Would you ever list an unused bedroom in your home on AirBNB or similar site? This is something I’ve been contemplating as I’m trying to get the guest bedroom finished.
I absolutely love how this room is turning out, and that’s even without the bedding and decorative touches. I think when it’s finished, it might be one of my favorite rooms I’ve ever done.
And while this will be our actual main bedroom for the foreseeable future, there will come a time when we’ll have our new master bedroom and bathroom, and this will be an actual guest bedroom that sits unused most of the year. I don’t like the idea of such a nice bedroom (if I may say so myself 😀 ) sitting unused. So the idea crossed my mind that I could list it on AirBNB. I thought it might be a safe choice because, as I understand it, guests are rated as well on sites like AirBNB.
I actually think the layout of our house would be very conducive to hosting guests. While the guest bedroom isn’t a suite with its own private bathroom, it may as well be. The hallway bathroom is just right there, and after the new master bathroom and bedroom are built, that area with the hallway, guest bedroom, and hallway bathroom will be pretty private.
The only other room accessible via that hallway will be the home gym, but once we have the addition built, that will be accessible via the master bathroom. So the doorway from the home gym into the hallway would only need to be used in an emergency. Otherwise, we could just keep that door closed. And if I can find a way to hang some pretty draperies on the cased opening between the music room and the hallway, that area could be a totally private guest suite.
Anyway, it’s something I’m thinking about. I think it would be fun to host guests in our home and put these areas in our home to good use once we’ve moved into our master suite. But I tend to romanticize things like that in my mind. In my dreams, I fancy myself a terrific host who’s always prepared for anything our guests may need, but in reality, hospitality has never been a strength of mine. So it would be something I’d have to learn and grow into, and it might end up being a total disaster. 😀
Matt and I do have some time to think about it, though, because this will be our bedroom for now. And Matt and I are in the same boat with millions of other people who have had to put plans on hold because of the craziness of 2020. I’m sure many of you can relate.
So all of that to say that this is something I’ve been thinking and dreaming about, but we still have a good while before anything like that would become a reality.
But I’d love to know if any of you have ever done anything like that. Have you listed a room in your home on a site like AirBNB? Have you thought about it? Or have you ever book a room in someone else’s home through a site like AirBNB? If so, tell us about your experiences!
Addicted 2 Decorating is where I share my DIY and decorating journey as I remodel and decorate the 1948 fixer upper that my husband, Matt, and I bought in 2013. Matt has M.S. and is unable to do physical work, so I do the majority of the work on the house by myself. You can learn more about me here.
I hope you’ll join me on my DIY and decorating journey! If you want to follow my projects and progress, you can subscribe below and have each new post delivered to your email inbox. That way you’ll never miss a thing!
BeckyJSeptember 18, 2020 at 10:36 am
I couldn’t do it. It would mean giving someone a key to my home and access to the whole house if I wasn’t there to oversee it 24/7.
ChristineSeptember 18, 2020 at 10:38 am
Long time reader, seldom commenter. I think you would have to think about what makes your home appealing to an AirBnB guest. Personally, I don’t think I would rent a room in someone’s home (what if you feel like you’re coming in too late? what do you do about food?) but I think where it is appealing is for proximity to other locations, and whether you are a tourist destination. I would consider it somewhere like New York, San Francisco, somewhere where I would be centrally located to other attractions. As a millennial (ugh), that’s what would be attractive to me. But maybe there is an appeal for others in differing demographics, so I would be curious to hear!
HeatherBSeptember 18, 2020 at 11:33 am
Waco is a pretty big destination these days, and I think you have plenty of readers who would be interested in seeing your space as much as Chip and JoJo’s Silos 🙂 You could always do a different lock–electronic or something–where the cod is changed after each guest. I see it as being like a B&B, except perhaps without the second B? LOL
GwenSeptember 23, 2020 at 9:03 pm
As a guest, I only rent spaces that have separate entrances and are completely private.
As a host, the same. Separate entrance with no access to my personal space.
LetíciaOctober 2, 2020 at 6:10 pm
I have rented my share of Airbnb’s. As long as you don’t invade your guests space and provide basic tools at the kitchen, it’ll be fine. Don’t promise a Mediterranean breakfast and the guest will manage to get their own bagels.
