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Renting Out on Airbnb for Extra Money
Old 07-21-2016, 07:32 PM   #1
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Renting Out on Airbnb for Extra Money

I'm curious to hear if anyone here has had any success in renting out an extra room (or their entire place) on airbnb as a means for extra income (presumably to FIRE)? I am especially curious to hear from those in major cities living in "hot" neighborhoods?

I currently have a small 1 bedroom condo in a popular neighborhood in Chicago. It would be nice to have extra space, so I have often contemplated upgrading to a 2 bedroom while rates are still low.

I've thought about pursuing the 2 bed, where I would try to semi-regularly rent the other bedroom out. I could get anywhere from $80-$150 a night, I think.

Doing that just 3 or 4 nights a month would rake in some extra cash, but I don't know if it's worth plopping $60k down for a new house when I already have one with about $40-50k equity in it.....
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Old 07-21-2016, 07:42 PM   #2
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I understand renting the whole place but renting a bedroom in my home to strangers......Not only no but hell no.
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Old 07-21-2016, 08:44 PM   #3
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I wouldn't want to rent my #1 residence on AirBnB. But I'd be glad to rent my lake house across town for a fair price.

My residence has too many "pretty things" inherited from my family to risk destruction. My lake house is essentially empty of personal belongings.

We have a number of friends with condos on the Gulf Coast that rent them for secondary income. They've furnished them with marginal furniture because of all the renter problems they've had.
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Old 07-21-2016, 09:51 PM   #4
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The housing situation in Vancouver is such that a lot of homes have "mortgage helper" suites which are self contained suites with a separate entrance. Some owners are trying to capture a better return with short term rentals on AirBNB instead of finding a long term tenant.

Personally, I'd rather not rent our entire place out. I'm sure it's rare but you hear the odd story where the place is destroyed or some massive party was held at a place which was rented out.
+1 for Bamaman's comment about personal stuff around your primary home vs replaceable stuff at a vacation rental.

On the reverse, years ago before AirBNB, being on a budget, the gf (now wife) and I rented out a bedroom in Rome during our first trip to Europe. It was good experience as the couple we rented from was really nice and gave us tips for our visit. But I don't think we'd do it again as I think we're beyond that stage in life and prefer more privacy.
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Old 07-21-2016, 09:59 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by younginvestor2013 View Post
I'm curious to hear if anyone here has had any success in renting out an extra room (or their entire place) on airbnb as a means for extra income (presumably to FIRE)? I am especially curious to hear from those in major cities living in "hot" neighborhoods?

I currently have a small 1 bedroom condo in a popular neighborhood in Chicago. It would be nice to have extra space, so I have often contemplated upgrading to a 2 bedroom while rates are still low.

I've thought about pursuing the 2 bed, where I would try to semi-regularly rent the other bedroom out. I could get anywhere from $80-$150 a night, I think.

Doing that just 3 or 4 nights a month would rake in some extra cash, but I don't know if it's worth plopping $60k down for a new house when I already have one with about $40-50k equity in it.....
I could definitely see moving up to a 2 bedroom (your equity would probably grow faster) but you never know if your ward will vote to outlaw or greatly restrict short term rentals even if the city doesn't.
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Old 07-22-2016, 06:55 AM   #6
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If it's in your budget to go bigger go for it,if you want help paying for it, keep you eyes open for a compatible roommate. Many young single people room together to save money.If you can find someone you know thru work or socially it could be a win/win.
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Old 07-22-2016, 07:37 AM   #7
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Yes, we had a spare room in our Milwaukee home and had good luck with AirBNB . It actually led to a 4 month roommate rental to a UW graduate student.

We have stayed often in AirBNB successfully. In fact, we have one booked for Saturday.

I think offering a guest their own bath and some level of privacy would help in your success. But having said that, we have stayed in two bedroom condos, shared bath. It worked but still low on my selection criteria.

As for sharing your house with strangers or staying with strangers, it has been a positive experience for us. I would say we are. 95%+ positive. The negatives are mostly cleanliness not up to our standards. But can't recall people problems.
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Old 07-22-2016, 07:45 AM   #8
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We use vrbo when we travel and we looked very hard at the idea of short term rentals for our detached 1 bedroom granny flat when MIL no longer needed it. For us it came down to the hassle factor of tenant turnover being a big negative compared to long term renters.

