Author Topic: AirBnB v. 6 month lease v. empty  (Read 1471 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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AirBnB v. 6 month lease v. empty
« on: October 08, 2017, 12:17:28 PM »
Hi Everyone!  Thanks in advance for any advice.
My fiancť and I are buying a single family home that has been converted into a duplex, one unit upstairs and one unit downstairs.  The units are currently unoccupied.  They have been well cared for but the kitchens and bathrooms are outdated.

Some background:  My fiancť and I each bought homes in 2005 and 2006 (before we knew each other).  In 2014, I moved out of my house and in with my parents.  I still own the house and have been renting it out for 3 years now.  SO also moved out and in with his parents and is fixing up his house to sell it.  He is doing most of the work himself and expects to be done in the spring of 2018.

We are set to close on our new house in November.  The plan is to move into the upstairs unit.  SO will finish fixing up his other house.  In the spring when he finishes up the other house, he will then update the downstairs unit.  We will then move from the upstairs unit to the downstairs one.  Then he fixes up the upstairs unit and we rent it out.

Our all-in mortgage will be $950 a month and we think once the upstairs unit is done, we can get $900 a month and the downstairs will be worth $1100 a month when we ultimately move out and rent out both units.

I canít help but feel though if we are keeping the downstairs unit empty for over 6 months we are wasting an opportunity.  The issues however is that unit has a wall oven that does not work and does not have a washer and dryer (which we plan to put in when we fix up the unit).
Some thoughts:  We could rent out the unit on AirBnB.  No laundry would seem to be a moot point.  But what about the wall oven?  Should we try to fix?  Or replace?  And we will have to furnish the unit.  Which is ok in the sense that we both own doubles of some stuff since we both had our own homes.  But we both got rid of our living room furniture.  So now we have to at least buy some furniture.  Plus I donít know what kind of interest we will have.  We are in the suburbs and about a half hour from the Philadelphia airport.  So not the middle of nowhere but not a tourist type area either.   I like the idea of trying this though because if it did go well maybe we would just continue on instead of ever having a full time renter. 

Option 2 is to put it up for short term lease.  This seems perhaps simpler.  But we still have the wall oven to figure out and I guess we just should say there is no laundry?  I do think we would have some interest for a short term lease but ultimately I donít see there being lots of interest.  Personally, I like having lots of applicants to pick from. 

What does everyone think?  Of course, option 3 is to leave the unit empty which isnít the end of the world.  We have been house hunting for quite awhile and we really didnít think we were going to wind up with a duplex.  So we had planned on buying a place and paying for it with no help from renters.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: AirBnB v. 6 month lease v. empty
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2017, 06:02:47 PM »
AirBnB is quite a bit of work, and unless the location is really desirable, probably not worth your time - just to get business (and charge decent rates) you need to spend a few months getting good reviews which can be a bit stressful.

I think that the best option is probably to just leave it vacant, personally.



  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: AirBnB v. 6 month lease v. empty
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2017, 03:30:49 PM »
Before putting the kibosh on airbnb, I would do at least some cursory research into the possible demand.  I've heard of some folks doing well in what at first glance appear to be unexpected locations.  Check for other airbnbs in the area- are the rents good and are their calendars full?  Are airbnbs legal in your area?     


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: AirBnB v. 6 month lease v. empty
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2017, 03:53:42 PM »
I would definitely do the 6 month lease, not ABNB.  It's far less work/hassle and less wear and tear on the place.
I don't think it's necesarily hard to fill a shorter-term lease. Every town has people who need to move out for a few months while remodeling their own house, and people who are brand new to town and want to rent a few months before buying or renting a more permanent place.  You can advertise it available both furnished and unfurnished to slightly increase the pool of applicants. I would go ahead and put in the new oven and washer and dryer, to avoid scaring away good tenants who expect these things. Either get the good new ones you want for yourself, or buy used ones on craigslist that you can re-sell for about the same price when it's over.