Author Topic: Anyone else host on Airbnb?  (Read 12286 times)

ValueIsWhatYouGet

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Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« on: February 18, 2015, 12:34:19 PM »
I'm new to the forums, so forgive me if this has already been touched on, but I'm curious if there are others who are Airbnb hosts too? I started a little over 3 years ago as a way of replacing a roommate temporarily. It proved to be very lucrative so I now no longer pay any rent, and just save the difference every month.

Has anyone else been successful in reducing their housing costs this way? Also wondering if anyone has purchased real estate solely as a vacation rental and if so, how that experience has been so far.

orangenotebook

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2015, 12:47:22 PM »
Airbnb was VERY profitable for me and it was a very great experience EXCEPT that I got bed bugs. After fighting Airbnb they reimbursed me for professional cleaning and getting a mattress/box spring encasement which I recommend you getting.

Lots of great people, good money, nothing was ever stolen, and my apartment was usually more clean than where I left it!

Hope that helps :)

miss snow

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2015, 01:21:07 PM »
We have a separate room we rent out on AirBNB. It paid half our mortgage last year! We love AirBNB and haven't had any problems (yet).

ValueIsWhatYouGet

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2015, 01:28:41 PM »
Which cities are you located in? I'm curious how the market is outside of top tourist destinations (NYC, SF, LA, Chicago)

orangenotebook

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2015, 01:31:27 PM »
Downtown Columbus, Ohio for me :)

miss snow

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2015, 01:33:21 PM »
Seattle

bananagram

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2015, 01:40:00 PM »
Just to clarify, you were renting out a room in the place that you were renting? What are the legalities involved in this? I assume most landlords wouldn't be to keen on it.

orangenotebook

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2015, 03:05:35 PM »
I was renting out my whole apartment in 2013-2014. Don't ask, don't tell was my philosophy I don't know the consequences, but if my landlord found out (they own tons of property), I was just going to stop.

Reyes01

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2015, 09:44:32 PM »
Why would Airbnb be responsible for the bed bugs?

ValueIsWhatYouGet

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2015, 07:41:39 AM »
I was renting out my whole apartment in 2013-2014. Don't ask, don't tell was my philosophy I don't know the consequences, but if my landlord found out (they own tons of property), I was just going to stop.

Kind of how I operate, although I only rent out a spare bedroom and not the entire place which from what I can tell is "legal". The law around this stuff is really grey at best though

gales78

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2015, 01:24:32 PM »
I'm in the Oklahoma City suburbs, and we are currently renting to our second guest. The first guests were from France and very nice. The current guest is great too. Everything is going well so far. Hope we never get bed bugs or found out by our HOA (not sure if it's allowed).

We are charging less than market to get some initial guests and good reviews.

Have you guys found that when you get more good reviews you can charge more?

ValueIsWhatYouGet

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2015, 07:41:53 AM »
I'm in the Oklahoma City suburbs, and we are currently renting to our second guest. The first guests were from France and very nice. The current guest is great too. Everything is going well so far. Hope we never get bed bugs or found out by our HOA (not sure if it's allowed).

We are charging less than market to get some initial guests and good reviews.

Have you guys found that when you get more good reviews you can charge more?

I think it kind of depends on the market. I'm in NYC so there are TONS of listings, so getting visibility can be a little difficult. I've been a host for 3+ years and got in just before Airbnb really took off, but I can certainly charge more now than I used to. I come up high in search results because I have a lot of good reviews so I guess people are comfortable with staying with me because I'm reputable.

Another thing to consider is hotels in NYC are insanely expensive ($300/night for a really crappy hotel) so even if I get $150/night, the guest is still saving on lodging costs. I'd imagine that the hotel situation in OKC is far more affordable, so your ability to increase prices might have a cap based off of that.

greenmimama

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2015, 08:34:12 AM »
We just rented for our first time and had a great experience, we rented the whole place while we were gone , we live in a small town in MI so I think we are 1 of 2 that rent here

ChaseJuggler

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2015, 01:21:26 PM »
We are thinking about renting out a room in our house. My gf and I pull less than 85k combined, and I think at this point increasing income is easier for us than cutting more expenses.

cashstasherat23

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2015, 01:31:44 PM »
Interesting...I am going out of town for one night next week, so maybe I will put up an ad and see if I get any bites for anyone looking for a last minute apartment for a trial run. I am right outside NYC, so hopefully would get some interest. I travel quite a bit, so if I had a successful experience, I could rent it out more frequently and make a nice side income.

