Given how difficult it can be to find one, everyone knows you own gold if you own a Boston parking space.
How do you spin that gold into more gold? There are a few ways to make money off a parking space in Boston and its environs. (And, besides, people don’t really need a car themselves in the Boston area, do they? Perhaps make ditching yours a New Year’s resolution—you’ll be doing your bit to reduce the region’s notoriously bad traffic.)
We should note up top, though, that one of these ways does not involve Zipcar. The nation’s largest urban car-sharing service will work with businesses, municipalities, and other entities such as universities and developers to secure parking spots for their vehicles, but Boston-based Zipcar does not make a practice of purchasing spaces from individuals.
Nevertheless, there are ways for individuals to work with private firms to cash in on parking. Read on.
Sell it to an individual. This is probably the most straightforward way: Simply sell the space to another person via sites such as Craigslist and through social media. Parking spots in the region’s denser areas go at a particular premium given that it’s often difficult to find parking in these locales—think downtown Boston’s commercial hubs.
There is one big caveat, though. Condo associations may not allow an owner to sell his or her parking space to someone outside of the condo development. This option, then, might be best for people who own a space in a lot or a garage (although owning a spot in either a lot or a garage will become increasingly less common in Boston).
Rent it long-term to an individual. Same concept as the above option—with the same sites at your disposal—though with the same caveat: Condo associations may not allow long-term rentals of parking spaces to people beyond the building.
Also, with long-term leasing, it’s all about finding the right kind of tenant—one who will pay regularly throughout the length of the lease and not skip out.
Rent it short-term through a service. This is the option for those skittish about finding that right kind of regularly paying tenant. There are services such as SpotHero, Spacer, and Parking Spotter that facilitate short-term rentals, including for spaces near special events. Think Airbnb, but for parking, not apartments.
These services do charge a commission—SpotHero’s runs to 20 percent—but they give the lessor some distance.