SabrinaSeptember 23, 2020 at 12:41 pm
I’d say Kristi, after doing your research if it seems like a good fit, go for it! I have stayed a few times at Air Bnb’s in homes and it wasn’t a problem. The hosts had a separate private space where they spent time and did not provide breakfast, yet they provided amenities for us and were easy to communicate with and were clear about the rules. You can screen potential guests to some level and make clear your expectations in the “house/guest rules” you list. It will also be important to note if you are open to pets, families, # of beds available, smoking/non, etc. I’d suggest adding a coffee maker, mini fridge and microwave. I suggest having good WiFi and the room is kept scrupulously clean. Your studio will be a draw, too. Usually you can get a feel for the person and their home via reviews, and speaking to the host. I’d probably enjoy staying in your home. It’s fun to meet friendly hosts!
sewduckySeptember 18, 2020 at 10:49 am
So rent a room/house services… I’ve heard good and bad. A sad secret is I’m active in my HOA (everything is a HOA near us, and better to fill the board with reasonable people vs NIMBY power hungry snoopy neighbors) One of the rules pretty much disallows rent-a-room/house. We had a home with responsible reasonable people screen and rent out their unused basement quietly. It wasn’t a problem, till teens wanting a night out rented. They tried to get into the wrong home, It sparked gossip, sharing of camera footage, more gossip, then the listing was found. Despite their efforts to keep it quiet, we had to ask them to stop. You are not in an HOA so this shouldn’t be an issue.
So, if you do rent out talk to your neighbors, so they know what’s going on, so they think good vibes vs bad. You never know you can host their in-laws for them. You are near Waco, it’s slowly turning into a touristy area, you’ll get people who *really don’t know the area* booking to visit the Silos and more. Honestly I’d recommend to rent to those doing classes at your studio. You’d enjoy the company, and less likely to have that odd guest, because they already have a similar interest.
Liabilities-Look into home insurance got-yas, and more. a financial guy I like Clark Howard goes over these things occasionally. an example article on the site: https://clark.com/homes-real-estate/7-lessons-i-learned-as-an-airbnb-host/
CindySeptember 18, 2020 at 12:14 pm
Years ago we did a bed and breakfast in a lower level of our home that was a complete apartment. Im being brutally honest when I say I would NEVER do it again. There is the endless cleaning, changing sheets, cleaning bathroom, etc unless you are going to hire someone, but that eats any profit. Our guests were all nice but I value my privacy too much to have different people in my home on a continual basis. It is easy to romanticize but in reality it’s another job.
KatieSeptember 18, 2020 at 10:55 am
I agree with Kristine above. I think your room would be great for a specific niche of people: conference attendees, maybe parents visiting college with a child who is staying on campus and don’t want a hotel, professionals in town for interviews or something similar? But in that regard, would it make more sense for you to market as short term rental for a visiting professor or student completing am internship? If income is the goal, that might be the most beneficial, especially if you could figure out a way to put a small kitchen set up in the hallway.
AnnSeptember 18, 2020 at 5:57 pm
As a vacation rental owner for the last eight years, I would never do it in my own home. Something about paying money makes people feel very entitled. While a majority will probably be pleasant and reason, the ones who aren’t will make your life miserable in ways you can’t imagine.
Jessica DeMotteSeptember 18, 2020 at 11:16 am
I have done the “rent a room” thing through Air B&B when looking at colleges with my daughters. It definitely takes a very open and easy going personality to be a host in that situation, I’d think, having guests enter and leave your home at anytime of day. The review feature of Air B&B is helpful, but you are still in a more vulnerable position, as are your guests. When I was a guest I read the “rules” and “about the host” section pretty carefully to make sure my goals and plans aligned with what the host required, so that would be helpful info to a potential guest. I like the suggestion above from Katie, to market to visiting Baylor families, crafters/hobbyists, or even a longer term rental for a grad student? Especially if there were a way to do simple meals in their room (microwave, coffee pot, toaster?). That was probably the weirdest thing for me: meals. The kitchens are usually “open” but when you are sharing that space with the host it can feel very awkward for a one or two night stay. We chose to eat all our meals out, or have a very simple granola bar style breakfast. One house we stayed in had an accordion divider which could be locked from the guest’s side, which was a nice touch since the bathroom didn’t adjoin the room.
