Author Topic: Airbnb vs. long-term renter - thoughts?  (Read 2353 times)

nereo

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Airbnb vs. long-term renter - thoughts?
« on: August 15, 2019, 07:58:13 AM »
Pending any major hiccups, it looks like we'll be moving into a new home which has a space we intend to rent out (details below).
Considering two divergent approaches, either Airbnb or finding a long-term renter (i.e. 1 year lease).

The space (as configured)
Private entrance with large 200 sqft bedroom, walk-in closet, en suite bath and large 14' x 14' 'great room'.  Shared access to laundry but otherwise this space would be completely separate and 'walled off' from the rest of the home and direct contact with renters could be effectively zero.  No kitchen (as of now) but I could renovate the 'great room' to include a small galley-style kitchen, which would turn the space into a nice, self-contained 1 bedroom apartment.

Airbnb
Gross Revenue:  Ballpark from what I've seen online, but I think $60-80/night (no kitchen) or $100-125 (with renovated kitchen)
advantages: could rent this out as-is (no renovation) with no kitchen space.  When not rented it could serve as our guest bedroom for parents/friends/family visiting. Seems like I could get as much money via Airbnb renting it out for 10 days/month vs. a long-term tenant.
Cons: never done Airbnb.  Not sure how much 'hosting' work it would be (e.g. cleaning, booking, etc). Taxes/Fees (no idea)?? Less control over who rents.

Long-term rental
Gross Revenue: $900-1000/mo (would require adding a kitchen - $$)
Advantages: stable and prediticble (we have experience with being landlords). better control of who rents.
Cons: we couldn't use that space for our parents (but we still have a smaller "office" room which could do double-duty). Probably would need a sizable renovation to add a kitchen (plumbing will be the major expense, the rest I can DIY).

Other thoughts?  What am I not considering?  If you could go down one of two paths, which might would it be and why?

Tuskalusa

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Re: Airbnb vs. long-term renter - thoughts?
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2019, 08:07:13 AM »
We have a similar space and are considering Air BnB, for similar reasons as you stat above. Posting to follow.

ginjaninja

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Re: Airbnb vs. long-term renter - thoughts?
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2019, 08:24:54 AM »
Maybe you Airbnb it for now without the kitchen rennovation, see how you like it and what the actual cash flows are, then once you have built up some cash for the kitchen remodel, remodel the kitchen and look for a long term renter?

I have a family friend who runs an Airbnb and it has been great for them.  The cleaning fee gets charged to the renter so you can choose to pay yourself for the fee or hire a service to do it for you.

The risks of an Airbnb are that it is for a short term property so some renters might not treat the property as nicely as if they were going to be there long term, but that is what the cleaning fee covers.  Get some cheap furniture that you do not care if it gets damaged and look around on the internet for the small touches that make it a great place to stay.  Some things that my family friend has done: left some board games in the unit for families who are staying, created a guide for things to do and places to eat in the area, got nice towels (cheap towels make the experience feel slimey), and a few other things that make it feel more welcoming.  Think about everything that you would want in a temporary space and provide it to your renter (within reason). 

It seems like the barrier to entry for an airbnb is way lower than renting long term.  Start with that and if it is not successful for less profitable than a long term renter, change strategies. 

erutio

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Re: Airbnb vs. long-term renter - thoughts?
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2019, 08:26:06 AM »
Since the space will need some major work first to become a long term rental, you could try AirBnb-ing it out, as is, at first, and see how much you like being a host vs a landlord.  There is no long term commitment.  If you don't like how hosting is working out, then take it off the market, and start your kitchen add-in.

August26th

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Re: Airbnb vs. long-term renter - thoughts?
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2019, 01:09:12 PM »
I have a somewhat similar setup and we’ve been doing the Airbnb thing for about a year and a half. It has worked out incredibly well, and we’re earning around $1,000 a month, give or take a bit seasonally. What I love about it is that I can block off dates anytime I want to and can save it for friends and family. That is very valuable to me, and I honestly wouldn't want a long term renter for that reason alone.

The learning curve to hosting on Airbnb isn’t all that hard. My town requires a short term rental license, and I pay quarterly sales and use tax and occupancy tax. Again, not a hard learning curve.... just took a bit of time to understand how to navigate all of it.