The comment about worrying if your local municipality might change the laws/rules about short term rentals is valid. Here in San Diego it is a HOT topic - they (city council members) are looking at banning short term rentals in residential neighborhoods. There is discussion of allowing rentals like you are describing (if the homeowner co-occupies the short term rental) but banning whole house rentals. NYC has put pretty stringent restrictions on short term rentals. So make sure you follow ALL the rules if you go forward. Look at occupancy taxes (hotel taxes), business permits, etc.
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Old 07-22-2016, 10:02 AM   #9
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My wife and I are new to using AirBnB, we have used VRBO for Hawaii and recently Oregon for vacation rentals, not just rooms. Looking now for one in Barcelona for the fall. We have a large Log home and are considering the option of renting out one of our guest suites, but still concerned on the disruption with a guest. With that said, we just booked a week in Menlo Park CA through AirBnB. We do not intend to use the bedroom, only the bath and private separate entrance for the guest which is a nice feature. The owner is allowing us to drop our RV triple slide out camper and horse trailer in the driveway, saving us big bucks on finding a space even many miles away. We are doing some horse shows down there in in Aug, and this is biking distance to the show ground. So with this idea, we are considering a post on AirBnB to allow RV's to stay on our 7 acre property in the heart of Microsoft country. Similar to Menlo Park, our property is close to all the Seattle area has to offer and many RV'ers have a difficult time finding a place so close in to stay. We have friends who rent out their whole home which we would not consider.
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Old 07-22-2016, 10:42 AM   #10
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Our town prohibits short-term rentals of less than 26 days. Officials are using the rental sites to find owners who are violating the law (somewhat controversial, because the sites' terms and conditions prohibit creating an account for this purpose), but I don't know what the actual consequences are for the owner or the renter when caught.

Having lived next door to "summer people" for a few years, I doubt that this will help. Our neighbors owned their unit, used it for 3 months per year, and were awful and inconsiderate to all the rest of us without ever violating the short-term rental law.
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Old 07-22-2016, 12:52 PM   #11
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In denver, they are considering a rule that will only allow people to rent out their main residence on airbnb/vrbo etc. Otherwise, the exisiting minimum timeframe for rentals will hold. (I can't remember if it is one month or 6)

We try to use airbnb whenever we're staying somewhere for 3 or more days, but always the whole flat/home. Our experiences have been mainly very positive.
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Old 07-24-2016, 07:13 PM   #12
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I've stayed at Airbnb "private room" a couple times - it's been great as a guest.

Hosting might be a different story. I'd go do some Airbnbs as a guest to get the feel.

One house, the host always wanted to be there when we were there - which was fine - but I felt compelled to keep them abreast of my schedule - so they could "go out".

Doing it for fun and extra money is great. I wouldn't upgrade my house and be dependent on Airbnb income to cover.
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Old 07-24-2016, 08:02 PM   #13
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I would not make a real estate purchase that was dependent on continued AirBnB rentals without being very firmly sure that the location (city/county/state) had fully accepted broad terms for airbnb. It's still so new, and so much can change in the regulations to limit or change your income opportunity, your obligations as a landlord, and your bottom line.

Maybe if they'd been around 10 years, then ok, too many unknowns right now. Unless you can totally afford the place and would get it regardless, and the renting is just icing.
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Old 07-24-2016, 08:11 PM   #14
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I would not make a real estate purchase that was dependent on continued AirBnB rentals without being very firmly sure that the location (city/county/state) had fully accepted broad terms for airbnb. It's still so new, and so much can change in the regulations to limit or change your income opportunity, your obligations as a landlord, and your bottom line.

Maybe if they'd been around 10 years, then ok, too many unknowns right now. Unless you can totally afford the place and would get it regardless, and the renting is just icing.
This is exactly what I was going to say. Way too much chance of laws changing because the hotel industry is not happy about it. I would be careful with this plan.
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Old 07-24-2016, 08:18 PM   #15
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Friends in La Quinta did up a room as a craft area - stuck in a sink,toilet and shower - it has huge french doors that open onto a tiled patio. Guest access is through their front gate, they put up a screen to shield their living room and when guests are there the owners enter from the rear. We are a couple miles from Coachella and Stagecoach and that room rented for about $750/weekend. This fall they will rent it again when the Stones, Paul McCartny, Roger Waters, Neil Young, The Who show up for a couple weekends and shows the locals are calling Oldchella and Agecoach.

Temping to pick up some change from renting a bedroom at our place, but I'm just not that into sharing our house with strangers - our place doesn't have as defined and separated a guest space.
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Old 07-24-2016, 08:26 PM   #16
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Wow I just farted, hope the room renters didn't hear me........Oh wait, I don't have any renters, it's all good.
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Old 07-24-2016, 08:41 PM   #17
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Not going to rent airbnb. Afraid they will drink up all my booze -
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Old 07-25-2016, 03:24 AM   #18
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Long time hosts on Airbnb. We live out of the way. Not good to count on the money. We are selective as to who rents and when.
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Old 07-25-2016, 07:28 PM   #19
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I used to stay Airbnb with this lady who,had a 2br/2ba place that she seemed to keep occupied most of the time. She thought it was great and eventually had the same people coming back again and again.


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Old 07-25-2016, 09:03 PM   #20
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Our daughter rented out a spare room in her townhouse in Phoenix as AirBnB last year. A MAJOR disaster. YMMV.

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