Gockie

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2015, 09:03:35 PM »
I host in Sydney Australia, I've only been doing it since the beginning of December last year. So far, so good. Basically it has been fully booked. Brings in a lot more money than renting it out on a regular lease. There were start up costs in that I had to fully furnish it, buy lots of sheets and towels etc and then figure out how to do the logistics such as checkins and changeovers (I don't live or work anywhere near it). Having said that, Sydney will be coming into the quieter winter season in the next few months so it will be interesting to see how it goes.
Here's the link to my property:
https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/4532525.
Btw I'm happy to give Mr. Money Moustache readers 10% off the rates. Just send me a private message on this forum.
Linda

ch12

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2015, 02:16:16 PM »
@Gockie

Your place looks absolutely beautiful! You are obvious a great hostess, given the happy reviews you have. I may take you up on your Mustachian discount sometime. :)

Bob W

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2015, 08:35:05 AM »
I host in Sydney Australia, I've only been doing it since the beginning of December last year. So far, so good. Basically it has been fully booked. Brings in a lot more money than renting it out on a regular lease. There were start up costs in that I had to fully furnish it, buy lots of sheets and towels etc and then figure out how to do the logistics such as checkins and changeovers (I don't live or work anywhere near it). Having said that, Sydney will be coming into the quieter winter season in the next few months so it will be interesting to see how it goes.
Here's the link to my property:
https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/4532525.
Btw I'm happy to give Mr. Money Moustache readers 10% off the rates. Just send me a private message on this forum.
Linda

Nicely done!

NICE!

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2015, 09:15:45 AM »
Aren't you supposed to pay taxes on this now? Are any of you doing that?

laurenfromsydney

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2015, 09:58:26 PM »
@Gockie

You place looks lovely !
I rent out a place on Airbnb in NSW too (Snowy Mountains) but i live near Sydney so it's 5 hours away
So far it's working out as a really good investment

We're about to head into our busy period so we'll see how it fares

Good luck with your rental :)

Gockie

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2015, 12:03:09 AM »
Thanks everybody!
I think, if you have spare space, go ahead and do it! There's plenty of upside, not too difficult.
Ch12, absolutely. I will be happy to host you with a discount.
Same for any other MMM Forumites! :)

@Laurenfromsydney, good luck with yours too!
How do you manage it, may I ask?

MsRichLife

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2015, 12:20:06 AM »
We've just bought our post-FIRE home, but won't be moving there for a year or more. We are planning on setting it up on AirBNB so we can get a bit of extra income while we aren't using it. There are two dwellings, a big house and a studio apartment, so we are setting up the apartment first. We plan to keep running the studio on AirBNB even when we move into the house. I'm very excited to get started.

laurenfromsydney

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2015, 04:04:21 AM »

@Laurenfromsydney, good luck with yours too!
How do you manage it, may I ask?

Hey there !
We use Airbnb for most our bookings & we don't have any keys. Our front door is keypad operated & our garage has a beeper to open it attached to the wall. There is also a secret lock box out the back where we have a set of keys (just in case) kept.
We're very friendly with the people who clean our place & they live in the vicinity, so they're kind of our back up in case anything ever did go wrong :) they also let us know if anything is damaged / missing / broken when the guests check out

NICE!

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2015, 09:51:35 AM »
So...is anyone willing to honestly answer the tax question?

totoro

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2015, 11:11:23 AM »
Of course you have to pay tax on the income.  However, you can also deduct expenses.  Basically Airbnb means that someone else pays our mortgages and we are slightly cash flow positive which we declare on our taxes.  You'd be foolish not to.  Airbnb keeps very good records of payments to owners and to try to avoid reporting this income is ill advised.

totoro

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #25 on: March 02, 2015, 11:20:59 AM »
Also, it pays in the long run to have very clean well-set-up places and leave a small gift for the guest.  We qualified for superhost status and all our places have 5-star ratings - bookings have increased as a result (I believe).

subbs

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2015, 08:06:25 AM »

lise

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2015, 08:25:24 AM »
Why would Airbnb be responsible for the bed bugs?

Also wondering why you would think that airbnb would be responsible for the bed bugs.  Isn't that one of the risks you take in hosting?