The booking, communicating, and cleaning is something we’ve gotten used to, and it really doesn’t seem like all that much anymore. We have a system down and each “turn” takes about an hour and a half. We do this ourselves. I loved learning a new skill in hosting on Airbnb, and I find it (mostly) fun.

I think it really does boil down to what your goals are. Consistent, no-brainer and no-hassle money? Probably the long term renter. Slightly more involved and maybe less consistent money, but you get to save the space for friends and family? Probably the Airbnb.

Either way, it’s a cool house hack. Keep us posted on what you decide.

nereo

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Re: Airbnb vs. long-term renter - thoughts?
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2019, 01:39:32 PM »
It does seem like Airbnb is worth a go for us for all the reasons listed, including lower upfront cost and the fact that we can try it for a few weeks and if its not to our liking we can just walk away.  We do really like the option of blocking out periods when we know family or friends might be visiting.

Spent a bit of time checking out other, similar options in our area and while most seem to have at least shared access to a kitchen, some have little more than what you'd find in your typical hotel room; coffee maker, mini-fridge, microwave.  That's easy.

Follow up question:  can anyone give a breakdown of their costs associated with renting on Airbnb?  Not just the taxes paid (which I'm sure vary from one municipality to another), but also what they typically spend on all the 'other' stuff?

cheddarpie

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Re: Airbnb vs. long-term renter - thoughts?
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2019, 01:54:56 PM »
I have a mother-in-law apartment where I do a mix of AirBnB short-term rentals and medium-term (2-6 months) rentals for travel nurses and other professionals. I've been doing it for about four years and before that rented it out long-term.

AirBnB is more hassle, but once you get it figured out it is pretty easy and it is significantly more money (especially in the summer months here in the Northwest). How much you make and how busy you are really depends on where you are and what the short-term rental market is like -- both regionally and down to your specific neighborhood -- and how much you keep up with AirBnB's pressure to provide more and more for guests (e.g., being a SuperHost and now the "even better" AirBnB Plus -- I'm both).

What I like most about AirBnB as opposed to long term leasing: being able to reserve dates for my own guests and family; meeting guests from around the world; feeling hospitable, gracious, and helpful to travelers from out of town (i.e., a "host" rather than a "landlord" -- a more collaborative rather than adversarial relationship); being able to scratch my nesting/decorating itch as a business expense; employing my cleaning lady at a very good rate and being able to be a good employer for her; and a pretty steady cash flow that covers my own living (housing/utilities/minor repairs) expenses.

What I like least about AirBnB: always having to be "on" and responsive quickly to messages; hosting with a smile even when I'm sick or having a bad day; pressure around reviews and the disappointment/frustration of the occasionally bad one (e.g., "Everything was perfect, but I'm not giving five stars because I didn't like the type of toilet paper provided"); uncertainty around future bookings; uncertainty around regulatory changes/restrictions; lack of transparency around AirBnB's fees and how much guests are paying; constantly changing metrics from the app and the overall rental landscape.

Shameless plug: if you're seriously considering AirBnB, feel free to PM me and I'd be happy to share my host referral code with you (a nice bonus for me) and answer any more questions you have or walk you through the various steps and requirements or provide more specific tips for your space. I have learned a lot along the way.

cheddarpie

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Re: Airbnb vs. long-term renter - thoughts?
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2019, 02:16:20 PM »
Follow up question:  can anyone give a breakdown of their costs associated with renting on Airbnb?  Not just the taxes paid (which I'm sure vary from one municipality to another), but also what they typically spend on all the 'other' stuff?

Startup costs will depend on your space, obviously, but consider a fresh coat of paint, carpet/rugs, mattress, waterproof mattress cover, and at least two sets of bedding per bed, sofa, table/chairs, kitchen items, etc. I furnished my place through a combination of Freecycle/Buy Nothing, Craigslist, Goodwill, and Ikea and did it all for a 2BR/1BA for about $2500. There are certain things not to scrimp too much on - comfy beds and seating options, fully stocked kitchen, thick bath towels, etc. - as this will come back to bite you in guest reviews. Star ratings drive AirBnB's algorithm for how your place gets featured in searches, so this has a direct effect on your bottom line.