Sheri HepworthSeptember 18, 2020 at 11:18 am
My husband and I stayed a week last summer at a BnB in Alberta, Canada. Best experience I could hope for. The bedrooms all shared one bathroom but that was not a problem. The breakfasts were delicious and we ate with our hostess. I plan to go there again when I go back to visit family. It was seriously the best experience.
Cheryl S-BSeptember 18, 2020 at 11:19 am
Well shoot, you closed up the outside door way. That would have worked for this use! Something to ponder down the road, and lots of good advise for you to think about. The room is beautiful even before you finish!
AllisonSeptember 18, 2020 at 11:19 am
I would only consider it if it was set up like a mother-in-law suite, where access to the living areas of my family was locked out. Maybe this is the introvert in me coming out? I would just dread the forced social interaction.
Jennifer schenkSeptember 19, 2020 at 6:04 pm
Daughter and I stayed in 4 air bnb’s last summer in much, philly and dc. 3 out of 4 were great-1 was dirty and we left. I thought it was a great w peri eve as a renter. We were in those locals for vaca and sightseeing, so we really only slept and bathed at the rentals. We enjoyed our experiences!
marciaSeptember 18, 2020 at 11:25 am
LisaSeptember 18, 2020 at 6:56 pm
I second that!
Patsy McColloughSeptember 18, 2020 at 11:30 am
I would rent it if you gave a tour of all your beautiful home. I would love to see it in person, especially your studio and workshop!
DebSeptember 18, 2020 at 11:40 am
Years ago before Air BNB was a thing
people would rent out a guest room in their own homes and provide breakfast for a B&B experience.
These were not homes with numerous bedrooms to rent but just mostly empty nesters who enjoyed people and saw away to make some extra money. We took a trip to New England and stayed at several of these and had a great experience . We also did it in Ireland a couple years. This was way before the internet. You would write away to the local tourism board and they would provide you with a list of people and you would contact them and decide if it sounded like a good fit for you. These hosts were always full of information about their local towns and you often got to visit places that were not in the tourist books and that was a great find. I have stayed in rooms over local pubs out in the country in England and all of these places I can remember like yesterday and couldn’t tell you a thing about any of the hotels we stayed at.
This was in the eighties and nineties.
The world is a bit different today with a lot of competitiveness on the internet and also some people give reviews that are not favorable because absolutely nothing would ever please them. I think if you have a thick skin
and are prepared to keep your home spotlessly clean when you have guests it might be something you would enjoy. I always thought I would enjoy working at a B&B for a few weeks out of the year but I could never
rent out a room at my own home because I have two dogs and two cats and no matter what it is never spotlessly clean. 😀
As someone who used to work in a law enforcement atmosphere there is also
the criminal element that I don’t know that you would experience in your area but it would be a good thing to talk to your local police department to see if
there had been any problems with
people doing AirBNB experiencing any
problems with their “guests.”
I think my first step would be to talk with locals who are doing the AirBNB
in Waco and pick their brains about the good and the not so good of such an endeavor. It is a lot to think about
and consider but it could be not only an income making experience but an enriching experience meeting other people outside of your own circle..
I think though that you have to genuinely like people and all of their individual quirkiness.
Nancy SadewaterSeptember 18, 2020 at 11:42 am
I thought that guest room was going to be Matt ‘s gaming room.
CynthiaSeptember 18, 2020 at 11:43 am
SewDucky hits on several key considerations. I’ve done B&B in people’s homes in the UK and in Cape May, NJ. Found I preferred the situations where I felt more free to distance, i.e., didn’t feel compelled to socialize with my hosts and other guests if I’d rather sleep in or otherwise keep to myself. I have a neighbor who regularly rents rooms in her empty-nest home, but keeps it strictly bedroom, bath and parking space — no public space for lounging, no kitchen privileges, no laundry. Works well — she usu rents to Indian tech consultants on short-term contracts with an area company. They eat out, don’t entertain, keep regular hours, and are respectful of her and her home. Of course, she has also rented to a few people who raided her fridge, smoked in their rooms, hung out in her family room when she wasn’t home, invited friends over, and skipped out on rent. So there’s a lot to consider.
