Turning a Castoff Couch into $$$$

2015-04-24 10.12.21

I have a guest blogger today.  My husband Tom would like to add his voice.  I want to apologize ahead of time if anyone is offended.  Actually, if anyone is offended, he will look at it as Mission Accomplished!  Here goes:

Hip Overlook in heart of Cultural District – $48/day or $3/hour

our building

We live downtown in the building pictured at right above and have been in the midst of a homeless population boom.  Our politicians are helpless. Looking out the window of our apartment one early morning at the parking lot across the street, what did I see but an orange plaid couch in one of the parking spaces and I seized my opportunity.  I rushed down and put my credit card in to reserve that very spot.

pay to park

Remembering that we have a friend whose son rented a tent in the back yard of someone’s house in Colorado, I quickly listed it on Airbnb.  I was ready to not only help the homeless by giving them a couch to sleep on, but also cash in.

The response was immediate.  I had my first renter by 7AM.  When it began raining he moved on but another renter took his place.  I began to picture my bank account growing.  The second renter used his Oregon Trail EBT card at an ATM to pay for his 6 hours.  I knew then that I was in the system even if only peripherally so I registered my business with the city of Portland which was easy.  I was on a roll!  I had a steady stream of renters with terms ranging from 1 to 6 hours.  In my first 24 hours I generated $66!  At a cost of $10.50 for the full day, my first day’s profit was $55.50.  If I could do that over the course of the year allowing for some bad weather days, I could net over $18,000!  From a free couch and a bit of of my time.  Since I can see the parking lot from my apartment window, I’m truly working from home.

bum on couch

By day two word had spread and I had 4 guests on the couch and 1 standing by waiting for a space!  What demand!  Some quick math:  if I rented 10 parking spaces and was able to generate the same occupancy, I could generate $180,000/year.  I had visions of becoming a bum landlord.  My mother will be….proud?

4 bums on couch

That’s when my difficulties began.  The guy standing by didn’t want to pay in advance, fearing it would begin raining.  Also the 4 on the couch were getting belligerent as it did start to rain and I had to give them a discounted price.  I had already been running up and down between our apartment and the parking lot to collect from each tenant which was becoming a pain.  Now I had to watch constantly to make sure that Mr. Standby/Cheapskate didn’t find his way onto the couch without paying.

Homeless encampment

But then this vision appeared and I began to worry about managing my tenants in addition to collecting from them.  I spent a fitful night trying to solve my management and collection issues without success.

That morning we were awakened at 5:30 AM by a lot of noise coming from the parking lot. I knew it probably had to do with my couch so ran down to check.  Yikes!  A construction worker from the new building going up across the street decided to park in my spot.  And to do so, he backed into the couch with my tenant sleeping on it.  His truck pushed the couch back up over the curb and upside down on the tenant who was underneath.  The construction worker was quite smug about his accomplishment.  My tenant was very upset though when it began to rain I pointed out that he was now sheltered from the rain in hopes that he wouldn’t ask for a refund.  But worse!  He threatened to sue!  That was it for me.  I offered the couch to the tenant to settle his claim.  He accepted.   My attempt to help solve the homeless challenge was finished.

Let my guest blogger know how you liked his post with your comments.  Maybe it’s time to move?

6 thoughts on “Turning a Castoff Couch into $$$$

  1. JJ Bastien says:

    Those “campers” as our daughter explained to us are certainly growing!! OMG!! Glad you are moving…I almost believed Tom too!!

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