Ongoing costs to consider:

- Property taxes

- Lodging taxes or other regulatory requirements: depends on your jurisdiction; in Seattle, I've spent I think about $150 on license application fees (one-time), but AirBnB collects all the taxes on my behalf so that is not a line item for me. I pay regular income tax on my earnings.

- Utilities: my rental space is not metered separately from my own space, so I don't know how much the rental adds specifically, but I would guess about 25%.

- Cleaning: I charge a $100 cleaning fees to my guests and pass 100% of this on to my cleaner. Once a year or so I have a deep cleaning of the carpets done, which is around $300 for the Stanley Steemer.

- Vacancies: I make significantly more on AirBnB than I do with monthly rentals, even with vacancies, so I don't consider this a big cost. I'm booked around 95% of the time. I block off some times for transition time and I also set my calendar for 5-10 night stay minimums, then fill in the shorter periods in between once I have the longer bookings set, which helps minimize open nights.

- Supplies: Around $10/mo. in cleaning supplies and around $15 per booking for the "welcome" items -- snacks, drinks, etc.

- Replacing damaged items, responding to specific requests from guests: Around $150 a year

In short ... once you get up and running, the ongoing costs are really minimal. You can scrimp on a lot of these but adding a little extra for your guests (nice toiletries, snacks, etc.) makes a big difference in terms of their experience and your subsequent ratings.



Dicey

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Re: Airbnb vs. long-term renter - thoughts?
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2019, 05:02:50 PM »
« Last Edit: August 17, 2019, 10:21:02 AM by Dicey »

waltworks

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Re: Airbnb vs. long-term renter - thoughts?
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2019, 10:11:26 AM »
We did something similar a few years ago - if interested I can dig up the thread.

Long story short: AirBnB was not any more profitable (for us) than long term renting. And it was a ton of work. At least in our area, we've hit peak AirBnB, it seems, and unless you have a really desirable spot (ie, walk to the ski lift/concert venue/theme park) it's not worth trying to compete with the zillion other people who think they'll get rich doing AirBnB and are renting their place for $40 a night.

Regarding cleaning: yes, you can hire a cleaner/charge a fee. Or you can charge a fee and clean yourself. But your guests will choose your place (or not) based on the total price including cleaning, so it's not free money. It can be VERY hard to find a decent cleaner who will come on essentially random days - most of the people I know who do big time AirBnB have 20+ properties and a full time cleaning crew.

I'm not sorry we tried it, but I also would say that you should very carefully track your time and effort as well as expenses (linens get trashed in a hurry and they're not cheap) to see how you're really doing.

The Paula Pants blog is well worth reading in it's entirety.

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nereo

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Re: Airbnb vs. long-term renter - thoughts?
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2019, 01:04:21 PM »
thanks @cheddarpie & @waltworks   
Exactly the sorts of experiences I was searching for.  I'll check out the Paula Pant Afford blog, and if you manage to dig up your old thread Walt, send it my way.

I think we'll give Airbnb a try since we can basically quit if we don't like it, and 1) limit booking to mutli-night stays and 2) not expect too much.  I certainly don't think I'll get rich doing this, especially adter reading others' experiences.

waltworks

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Re: Airbnb vs. long-term renter - thoughts?
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2019, 03:03:25 PM »
Here's the thread:
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/real-estate-and-landlording/your-thoughts-solicited-basement-apartment-conversion/

I suppose I should update it. We had the place rented since then for $1400/mo long term, which was super easy to do. I don't think we had any expenses (or work to do) at all over that period. So ~$15k/year for 100 hours of work, or ~$17k for no work...

Regardless we since moved to a different neighborhood so we don't have the rental apartment anymore, but we do have a basement at the new house that could be finished out as well. I'll think about that when we get to the point where we have the newborn under control, though.

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August26th

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Re: Airbnb vs. long-term renter - thoughts?
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2019, 02:52:17 PM »
It is noooooot a get rich plan as OP agreeably stated above. But for some of us, it’s a little bit of MMM badassity fleshed out. Airbnb guests pay at least half my mortgage in a HCOL area... not bad.

Rent it out when you want to, don’t when you don’t. Learn something, make a little money, and then turn it off if you don’t love (or even like) it. Bam.

Best wishes!

