Making Money From Home: DIY Dog Parks

NBC Universal, Inc.

With inflation at an all-time high, people are trying to find creative ways to generate more income to offset their expenses. An emerging trend is taking off – people are making money by using their home's own resources to cash in. And, yes, there's an app for that!

From renting out space in their driveways, to loaning out their campers, people are realizing their homes can be more than just a money pit. Andy Gonzales turned his backyard in Silver Spring, Maryland, into a dog park, and his customers love it.

"I thought, you know, we have a yard, a whole acre of backyard. We have it fully fenced. Our dogs enjoy it. Why wouldn't other people enjoy it with their own dogs, right?" Gonzalez said.

Gonzales uses an app called Sniffspot that connects property owners with pet owners who don’t have enough space to let their dogs run free.

"I make a pretty decent amount of money doing this," Gonzales said.

Customers pay through the app and set up times they’d like to rent the yard. Property owners can set their own prices; Gonzales charges $9 per dog per hour. The company takes a 22% commission.

"Now we're averaging $400 a month, just from letting people use the yard," Gonzales said.

David Adams, founder of Sniffspot, says before a guest can use the spot, they have to sign a liability waiver that protects the homeowner.

"We provide our hosts $2 million of liability insurance for free. It's included," Adams said. "So our hosts are completely safe from liability."

Before you turn your house into a money maker, check with your homeowner’s insurance company and ask whether additional coverage is needed.

Naturally, you should use common sense before downloading any money-making app; do your homework to verify the company is legit:

  • Search the company’s name with the Better Business Bureau or the Federal Trade Commission
  • Find out how long the app has been up and running
  • You'll also want to make sure it has a good track record with customer service. Read the reviews, and not just the good ones
  • Make sure they’re using a secure payment source, such as Paypal

As for Gonzales, the extra cash helps pay for his home's upkeep. But he says there are other perks besides money.

"It's amazing, because I think you can kind of tell when dogs don't have or are used to this kind of space, because as soon as they let them off the leash, they just take off running," he said.

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