rent It

‘Rent Your Backyard’ is the perfect symbol of the Bay Area housing crunch

Rent the Backyard's sustainable units are powered by NODE
Rent the Backyard's sustainable units are powered by NODE
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By Diane Rommel / July 18, 2019 9:08 am

Desperate housing times call for desperate housing measures. And make for solid investment opportunities. 

You’ve heard about the 21st-century “SROs with snazzy websites,” the commutes from Sacramento, the apartments offering such luxuries as “stand-up shower,” the utter impossibility of affordable housing between S.F. and San Jose. 

But if you already have said housing? And a backyard at least 30 feet by 30 feet? And an openness to entering into a 30-year agreement for a studio apartment in your backyard? (“Don’t worry — you can also choose to purchase the remaining equity whenever you’d like without any sort of early termination fee.”)

Then maybe it’s time you decided to “Rent My Backyard.” 

Here’s the deal: Sign up for the program, and once accepted, you’ll get a brand new, sustainably constructed studio apartment, constructed largely off-site and assembled chez vous. Once that’s done, Rent My Backyard will stick that studio apartment in your backyard and then list the property, funneling residents your way. 

You get half the take. They get the other half. 

Said take depends in large part on location: as you’d expect, estimated rent varies. San Francisco is valued nearly twice as much as Berkeley; a handy calculator can tell you what yours might be worth. 

This won’t appeal to everyone. If you have a 900-square-foot backyard in San Francisco, you probably don’t need an extra three grand a month in exchange for the hassle of a rando living in your backyard. 

But if you’re looking to cover [part of] your property taxes? Build a little community? Make use of an unused space? Grab the money while you can. Check it out