DebsSeptember 18, 2020 at 11:44 am
NO! No matter if they’re screened & are supposedly above reproach, people (renters) change & people (screeners) lie. Don’t invite a disaster into your home!
PMLSeptember 18, 2020 at 11:50 am
I have family that rents their entire house. Everyone was skeptical because it isn’t a touristy area. But everyone was wrong. They rent the house very consistently for people coming into town for funerals, family parties, business meetings, etc. They’ve been able to make a good chunk of money on it, more than anyone anticipated. They’ve had a few kinks but they’ve learned to be picky who they allow. An airBNB host I once rented from was very open and friendly and didn’t hesitate to ask me questions about my purpose and our family. I got the sense that the more we felt acquainted before our visit, the more I would feel responsible to follow rules and respect his home. I think it can be done safely and you’d have great success with it all. I also wondered if you could make a door to the home gym and that could be their private entrance and they’d have use of the gym if desired. I also heard airBNB has their own insurance separate from your policy so you don’t use your personal policy. My family said they’ve had no issues the two times they had to claim damages that guests left (a hole in a wall and a scratch down another).
DaleSeptember 18, 2020 at 11:54 am
It is not something I would do, as it would not fit into our lifestyle with my kids and grandchildren, but many people like it and make extra money. I would seek out Facebook groups or blogs to get better insight as to the pros and cons.
Mary VSeptember 18, 2020 at 11:58 am
I don’t think I would be comfortable having strangers stay in my house with access to the kitchen or living room. You also need to be okay with the idea that strangers may not take care of your space/belongings the way that you do. If you are thinking of it strictly as income the longer time idea is great. Would add some work but if possible you could put a pocket door on the music room entrance and use he family room as the workout room. Add a French door off the workout room which would give the tenant a private entrance and living space with the potential for a much larger income.
ElizabethSeptember 18, 2020 at 12:04 pm
As an AirBnB/ VRBO renter, we do not rent properties that others live in. It is not something I am comfortable doing. If you want the room to be useful, just invite friends and family to stay or leave it as a place to help someone you know should the need arise.
Mary E. LinesSeptember 18, 2020 at 12:14 pm
What you are describing to me is more of a Bed and Breakfast because you said hosting in your home. Typical Air B& B the home is available to the renters without a physical host in the mix.
DebSeptember 18, 2020 at 12:15 pm
No, no never. We have a separate house as a VRBO. That’s a big enough pain. I would not even consider having someone actually in my house, and we don’t use AirBnB b/c of the poor customer service and iffy clientele.
Marcia BivensSeptember 18, 2020 at 12:20 pm
We have a guest suite that even has its own entrance, but I would NEVER rent it! Only friends and family have stayed here. My husband and I value our privacy, and I just can’t imagine having strangers in our home.
Janice DSeptember 18, 2020 at 12:23 pm
I’ve rented a couple of Airb’s. My brother loves it. He usually gets a whole house when he travels. Once I got a whole house, the other time I got a converted garage. The garage would be pertinent to you. There was a keypad to get access. No key exchange. The bathroom situation was similar to what you would offer. I think, without guests the bathroom was used by the house, as there was doors on each end. The door was locked leading to the house. So, lets see if I can explain this concisely, we accessed the bathroom through a “hall” that had several accesses and a laundry room (we could use). The accesses: the front door to the house, the door to their living quarters, a door to the back yard (I am guessing as it was draped and I didn’t look, but there was animal feed visible and we were offered fresh chicken eggs per airb ad). So, it would be similar to your hall between the guest room and bath. The garage was very nicely done and was set up like a studio with a kitchenette. Wet sink, fridge, hot plate, microwave, dishes, pans, etc….we had a separate entrance (separate from front door) and patio with grill! As nice as it was, I didn’t feel fully private. As the owner had full access to our room and made comment about us being able to leave our belongings in the bathroom as we were the only ones using it. I put it out of my mind and decided to just enjoy the weekend. I hope this helps. I don’t think I could air b, even though our home has been open to people needing a place to stay. I’m kinda weird about my privacy. I hear about people locking themselves in and then you have to process getting them to leave. There was a story about a woman in NY and because of covid, she can’t be “evicted”…I guess you would have to be verse in your area’s laws about that…that’s the other thing that gives me a headache and shies me away from following through. Anyway, hope that all made sense, lol.