August26th

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Re: Airbnb vs. long-term renter - thoughts?
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2019, 02:27:54 PM »
Hey @nereo,

We got a booking last night that effectively completed a 100% occupancy rate for August. I blocked off about 4 days in early August to have a family getaway and not worry about anything.... which is again a huge factor for us doing Airbnb.

The August bookings will pay for our entire mortgage payment for one month (around $2000.) Wow. I feel sometimes like I’m winning the house hack game. I can afford the payment on my own, but the earnings offset a good portion.

We live in a HCOL area, in a college town, but we’re 15 minutes from the university. We’re in a quiet suburban feel of a neighborhood, so we remain a bit shocked that we have this many bookings.

And as a reminder, this is in our very home, with a basement apartment.

Freedomin5

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Re: Airbnb vs. long-term renter - thoughts?
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2019, 03:51:42 PM »
Ugh...we just started renting out our cottage AirBnB style (we have a property management company), and after three bookings, the guests have already stolen accidentally taken home pillows thinking the pillows were there, broken a stool, destroyed the cushions on the outdoor patio set (which we literally purchased only one month ago), and a sofa cushion has gone missing. We furnished the place very nicely, and some guests seem to think that furniture, cutlery, and kitchen utensils/dishes are free for the taking and included in the rental price.  Our neighbors also told us that one group rented our place and two other smaller places and then had everyone come to our place, which increases the wear and tear to our place.

My take...if you have a higher-end, more desirable place compared to others in the vicinity, and you are not on-site to monitor or at least be a presence to the guests, go long-term. Guests tend to behave themselves better when you are around.

Bobberth

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Re: Airbnb vs. long-term renter - thoughts?
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2019, 02:58:35 PM »
St. Louis just upped the property taxes on Airbnb's by 66%. They documented which properties were continuously being advertised/operated as an Airbnb and sent out notices that the properties were being reassessed as commercial instead of residential. Free tax money for the city without having to go through the bother of voting to raise tax rates. People are complaining and some are taking to court but it seems the city did their homework and unless the court comes out with a different threshold between residential/commercial, I expect the ruling to stand. If it does, I expect more municipalities to go after this "free" money. I've also listened to a couple of podcasts where New Orleans put major restrictions on Airbnb's, essentially shutting them down. I don't remember the date of the shows and maybe things have been ironed out by now, but be aware that Airbnb is now on the radar and regulations are subject to change.

CanuckExpat

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Re: Airbnb vs. long-term renter - thoughts?
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2019, 12:09:16 PM »
Sounds like you've made your decision, and it sounds reasonable. I would add you can get a good idea of how much demand you might see by checking the calendards or nearby AirBnB and VRBO listings to see how booked they are. The AirBnB route makes the most sense if you have relatively constant demand.

We've done similar in past/currently: We airBnB'ed our second bedroom before had kids. We liked the flexibility of blocking it off whenever we wanted the whole house for our own purposes.
As of recently we own a duplex. One side had existing long term tenant, other side was vacant. Our property manager asked us if we wanted to fill vacant side with long term tenant or use for short term rentals. We chose short term rentals, and offhandedly apologized about the extra work for her. Her reply was interesting: she prefers managing short term rentals, as she never has to get "involved in their life", as opposed to long term tenants.

Freedomin5

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Re: Airbnb vs. long-term renter - thoughts?
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2019, 09:02:20 AM »
Sounds like you've made your decision, and it sounds reasonable. I would add you can get a good idea of how much demand you might see by checking the calendards or nearby AirBnB and VRBO listings to see how booked they are. The AirBnB route makes the most sense if you have relatively constant demand.

We've done similar in past/currently: We airBnB'ed our second bedroom before had kids. We liked the flexibility of blocking it off whenever we wanted the whole house for our own purposes.
As of recently we own a duplex. One side had existing long term tenant, other side was vacant. Our property manager asked us if we wanted to fill vacant side with long term tenant or use for short term rentals. We chose short term rentals, and offhandedly apologized about the extra work for her. Her reply was interesting: she prefers managing short term rentals, as she never has to get "involved in their life", as opposed to long term tenants.

