How to Make Money With an Empty House (Complete Guide)

Published by Robin Esson on

Did you know that you could make up towards $10,000 a month from an empty house and for as long as I can remember a big majority of people have said that buying a house is a good investment, it really is something you should aim for. Therefore whenever people have had money they have bought real estate as a way to invest their money, especially the older people, so if you want to know how to make money with an empty house, keep reading!

What happens with real estate when the older generation gets older and the kids take over?
The drive to manage more than one property usually isn’t there and people are happily living in their bubble leaving houses to fall.

In 2008 we experienced a house bubble so big that a big chunk whole house market crashed forcing people to leave their house all across the country, leaving behind loads of empty houses. 
But what happened to those houses, well in some cases people still own them and some are sold to people who thought it could be a good investment for the future.

It is a great investment, but it might be hard to know where to start and that is why you are reading this article!

What is an Empty House?

How to make money with an empty house at the coast

An empty house (a house that is abandoned by it’s owners) is a building that is no longer used or occupied. So basically a home is considered empty when a owner has not occupied or lived in it for a longer while. In order for an empty house to be considered empty, there must be clear evidence that a owner has given up their rights to the property.

But a house does not have to be empty in a sense that the house is falling apart or that the house is infested with scary monsters, creepy animals and a smell of death. A house could also be unused because the house owners do not have time to take care of it. But it could be in great shape but no sign of people moving in.

Sometimes an unused property has been turned over to the state after several years of negligence or inactivity and will be sold after a while.

Different Types of Empty Houses 

There actually aren’t any typical empty houses, they are like any other kind of house but if you want to be able to locate and look for them it is good to know what kind of different houses on the market.

  • Single Family Homes
  • Semi Detached Home
  • Multi Family Home
  • Town Homes
  • Apartments
  • Condominiums
  • Co-Ops
  • Tiny 
  • Manufactured
  • Ranches
  • Cape Cod 
  • Colonial 
  • Victorian 
  • Mediterranean 
  • Modern Farmhouse
  • Mid Century Modern Style
  • Cottage Style

Can You Live in an Empty House?

First of all, living in someone else’s empty house is illegal and it is considered trespassing. So there is no legal way to live in someone else’s empty house and you really should think twice if that is something you decide to do. There might be different laws in different states in USA but that is something you have to look into with your local office.

But in this article about How to make money with an empty house I am going to talking from a perspective that you own the empty house and just decided to start using it for different kinds of money making activities. So if you decide to move into your empty house and live there is nothing saying that it is not legal to do so. Make sure you have insurance and all legal papers available if someone should find it suspicious when they start seeing someone moving around on the property.

How To Make Money With an Empty House: 7 Methods

So you want to know how to make money with an empty house and you have a house that you haven’t been using for years and you decide that you want to start making money with it. This is a great idea and there are actually quite a few different ways that you can use that empty property and make money.

First thing to think about is if your insurance covers all different ways you plan to use it, second thing is that you should be careful not to take on more than you can handle. Depending on the condition of you house you have to be ready to invest some money to make it attractive for you or people renting it.

  • Rent out your house on AirBnB and make from $30 to $400 a day.
  • Run a Bed and Breakfast in your house.
  • Rent out storage space.
  • Become a gardener that sells fruits and vegetables.
  • Rent out your home or yard for events
  • Start a home-based business
  • Rebuild the house to apartments and rent them out.

How Much Money Can You Earn?

  • AirBnB Renting.

Depending on what size and condition of the house you could earn somewhere between $500 to $2000 a month.

  • Bed and Breakfast

If you have 5 rooms you can easily make $250 per night and if you fill every room for a week, and you’re looking at $1700 per week.

  • Storage Space

A smaller storage space costs around $70 per month, while larger spaces cost $300 a month.

  • Sell Fruit and Vegetables

This highly depends on the size of your property and is hard to calculate.

  • Rent out Your Home and Yard.

This is lower compared to AirBnB but probably better because if you find a long term renter you will feel more safe over time. Income is somewhere between $500 to $2500 a month for the house and $100 to $500 for renting out your garden.

  • Start a Home Business

Depending on what business you decide to start from your home you could make $1 dollar to 1 million dollars.

  • Make Apartment to Rent Out

The median rent cost in the USA in 2022 for a 1 bedroom apartment is $1,876. 
So if you have 4 rooms that would be $7,504 a month.

You really need to think about how to make money with an empty house and consider all possibilities because once you start you will get addicted to the cash flow. Renting out houses in any different way is the number one way to make money in the world right now and it should be something you should look into if you own a empty house.

How To Find Empty Houses To Buy

How to make money with an empty house in the forest

You decided that buying an empty house is a good business plan and you want to acquire a house so you can start making money. But to acquire an empty house, first you have to locate one, which may be done in many ways. 

Where can I buy empty houses and who should I talk to? Is there empty mansions for sale?