ChristineSeptember 18, 2020 at 12:29 pm
I could never do it because my HOA doesn’t allow it. However, it isn’t anything I would consider because I like to know who is staying in my house. I would be very uncomfortable on that situation.
HopeJWSeptember 18, 2020 at 2:57 pm
I have personally been on both sides. I can say without a doubt that it was an amazing experience all around. Now a days, keypads are used and usually the guest phone number is input and it makes it so easy to “change” when they leave.
I truly think you and Matt would enjoy the experience immensely. Ninety nine . nine % of people are fantastic, honest, good people. The friendships to be made are priceless. Besides, you can try it a few times and decide from there.
I’ll bet you’d have some great posts to share with your adoring public!
DWFSeptember 18, 2020 at 12:33 pm
Maybe a long-term rental to a quiet college student would be better in your situation. It would be a lot less work for you and you could still get that romanticized experience of hosting someone. If you get a good one then usually it’s just a matter of word of mouth once that one moves on and recommends a friend in need of a place.
beverlySeptember 18, 2020 at 1:05 pm
I could imagine a Baylor law student or Baylor grad student being a great tenant. Or perhaps someone you know through personal friends/connections. But I could also imagine issues. We opened our basement to someone we knew, and there were issues (not horrible), enough not to ever want to do anything like this again. That said, I love opening our home to overnight and weekend visitors.
SheilaSeptember 19, 2020 at 11:03 am
This is something that I’ve done. Well, not undergrad students, but international visiting faculty, scientists, post-doctoral fellows, occasionally MDs interning or doing residencies. I lived in a good location, near public transportation to a large university and local hospitals.
The renters were vetted by the university and I always felt comfortable.
I’d only AirBnB if there was a separate entrance and no shared spaces.
DianaSeptember 19, 2020 at 7:07 pm
My house has three exterior doors. I redid the back part of my house to be a separate apartment. I did not add on I just closed off the hallway that led to the back. Since then I have been renting it, first as short term housing and the last 2 1/2 years on Airbnb. I rarely see my guests and take my cue from them if they want to chat. I screen my guests and by far most are great. I have stayed in various Airbnb’s over the years and for the most part they were great. Personally I don’t care for renting a room in someone’s home unless it is separated from the host’s area. I do it because I am semi-retired and need the extra income. It is a job and takes work, cleaning, laundry, responding quickly to booking requests, updating items that are looking aged, etc. plus maintaining my Airbnb listing online.
TabiSeptember 18, 2020 at 12:46 pm
I like my own space too much, but equally I deal with the public all day so need that space.
You could easily put a lock on the door from hallway to gym and maybe between music room and family room? That way you could lock your ‘suite’ if you feel the need whilst the guests are there. But keep the key in from your side at night so easy to unlock in case of emergency.
Sandy AlonzoSeptember 18, 2020 at 12:49 pm
Never….too many nuts out there!
ChrisSeptember 18, 2020 at 12:54 pm
Personally I am too private a person to have strangers no matter how nice in my home. I’ve stayed once at a BnB where the couple lived in the house and they were delightful though I was so busy I saw little of them. I’ve also stayed at lots of AirBnBs in Iceland because when I was there there were few hotels, but they were unlived-in apartments or small guest houses. What I can say from my experience is that not all guests are conscientious and while you hear horror stories, the biggest problems seem to be minor damage from water marks on furniture, scratches from luggage on the walls or floor, etc. My sister donated a long weekend at her beach house to a fund raiser at my nephews private school. It wasn’t cheap but they ruined a table by leaving wet beach towels on it and did other minor damage. Needless to say the next time she was asked it was a no. Someone suggested calling your local PD to see if there have been problems and that’s a good idea but a big question is, when a guest scratches your painted floor or leaves a water mark on dresser, how much is that going to bother you that your room is a little less lovely than it was?
NoreenSeptember 25, 2020 at 1:10 pm
Very good point Chris! What I gather from Kristi’s blog is she would freak at her room being dinged up.