Why would you get involved in your tenants’ lives? Our family owns several units and we’ve never gotten involved in anyone’s lives. Likewise, my landlord knows next to nothing about my life.

nereo

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Re: Airbnb vs. long-term renter - thoughts?
« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2019, 09:14:05 AM »
Sounds like you've made your decision, and it sounds reasonable. I would add you can get a good idea of how much demand you might see by checking the calendards or nearby AirBnB and VRBO listings to see how booked they are. The AirBnB route makes the most sense if you have relatively constant demand.

We've done similar in past/currently: We airBnB'ed our second bedroom before had kids. We liked the flexibility of blocking it off whenever we wanted the whole house for our own purposes.
As of recently we own a duplex. One side had existing long term tenant, other side was vacant. Our property manager asked us if we wanted to fill vacant side with long term tenant or use for short term rentals. We chose short term rentals, and offhandedly apologized about the extra work for her. Her reply was interesting: she prefers managing short term rentals, as she never has to get "involved in their life", as opposed to long term tenants.

Why would you get involved in your tenants’ lives? Our family owns several units and we’ve never gotten involved in anyone’s lives. Likewise, my landlord knows next to nothing about my life.

Different strokes for different folks.  As a landlord who's rented out rooms in my home I've chosen only people I know and interact with because I trust them and know they can and will pay the rent and respect the property.  I've also been a renter to a couple who knew us very well and would invite us over for weekend cookouts.  I've also been a renter where I never once met the landlord - I submitted my payment and when things needed fixing I'd send an email and a property manager would get back to me.

I guess if the layout of a rental caused me to cross paths with my renter on a semi-regular basis I'd want to know them at least well enough to say hi and ask how things were going.  FWIW I feel the same way about my next-door neighbors.  As a unit becomes more segregated from my daily life I feel less of a need to 'know' my tenants. 

Freedomin5

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Re: Airbnb vs. long-term renter - thoughts?
« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2019, 09:21:09 AM »
Sounds like you've made your decision, and it sounds reasonable. I would add you can get a good idea of how much demand you might see by checking the calendards or nearby AirBnB and VRBO listings to see how booked they are. The AirBnB route makes the most sense if you have relatively constant demand.

We've done similar in past/currently: We airBnB'ed our second bedroom before had kids. We liked the flexibility of blocking it off whenever we wanted the whole house for our own purposes.
As of recently we own a duplex. One side had existing long term tenant, other side was vacant. Our property manager asked us if we wanted to fill vacant side with long term tenant or use for short term rentals. We chose short term rentals, and offhandedly apologized about the extra work for her. Her reply was interesting: she prefers managing short term rentals, as she never has to get "involved in their life", as opposed to long term tenants.

Why would you get involved in your tenants’ lives? Our family owns several units and we’ve never gotten involved in anyone’s lives. Likewise, my landlord knows next to nothing about my life.

Different strokes for different folks.  As a landlord who's rented out rooms in my home I've chosen only people I know and interact with because I trust them and know they can and will pay the rent and respect the property.  I've also been a renter to a couple who knew us very well and would invite us over for weekend cookouts.  I've also been a renter where I never once met the landlord - I submitted my payment and when things needed fixing I'd send an email and a property manager would get back to me.

I guess if the layout of a rental caused me to cross paths with my renter on a semi-regular basis I'd want to know them at least well enough to say hi and ask how things were going.  FWIW I feel the same way about my next-door neighbors.  As a unit becomes more segregated from my daily life I feel less of a need to 'know' my tenants.

Ah yes, that makes sense. I’d want to know about the person who is renting a room in my house.

CanuckExpat

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Re: Airbnb vs. long-term renter - thoughts?
« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2019, 06:09:30 PM »
Our property manager asked us if we wanted to fill vacant side with long term tenant or use for short term rentals. We chose short term rentals, and offhandedly apologized about the extra work for her. Her reply was interesting: she prefers managing short term rentals, as she never has to get "involved in their life", as opposed to long term tenants.

Why would you get involved in your tenants’ lives? Our family owns several units and we’ve never gotten involved in anyone’s lives. Likewise, my landlord knows next to nothing about my life.

