Author Topic: Consultant traveling during the week - extra rental income while out of town?  (Read 6654 times)

fumanchu282

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wondering what everyone thinks about this idea. I think it's probably a little out there, but we'll see.

I'm currently 23 and have been living at home with my parents since I graduated college about 15 months ago. I've had a nice job in IT consulting the whole time and they don't charge me rent and I don't have a car, so I've been saving 75-80% of my pay after taxes

Since I'm in the consulting industry, I travel Monday-Thursday most weeks (leaving Monday morning at the crack of dawn and returning Thursday late) and only spend Thursday-Sunday nights at home. And I spend every other weekend traveling to see my girlfriend. It doesn't make a lot of sense to pay rent on a place that I won't be staying in for most of the week, so living at home has been working out well. Still though, it will be time to fly the coop within the next year.

I live in the Chicago suburbs right now in a very affluent neighborhood, and when I move out I want to move to the city of Chicago. Whenever I run the numbers, it's really a tough pill to swallow that I'll have to start dumping so much money in to rent, especially for what will effectively be a lifestyle deflation. I had a thought though: what if I tried to rent my apartment out via AirBnB on the nights that I'm not there? It seems to me that it would be prime time for business travelers to be staying, especially if the apartment was in close proximity to the Loop.

This extra income could enable me to rent a nicer apartment than I could otherwise afford, but that would be risky because there's no guarantee of income from AirBnB renters. Similarly, I was thinking that maybe I could buy a condo downtown, but then I'm on the hook for 30 year of payments, and who knows how long until AirBnB is regulated to death. Also, I realize that it's pretty anti-Mustachian to attempt to buy a bigger place that is absolutely necessary. But what if I buy a condo with and extra bedroom, AirBnB it, and keep the condo for a number of years as a rental property if I decide to move? Has anyone else had reliable success with AirBnB? I think it's probably a bad idea to buy something above my means by relying on such an unreliable source of income? Is the time commitment to clean and prep the place even worth the extra income? Would that time be better spent in some other sort of potentially-money-making side venture? When it comes time to look for apartments, should I try to strategize for rentability, or should I just rent what is best for me and if I can rent it out during the week, that's just gravy on top?

MissStache

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If I was in your situation I would try to move in with a roommate.  It kinda sucks, but given how rarely you are home you certainly wouldn't have to deal with the other person much.  And you would be a DREAM roommate.  Imagine someone paying you when they are only there 6 days a month! 

Personally, Airbnb makes me super nervous.  I wouldn't want strangers in my house if I wasn't there to monitor the situation.  YMMV, of course.


seattlecyclone

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If I was only in town four nights every other week, I would consider just renting a hotel room or AirBnB room on those nights. You could pick a place near the airport for Sunday and Thursday nights to cut down on travel time and maximize your sleep on days when you travel at odd hours. Then stay in the city on Friday and Saturday. If you stay in a low-to-mid-market hotel, this should be way cheaper than the rent on a one-bedroom apartment near the Loop. You may be able to do a bit better financially by using AirBnB to sublet the extra time, but it just seems like a lot of risk and hassle for too little reward.

A roommate is a good idea too, especially if you can find a place with a small second bedroom and you can negotiate to pay less than half of the rent.

neoptolemus412

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Buying -

Consulting is a very demanding career.  I wouldn't buy a place until you get out of consulting or move up to a manager role.  I know too many consultants stuck with a house that they see 1/3 of the time.  Most people burn out of consulting due to the travel.  I'd stay at home until you are certain consulting is your l/t career path.  Just stock pile the money at home as long as possible.  Trust me, your social life will be fine & when you leave consulting (everyone leaves), you'll have the excess cash to put down on a place or invest.

Renting -

Again, stay at home rent free.  If you must rent, get a roommate.  It's easier to find a nice 2 bedroom for a reasonable price than a nice one bedroom.  Find another consultant or get together with 3/4 to rent a house.  This will effectively cut down on some joint costs. 

CupcakeStache

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Most people burn out of consulting due to the travel.  I'd stay at home until you are certain consulting is your l/t career path.  Just stock pile the money at home as long as possible.  Trust me, your social life will be fine & when you leave consulting (everyone leaves), you'll have the excess cash to put down on a place or invest.

This. You're young - enjoy the travel and stockpile the cash! You might meet people or visit places that will change your mind about where you want to live. When you get to the point where you're ready to stop traveling for work (everyone does!), you'll have a stache of money that will allow you to easily rent or buy.

ChiStache

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"or should I just rent what is best for me and if I can rent it out during the week, that's just gravy on top"

Yes, this. Rent what is best for you and if you can rent it out during the week, that's gravy.

First, props for thinking creatively about how to keep your housing costs low - that's smart.  I rent part of my home on AirBNB in Chicago, and here's my two cents.  Your situation presents a couple challenges.  First, you'd be renting mid-week: there's less demand for those times, most visitors want a place for the weekend. Second, in either a rental or a condo you're going to have to deal with other people who may object to you hosting on AirBNB. Most landlords aren't cool with it, and most HOAs aren't cool with it. (I have a single family home, so that's how I avoid that.)

If I were you, I'd get a cheap rental and work on building a stash. Then, if you like Chicago and decide you want to live here long term, buy a two-flat or single family home with a basement apartment, and use that to start earning rental income.