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Cha-Ching! 7 Surprising Ways to Make Money Off Your Home

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doghouse for rent ((c) PM Images)

If you're in need of a little extra cash these days (and frankly, who isn't?), you may not have to look much farther than your own home. Thanks to today's sharing economy -- as in, "share" with price tags attached -- people are reaping rich rewards by renting out some of the most surprising spare parts of their homes and/or belongings to perfect strangers via clever websites and apps.

We're not just talking about renting rooms or entire homes to vacationers on well-known sites such as Airbnb -- you've probably got that one covered already. But there's a myriad of more unusual opportunities that you might not be aware of. For example: Did you ever consider renting out your bathroom? Neither did we. Read on for a few of the more surprising things in your home that could start bringing in a few extra bucks.

Your yard

Earnings: $50 to $500 per hour (depending on size)

RentThisYard.com allows you to let others frolic in your yard, front or back. You can rent it out for events such as weddings, art displays, company picnics, campouts, band concerts, or even pig roasts. The ground's the limit!

Enthusiastic users say it's a lot more fun and less expensive than using commercial space. And hosts get an extra payoff for all the hard work they've put into making their gardens gorgeous.

Your bathroom

Earnings: $2 to $5 per visitor

With Airpnp, willing "entrepeeneurs" list the location of their available bathroom facilities, along with details like cleanliness, fixtures, toilet paper ply, and price per visit (usually about $2 to $5). When a user's "gotta go," the app alerts him or her to the nearest available bathroom, marking it with a cute little blue water drop on a map. It also lets the host know that a guest is on the way.

This app was developed after the creator spent a long night on the parade route in New Orleans with no public restrooms in sight. Although it's not available everywhere, it's getting more popular in cities with lots of foot traffic and public events, including Chicago, New York City, and New Orleans. But you can sometimes find convenient facilities along remote stretches of highways, too.

Your home cooking

Earnings: $25 to $200 per dinner guest

Feastly pairs those who love to cook with those who love to eat but are bored with the restaurant scene. Sign up on the site, and you can invite all sorts of new people in for a nice home-cooked meal, and charge them up to $200 for the privilege.

Some home chefs get really creative, hosting culinary events like a "Pop-Up Brunch Series" or an "Indonesian Bone Broth Hot Pot Dinner." With this site, you can turn your house into a minicafe any night of the week.

Your garage

Earnings: $10 to $110 per day

If you have a spare parking space on your property, either indoors or out, JustPark.com pairs you up with people who need auto storage in your area. You can rent your space for a couple of hours, which is especially popular if you live near a stadium or events center, or a couple of months to someone taking a long trip. Price and duration are set by demand.

What's in your garage

Earnings: $5 to $50 per hour (depending on the item)

We're not talking about becoming an Uber or Lyft driver. Websites and apps like GetAround and JustShareIt allow those who are not picky about their rides to rent them to the wheel-free among us, for an hour to several months. Since all cities worldwide are not yet serviced, you could be the first one in your hometown to lend a wheel, and perhaps be very popular. And if you're up for renting out two wheels instead of four, spinlister.com pairs you up with fellow bike enthusiasts who are not as wheel-endowed as you are.

Your shed, wine cellar, or other storage space

Earnings: $10+ per month

Got an extra locker, shed, or storage unit that is easily accessible? Sites like SpareFoot.com will help you find people with spare stuff to put in it. Other local sites, easily Google-able, will match you with people who just want a safe, clean, and sometimes climate-controlled environment where they can stash wine, clothes, furs, books, knickknacks, etc. This is popular with people who need just a little space, or would rather have their personal items closer at hand in a more convenient environment.

Your doghouse

Earnings: $25 to $100 per day

On websites like DogVacay.com and Rover.com, dog owners who are going on vacation can find accommodations for their pets locally, in private homes (or their doghouses in their yard), rather than in kennels.

If you're a pet lover who likes nothing better than petting, pampering, and playing with four-footed friends -- and have a pet-friendly home and time to care for and walk them -- this could be the ideal gig for you. It also gives your own pooch excellent opportunities for socialization.

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