I interpreted it as due to the transient nature of short term rentals, it was less likely that something life related would come up with would overlap with the property managers sphere of influence: ie job loss, family issues, extra kids, deaths, etc. A short term renter is in and out. It's very transnational.
I imagine most long term renters can also be handled hands off, but occasionally something is going to come up. Probabilities. (I wouldn't know, I'm not a property manager, nor do I want to be one)

MKinVA

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Re: Airbnb vs. long-term renter - thoughts?
« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2019, 08:45:06 PM »
My ciy is in the midst of adopting special fees and rules for AirBnB. Basically, there are about 35 rentals on the various AirBnB type platforms with about 5 renting more than 3 times per year. This info from the city planning office. Out of those 5, two have multiple complaints about noise, parking, etc. The city is using this as a reason to hire 3 additional investigators for the housing office and charge these rentals a few hundred dollars each year for registration fee, additional short term rental fees, taxes might increase because it is a business run out of a home, etc. I know one town in Virginia that charges taxes on the furniture and house hold fittings as if it is a business (business equipment taxes). They are trying to run AirBnB out of business. I find it outrageous that that is how local governments are responding to this. 

calimom

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Re: Airbnb vs. long-term renter - thoughts?
« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2019, 06:40:24 PM »
There are also intermediate options, like semi-long term stays for visiting nurses for example. Generally nurses or other health professionals will be in an area for a 3 or so month period and have employer-paid housing. They want a nice place with some amenities but they likely work all the time and could be great tenants.

nereo

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Re: Airbnb vs. long-term renter - thoughts?
« Reply #23 on: September 09, 2019, 09:52:23 AM »
There are also intermediate options, like semi-long term stays for visiting nurses for example. Generally nurses or other health professionals will be in an area for a 3 or so month period and have employer-paid housing. They want a nice place with some amenities but they likely work all the time and could be great tenants.

I tend to think anyone who wants to stay for more than a week will want a fully functional kitchen, no?  That's where our breakdown point is - either we do some considerable work to put in (at a minimum) a kitchenette with a working sink for long(er) term renters, or we stick with shorter Airbnb-type that won't mind having little more than a microwave, coffee-maker and mini-fridge.

calimom

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Re: Airbnb vs. long-term renter - thoughts?
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2019, 06:16:53 PM »
There are also intermediate options, like semi-long term stays for visiting nurses for example. Generally nurses or other health professionals will be in an area for a 3 or so month period and have employer-paid housing. They want a nice place with some amenities but they likely work all the time and could be great tenants.

I tend to think anyone who wants to stay for more than a week will want a fully functional kitchen, no?  That's where our breakdown point is - either we do some considerable work to put in (at a minimum) a kitchenette with a working sink for long(er) term renters, or we stick with shorter Airbnb-type that won't mind having little more than a microwave, coffee-maker and mini-fridge.

I think a super busy person may not really utilize a full kitchen, but of course that is just conjecture on my part. If there wasn't a complete traditional kitchen, adding an electric kettle and a toaster oven the other items might go a long way.

Car Jack

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Re: Airbnb vs. long-term renter - thoughts?
« Reply #25 on: September 10, 2019, 09:13:23 AM »
I guess this comes from growing up in a family where they ran an insurance agency....

Before Air BnB, be sure you are properly insured to do this.  As with gig stuff (Uber, Lyft, grub hub, uber eats), your insurance policy without proper endorsements will very likely revert to minimum (for car...liability at state minimum) or deny coverage (homeowner).  So a guest getting careless and lighting the place on fire could end in lots of damage that's coming completely out of your pocket.

Note that I recently asked my insurance company specifically about uber eats and they came back saying that I MUST have commercial coverage first at about $3k over what I pay now.  My college bound son wanted to do this to earn a little money.  He won't be doing any delivery jobs.  My state liability minimum is $10k per accident.  Hard to imagine what an accident with an injury would cost me.  Nope.

nereo

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Re: Airbnb vs. long-term renter - thoughts?
« Reply #26 on: September 13, 2019, 02:47:56 PM »
I guess this comes from growing up in a family where they ran an insurance agency....

Before Air BnB, be sure you are properly insured to do this. 

Funny - this was the same advice my father gave me. 
Seems we've hit a snag with the bathroom which will require some work before we can go either route.  Which gives me time to check our homeowners policy and determine whether we need additioanl insurance either for a long-term renter or AirBnB