Barbara PilcherSeptember 18, 2020 at 1:21 pm
Another thumbs down vote here. I’ve done home exchanges where you let strangers into your home while you are at their home. I think one woman stole my mother’s engagemeant ring while there. Can’t prove it. I’ve also booked a downstairs unit in someone’s home for a long weekend and sensed the lack of privacy since I knew they were upstairs. I have a friend who once owned a B&B and she thought it would be so much fun to have people come “visit” and she could entertain. It doesn’t work that way. You are on call. You don’t get to just sit and have wine with them. You make the beds and clean the room and keep track of bookings, etc. Unless you really NEED more cash, I would avoid it. Invite your mom over! Feature the room in a book you’ll write someday. Your beautiful work won’t go unnoticed.
AnnSeptember 18, 2020 at 1:34 pm
We have rented a room in someone’s house via Air BnB, and it was a positive experience. The house was a 2-block walk from our daughter’s tiny home, so when we flew to her town to visit, we stayed at the Air BnB and walked to her house for family togetherness. The host had an electronic lock; we could come/go as we needed. The room was upstairs, where we had the run of that floor, private bathroom down the hall. It really helps in a situation like that for the host to be outgoing, friendly, and flexible.
JuliaSeptember 18, 2020 at 1:37 pm
Well we live in Florida where AirB&B is very popular. We tried it as we have a small guest house in the back of our property. We stopped after two guests. First it was terrible having people you don’t know wandering around the property much less the inside of your house like you are thinking. Second because I hate cleaning up after people I don’t know…gross. And third because I really didn’t like the second couple who rented from us and you really have no choice when you a accept the reservation as to who comes INTO YOUR HOUSE OR PROPERTY! Just my opinion,,,attached to real experience but I would say run….run away from that idea!
VickieSeptember 18, 2020 at 2:07 pm
Our family has rented an entire home before on VRBO and a condo in a mountain community through the same. We have had great luck but it is not something we want to do again. I could NOT RELAX. Having a spouse in law enforcement there are other worries like hidden cameras, etc.. However, a very dear friend had an Arbnb in Texas. Completely redone and beautiful. They did background checks, etc. This house that they had spend loads of money on redoing was totally trashed, blood everywhere, police were involved, drugs found, and they are now in a lawsuit situation. I would never consider this given today’s climate in the world.
TracySeptember 18, 2020 at 2:18 pm
Never! I think you are indeed romanticizing this idea! I don’t care how “nice” people are they will never treat your home the way you do. What if you get a person that doesn’t want to leave you alone, someone that blares the tv at night, snores horrifically loud!? You might feel you need to be quiet at night, and we know you love to do projects late into the night. How will you feel if a person left a awful review? So many things to think about
Mary Lee ButterworthSeptember 18, 2020 at 2:29 pm
DON’T DO IT! You just did a fabulous job on the dresser and the desk. No one will take care of it like you will. Also, kind of gross, but you will have to repeatedly reupholster the fabric headboard. How many guests will make sure to protect the fabric from their oily scalps? None. So no!
SojournerSeptember 18, 2020 at 2:37 pm
I love building a revenue option into my home. You wouldn’t
have to exhaust yourself with constant laundry and cleaning. You could rent it out only when you wish. You also
don’t have to do it through Air BnB. You could post a listing
at the university for grad students and visiting parents, and that way there would be some pre-screening. If you allow
kitchen privileges, you could request they not use the kitchen during the time you prep, cook and clean up your one meal. The main point I’m trying to make is, if something ends up being a problem for you, you don’t have to do it again. After I moved out, my mother rented out my old room
and bathroom with kitchen privileges, in her NY apartment.
We advertised at local universities, to graduate students only. Grad students are busy, serious, and more grown up.
Most of them were with us long term, and we became very friendly with them. So if you ever decided you wanted a revenue stream, you could pick one person and have a very
peaceful coexistence. I would definitely rent out space in my home, either short term once in awhile, or long term to a “known” person. Once friends and family learn that you have a space, they will ask you if people they know can stay
there. Some of the people who have said they would never do this, said so based on their own personalities, which is totally fine. This isn’t for everyone. But I really enjoy meeting new people, and being gracious to them. You might like it too1
RobinSeptember 18, 2020 at 2:43 pm
Not in the same house, no. Too many unknowns, open to too much going awry. If you had a separate building on your property – sure – but not in the same house. Maybe I watch too many True Crime shows? At any rate, my desire for income and meeting new people does not outweigh my instinct of self-preservation in my one safe haven and I don’t want to vet people. YMMV.