Zikoris

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #28 on: March 03, 2015, 11:01:00 AM »
I don't host, but wanted to throw a big THANK YOU out to all you people who do go out on a limb and risk renting out your places to strangers - I utilize AirBnB nearly every time I travel these days and have stayed in some fantastic, unique places for a fraction of the local hotel cost.

ValueIsWhatYouGet

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #29 on: April 06, 2015, 08:01:46 AM »
So...is anyone willing to honestly answer the tax question?

Yep, Airbnb tracks all income and sends you a 1099-MISC at the end of the year. I have separate rewards card for expenses (household items, cleaning/bathroom supplies, transportation, decorations, furniture, beer because I offer it to my guests) and I file it like I would any piece of income at the end of the year.

Airbnb has paid for my $80k of student loans and helped me get a startup off the ground, though it wound up failing. It's definitely put me on a great path to FI. Instead of paying $2k a month to live in NYC, I'm pocketing that and accelerating my savings.

If you're interested in reading more about being a host, you can read up on my blog: http://www.valueiswhatyouget.com/blog/2015/2/10/how-i-havent-paid-rent-in-3-years

Cannot Wait!

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #30 on: April 06, 2015, 09:13:46 AM »
Loved my Airbnb experience!   I met the most interesting people and made twice as much as I was making just renting to a room mate.  Also enjoyed staying at other Airbnbs.  Unfortunately my neighbours didn't like it so I am hesitant to do it again this season (We have a communal beach).  I raised my rate $2 every good review I got.  Was fully booked by the end.  Lots of laundry. 
I have 2 friends that got into trouble with their condos which explicitly states that they can't have short term rentals.  There always seems to be one crumpy-pants with nothing better to do than get into other people's business.

MgoSam

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #31 on: April 06, 2015, 11:46:27 AM »
I am looking to buy a two bedroom minimum place and so long as there aren't any regulations against it, I plan on listing on Airbnb. The reasons would be thus

a. Rent collected
b. Meeting new and interesting people
c. Flexibility of renting when I want and not renting should I want to be alone

I thought of having a roommate but after living in my friend's condo and knowing what he goes through (coming home from a long day, and seeing me on the TV and not wanting to kick me off it so that he can watch his show), I think it would be nice to have a roommate there only part of the time. I can always offer more times or less based on my schedule.

iris lily

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #32 on: April 06, 2015, 04:06:57 PM »
We have several B & B Inns in our neighborhood.

Airbnb plus economic downturn plus jacked up commercial rates for taxes (a local problem) is killing their business.

Very sad.

Zikoris

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #33 on: April 06, 2015, 07:38:06 PM »
We have several B & B Inns in our neighborhood.

Airbnb plus economic downturn plus jacked up commercial rates for taxes (a local problem) is killing their business.

Very sad.

Are other local businesses enjoying increased traffic from tourists who would not be there except for AirBnb though?

My boyfriend and I just got back from a long weekend getaway in a small town you need to take a ferry to. We rented a cottage on AirBnB from a local person, and spent money in local shops and restaurants and public transit and the ferry there. We probably would not have gone at all without AirBnB, because the prices on hotels are more than we're comfortable paying, we want a place with a kitchen, and we just feel more comfortable booking through a trusted service with tons of reviews and photos. We're planning on doing a bunch more of these trips in the future because it was so much fun.

ValueIsWhatYouGet

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Re: Anyone else host on Airbnb?
« Reply #34 on: April 10, 2015, 06:16:51 PM »
We have several B & B Inns in our neighborhood.

Airbnb plus economic downturn plus jacked up commercial rates for taxes (a local problem) is killing their business.

Very sad.

Are other local businesses enjoying increased traffic from tourists who would not be there except for AirBnb though?

My boyfriend and I just got back from a long weekend getaway in a small town you need to take a ferry to. We rented a cottage on AirBnB from a local person, and spent money in local shops and restaurants and public transit and the ferry there. We probably would not have gone at all without AirBnB, because the prices on hotels are more than we're comfortable paying, we want a place with a kitchen, and we just feel more comfortable booking through a trusted service with tons of reviews and photos. We're planning on doing a bunch more of these trips in the future because it was so much fun.

I host in a neighborhood in Manhattan that generally does not see many tourists. I recommend local businesses, cafes, restaurants, and shops for them to go to and many of them do. There is absolutely no way they would find themselves at these places if they were staying in Midtown Manhattan where the only options are chains and big box retailers.