Yes, You Can Live Rent Free
Starting Out editor Erin Burt resurfaced a popular past column, Yes, You Can Live Rent Free, for her 2009 Grad Guide to the Real World. The options she offers are great for anyone looking to temporarily cut housing expenses.
One of the more clever ways to do this is by house-sitting, a pursuit that may give an edge to adults with more life experience.
Homeowners may own multiple properties or find themselves on extended leave due to a job or planned sabbitacal. They may find it valuable to have someone maintain their home (and sometimes land, too) in exchange for room and board instead of renting it out -- and becoming landlords who may have to pay a local management company to keep an eye on the property.
There are Web sites that specialize in connecting house sitters with home owners:
HouseCarers.com: Expect to pay $45 for 12 months of access to listings.
Caretaker Gazette: Subscription charges are $30 for 12 months of online access. The print edition costs more.
SabbaticalHomes.com: The service is free for students and $15 for non-academics. However, this site also requests an additional contribution if you find a housing arrangement.
Find out more about house sitting and other rent-free options in Erin Burt's column, Yes, You Can Live Rent Free.