Elaine NessSeptember 18, 2020 at 2:58 pm
I read all the previous comments. Enlightening to say the least, from a practical standpoint. Aside from that perspective, there is the reality of personality. Mainly, yours.
Prospective ‘guests’ would be potluck as far as what kind of people they are. That comes out only by meeting them and having them in your home. If it is a bad match, too bad for you. Grin and bear it until they leave. Just because they have references (is there such a thing?) it tells little because each homeowner is different and so is each guest.
Considering all you are doing in the house as you work on projects, I can’t imagine it is noise-less. Would you be willing to hold down the roar of machines and the sounds that come with using any kind of tools to accommodate guests’ comfort level? From what I gather, it is full speed ahead with lots more for you to do in the months to come. (I realize this would be a future endeavor.)
You have three animals. If Cooper is a silent pooch, no problem.
Would guests wander about in the yard and find a way to look into your windows? If they like your pretty accommodations, curiosity might get the better of them to want to see the rest of your house. Expect the question?
Even though I don’t know you, except through this blog, but it is evident you work alone and seem to prefer it. It takes time and focus to think things through if you undertake something creative. I love the way you mull and anticipate and figure out solutions as you go along. I am always thinking, “You go, girl!”
Someone else in the house, even though unseen, would be a ‘presence.’ Maybe a distraction. Since it would be different ones all the time, the adjustment to someone being there would be unique each time.
Since you asked, although it sounds intriguing and maybe exciting, in the end, I wonder if the adjustments necessary to fit what guests would want or expect, might heap more on you physically and emotionally than you would welcome. Maintenance alone would make me shudder. Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning.
Matt is in the mix, too. I’m sure you have talked it over, realizing that his comfort is primary. Will the home ‘neighbors’ respect the boundary of being reasonably quiet?
Well, so many possibilities could come to be, both good and bad.
You have posed an interesting dilemma.
Mrs MikeSeptember 18, 2020 at 3:19 pm
My husband and I prefer AirBNB’s to hotels. We have several cities we like to get away to (Waco is one of them!) and we stay at the same properties every time. Some of the hosts we have moderate interaction with, like the property in Galveston that is a historical home that the owner graciously offered to give us a tour of, but most of the time we’re there to do our own thing and rarely come into contact with the host. We love being familiar with the properties we stay at and it feels more comfortable for our short stays. Waco is a great destination for AirBNB’s and our favorite property books quickly (we have a second one as a back up now). Between Baylor football games and the Silos, I think a beautiful room like that could easily be one that gets repeat guests. And being able to determine when you want to host and when you don’t is a huge positive.
CherylSeptember 18, 2020 at 3:41 pm
I stayed in a lovely home near Napa, where I had a bedroom. There was a full bathroom across the hall. I had access to the kitchen and tv room. It was wonderful. The owner was in and out and we didn’t get in each other’s way. She had a keypad on the front door, so need to provide a key. I’m sure she just changed the code after my stay!
JudySeptember 18, 2020 at 4:27 pm
I have only stayed in two AirB&Bs — and one was a lovely house in Waco. It was a large older home with 5 bedrooms and a pool. The owners were not on the premises and did not live in the home. The other B&B was near Chicago. It was a 100 yr old place where the owners lived in one section and guests had rooms in the remainder of the house. I traveled for my job for about 5 years and cannot imagine staying in someone’s home that was not set up as a commercial business. I also cannot imagine a circumstance where I would ever feel comfortable having people in my home.
Brenda PawloskiSeptember 18, 2020 at 4:57 pm
No. Because Airbnb capriciously ends longstanding relationships with both hosts and guests without any kind of investigation. I read on Medium how they will cancel all booked stays with a host for no apparent reason without any opportunity to be heard or appeal. They will leave a guest stranded without a room, according to reports on Medium. They will ban users based on one party’s unverified statements. I travel a lot and use VRBO or a nice hotel.
