Arizona couple renting out backyard in order to pay bills

LITCHFIELD PARK, AZ - Facing a down economy and slumping housing market, a Valley couple decided to make their home pay for itself.

Dottie Sosnicki has owned a 17,000-square-foot home in Litchfield Park for the past four years. She is a realtor while her husband is a custom home builder.

"The economy happened and he really hasn't built a custom home in about four years now," Sosnicki said.

Sosnicki and her family could barely afford to pay their bills, so they began renting out their backyard, which has a playground, pool, waterslide, basketball court and even a miniature pony.

"I started telling people they could have parties, weddings, different things like that," she said.

Sosnicki said they recently have seen a rise in business, with plenty of groups booking events on the weekend. They charge $10 a person in a group of at least 35 people for four hours.

"We needed some way to continue making our house payment and paying our bills," she said.

The family has seen various groups come through, from birthday parties to weddings, and they recently even played host to Kurt Warner. Sosnicki said it is a blessing to still be living in their home.

"I prayed about it, my husband prayed about it and I just know God was telling us he was going to work out a way to keep us in our home," she said.

Whoever's idea it was, it's paid off, and Sosnicki just hopes it keeps paying the bills.

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