Seattle's Queen Anne Neighborhood News Blog


Mompreneur makes ends meet…by moving out

September 29th, 2009 by Heidi

When Jill Dickinson’s husband finished his last job contract, she wanted to prepare for the worse-case scenario.  With two young children and a mortgage to pay, the Queen Anne mom began thinking of ways she could help make ends meet.  Then one night it hit her in her sleep.  The next day she posted an ad on Craigslist that read ”3 Bedroom CRAFTSMAN HOME for rent in heart of QUEEN ANNE”.

Packin' Shoes

By the end of the week, Jill had received ten inquiries about her house and by the end of the month she and her family were moving out for two weeks - and moving in with her mom in Federal Way.  Turning their full-time residence into a part-time rental has since become a regular money-making opportunity.


So far there haven’t been any problems with renters staying in their home. The only odd incident was with one family who moved all the furniture around and took everything down from the walls. Other than that, Jill doesn’t worry too much about people taking things. Instead, she takes pride in her shabby chic style. “Everything is replaceable, at least in my world.”

Empty Fridge

A week before renters move in, Jill starts getting cupboards “down to the nitty gritty” so there’s no worries about their food being eaten.  A rental agreement and up-front payment accompany her landlord instincts.

Cleaning couch

Each move usually means two days of having to “clean every little thing”, including blankets, comforters, and even the couches.  Jill and her husband also make sure life stays normal for their kids, too.  That means tennis lessons with dad every morning before school, with or without a commute.

Jill says that moving the family out just feels like going away for a long weekend and, financially, it’s absolutely worth it.  Renting out their house has been so successful that since their initial move four months ago, the family has vacated nine times.  Jill only rents out the house for a minimum 3-night stay, and rates start at $200 a night and $1200 weekly.  She has lots of tips on how to do it yourself on her website

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