  1. Look Around the Neighborhood

Look for properties that appear to be empty or deserted because this is the easiest way but it might be difficult to tell the difference between an empty property and an empty home but leave a note and see if someone responds. Signs of empty homes are unruly grass, chipped or faded paint, no cars standing on their driveway or if the place looks worn down.

  1. Ask your Neighbors

You can ask a postmaster or a delivery person if they encounter any empty houses in the area. Talk to your neighbors if they know any property that looks rough and unused. 

  1. Check with Friends and Family

Talk with your family and friends, the more people you ask you increase your chances and wider the network for you to find properties for sale. Sometimes the easiest ways to find objects is to talk to your network and usually those properties are easier to acquire when you talk to that owner and can tell them that you know the person who gave you this tip.

  1. Talk to a Real Estate Agent

If someone knows the house market it is a local real estate agent and if they have an empty house you can be sure that they will tell you about it, but if they dont you shouldnt be afraid to contact them once in a while to establish a good relationship. They might call you first if you played your cards right, some people need there house sold fast and can’t afford to have their house on the market for a long time,

  1. Local Property auctions

Look for local property actions in your area because due to federal laws, the government seizes real estate holdings across the United States. These properties are frequently sold in local real estate auctions, so find out when they are and where they will be held.

Is Buying Empty Property Worth It? 

Many people debate with themselves if it is worth it to buy an empty house but in most cases there is no question that it is worth it. Not only can you find a great house for your business but you could also upgrade from the house you own now to a bigger and better house. 

But it is not all great and glory, you need to know what you are doing and what to look for.

Common House Problems

  • Roof Condition
  • Reliable HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning)
  • Plumbing Issues
  • Water Damage and Mold Inside and Outside
  • Noise Level
  • A Good Foundation and Home Exterior
  • Outlets and Appliances Must Work

Where Can I Buy Empty Houses Online

There are some websites where you can easily buy empty houses, or atleast look for potential objects and then call the real estate agent for a meeting. The good thing about real estate websites is that they can easily cover the whole country and list objects across states so it makes things easier for you to find good buying opportunities.


Who Owns Empty Houses

Regular people like you and me, millionaires, companies, military, basically anyone who is allowed to buy a house. But an easiest way to find out who owns the property is to check your county’s property tax records. The best way is to talk to neighbors or take other steps to find out who owns that property, but looking into the property tax records is basically the easiest way.

Creative Ways To Use an Empty House

How to make money with an empty house in an old town

If you had unlimited money and wanted to do something creative with your house what could you do? Here are some crazy ideas for you to think about if you have money to spend and want to make your house stand out on the street.

  • Make a house spa
  • Turn it into a ghost house
  • Make a house hotel
  • Turn it into a escape room house
  • Make it into a frat house
  • A playhouse for kids
  • Laserdome house
  • Blow it up!

Vacant Properties vs Empty Houses

Usually your home are considered vacant if it is left empty for 30 to 60 days or more, so in most cases there isn’t any problem leaving your house for a short amount of time but be sure you have someone check up on your house. Most typical homeowner policies won’t provide full coverage for the property once it’s been vacated. 

Vacant properties are far more vulnerable to vandalism, arson, or simply to the impact of extreme weather, such as storm damage, or to utility leaks, which if unnoticed can severely damage the fabric of a building.

To classify as an empty house in most states at least two years must pass before property acquires this status and if that is the case most states have empty property units that focus on that collection, management, and dissemination of empty property. Empty houses are more vulnerable to vandalism, arson, impact of extreme weather or to utility leaks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How To Make Money With a Haunted House

If your business is to make money with your haunted house you can charge money from people who want to live in your house overnight. This method can be a really popular phenomenon and if you can get an influencer or Youtube to live in your house, that sure are free advertising.

Do Millionaires Pay Cash for Houses

Yes, everyone has to pay when they buy a house. There are taxes and different kinds of costs when you want to buy a house.

Is There Free Empty Homes

Some cities and towns across the United States actually give away empty homes for free or sell them for a really low cost instead of tearing them down.

What is Considered Abandoned Property

The house has to be abandoned for over 2 years to be considered an abandoned property.


I hope this article about How to make money with an empty house gives you an idea on what you could do if you have or want to buy an empty property. A house is and will always be a good asset so if you get your hands on one of these properties be sure to maintain it for whenever you are going to use it. Renting out properties has always been a great way to get passive income and earn money over time without taking much risk.


Robin Esson

Hey, I'm a project manager, how to make money expert and dad of two who's all about maximizing the money. From creating successful money-making strategies to managing projects like a boss, I'm here to share my know-how with you. But don't worry, I won't bore you with jargon - I keep it real and add a little humor to make things fun. Let's build those passive income streams and live our best lives! Follow along for tips, tricks, and a little bit of quirkiness.


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