HomeFree Thinking in Action

“We began in November,” says Jane. “We charge $67 per night. And we’ve had pretty much 100-percent occupancy.”

That’s $1,800-2,000 a month.  In most cases, that pays for a home (rent, mortgage, and taxes).  That’s also more than most people make working full-time.

More on this example from KATU in Portland:

  • Jane lives in Portland.
  • She, along with over 600 other dynamic homeowners, rents a spare room in her home via  This rental is “technically” illegal.  However, enforcement of the provision is usually only prompted by complaints by neighbors.
  • Of course, commercial competitors want to shut her down.  They want these homeowners to be put under the same rules they are subjected to.  However, due to the difference in scale (number of rooms), the city is proposing a fee of $150 (annual?) + collection of a 12.5% occupancy tax (more hassle enforcing than it’s worth).

At the end of the day, it’s MUCH better for Portland to have thousands of stable homeowners paying for their homes this way than a dozen or two corporate motels.  The smart move would be to scrap any plans at fees/taxes/inspections and just keep an eye on them to spot abuse (multi-apartment or multi-home renters).


PS:  Remember this chart? Put this income into the chart below and the cost structure for an “average” American household looks like it did in the 70’s, but at a much higher income (due to two incomes rather than one).  More on this…


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Discussion — 2 Responses

  • Burgundy February 11, 2014 on 6:20 pm

    I’ve been watching the BBC reporting on the flooding in Britain. Pretty amazing. The bureaucracy is really floundering and in complete disarray. The politicians turning up for photo opportunities are finding themselves berated by the public.

    Floods: soldiers deployed to Wraysbury forget their wellies and waders

    It’s always rained in Britain, but now when it rains it destroys the infrastructure, people are driven from their homes, services fail, politicians are seen squabbling and flapping while everything falls apart. The bureaucracy seems totally bewildered, out of touch and completely disorganised in the face of change. The people are left to sort the mess out by themselves.

    The future has arrived.

  • Chris February 11, 2014 on 10:38 pm

    600+ rooms being “illegally” rented in Portland – and the government response is to try to tax it. What’s next? Assault plumbers illegally fixing the pipes? Every day the world is looking more like “Brazil.”