Cash-strapped mansion owners renting out their rooms
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 1:44 PM on 3rd March 2011
It's tough at the top! Hardly anyone, it seems, can escape the grips of the current recession and even the wealthy are resorting to desperate measures to make ends meet. Across America, owners of mansions are trying to keep the banks at bay by turning their lavish homes into boarding houses.
Developer Brian Tuttle's luxury abode in Palm Beach, Florida, was his dream home, with hand-painted frescos, onyx from Bolivia, a spacious TV room and a dining room that can easily accommodate 16 people.
When his fortune evaporated in the housing crisis he had to find some source of income, so now he rents out six of the eight bedrooms.
'I had to make a decision. Either admit weakness, rent out the rooms and recover or give up,' he said. 'I don't give up. So I made the tough decisions you have to make to survive in today's economy.'
The six tenants are now paying between $600 to $800 a month, which includes utilities and the use of the swimming pool.
One tenant, Stephanie Grant, said she saw the room available on Craigslist.
'I had four friends read it. I said what does this sound like? They said, "I don't know, sounds like a playboy house". 'So I brought my mom. We checked it out and I got lucky.'
Msnbc.com reports that Smart Money magazine first spotted the quietly emerging trend, with former millionaires across the country making money from rooms. Alyssa Abkowitz from the magazine said: 'I think the trend is going on a lot more than people realise.
'It's not out there prominently because wealthy homeowners don't want people to know they have fallen on hard times.'