JulieSeptember 18, 2020 at 5:48 pm
I think if you were having “students” who were coming to learn some of your many talents from you, that would be perfect. Otherwise… not so much!
VictoriaSeptember 18, 2020 at 6:48 pm
I hosted on Airbnb for four years from 2012-2016. I listed two rooms. Early on it was fine, but I would not do it again, and I have a second house in Napa, Ca.
My primary residence is a trilevel on a hill. We have a walk out basement with three rooms (small bedroom, “bonus room,” and a 3/4 bath (has a shower). It has a private entrance and can be locked separately from the rest of the house. We rented out that “suite” and my daughter’s former bedroom and the hall bath on the second level. The common rooms are on the third level.
The main issue I had was with pets. At the time we had two dogs and a cat. Many people booked the room not reading the listing and were surprised when they arrived to see our pets. Some folks visiting from Asia were clearly afraid of the dogs (we had this with more than one set of guests). Others were allergic to the cat. No matter how much you clean, it is really hard to get it clean enough for people with cat allergies. The downstairs rooms have laminate and tile flooring.
Originally we accepted other people’s pets. One guest left their 9 month old puppy uncrated downstairs while hey went to dinner. It barked the entire time. We offered a luggage service, where people could drop off and pick up their luggage after they checked in/out. She’d asked if she could leave stuff here and come back and get it in the evening after her meeting. I said yes. I didn’t realize that she included her puppy in the stuff she wanted to leave (at the time my husband and I were both working). I saw them getting ready to leave as I was heading to work. I asked where the puppy was. They said that they were leaving it. I told them I did not provide kennel services, but I could tell the, where they could board it for the day. Needless to say, neither of us left the other a good review. At that point we stopped accepting pets. I also has a guest sneak a cat into the suite. This was after our cat had died and I had done a thorough cleaning job, including repainting the walls and dry cleaning the soft upholstery coverings.
We had two other bad guests. One was a couple who flooded the shower. The water ran out of the bathroom and all over the laminate flooring. Apparently her long hair clogged the “invisible drain.” They left without telling me that they had flooded the floor. I saw them leave out the front window (by then I was retired). I went downstairs within 10 minutes of them leaving and immediately noticed the soaked carpet. I pulled everything up and out, but the end joint along one edge of one piece of the laminate flooring still expanded. I filed a claim with Airbnb. The estimate for repairs was $1600. The flooring was no longer on stock. Airbnb refused to pay the claim. Don’t believe their host guarantee.
The other couple stayed in the upstairs room. We have a ring camera on our front porch. All night long they were going in and out. Our bedroom is on the other side of the wall from the entry hall. In addition to the ring alarm going off, I could hear the front door opening and closing. I asked them to please stop. On the last day, they got into a fight. One of them stormed off, and my husband had to comfort the other one while she tried to find a friend who would come pick her up. Later, I saw them on a Netflix show filmed at the Sacramento jail. The one who stormed off was on the show as an inmate. Don’t trust Airbnb’s background check either. I am sure they were doing drug deals, which is why they kept coming and going all night long.
I had a woman ask me if she could have guests in the suite. I asked how many for how long. She said she was an “exclusive massage therapist” and wanted to bring in clients. I declined her reservation.
That said, we met a lot of really nice people. Some were very interesting in a good way. A few have become friends. We also made about $10,000 a year. Make sure that you understand the rules. In some places, you must get a license from your local government and pay occupancy taxes. Airbnb reports your income to the IRS, but they do not withhold taxes, so you need to look at the tax implications (you can deduct your expenses from your earnings). We hosted during a drought, so our water use was higher during mandatory conservation (imposed as a percentage of your historic use). Also Airbnb does not provide good customer service for first time users, so you may end up being the customer service for the computer challenged.
VictoriaSeptember 18, 2020 at 7:02 pm
One other comment. We also own two duplexes (so four units that we rent long term). It’s easier to kick out bad short term tenants than it is to evict bad long term tenants, especially in California where we live. You also need to check your local tenancy laws. Here, if you rent for more than 30 days, it’s legally a long term rental even if you don’t have a long-term rental contract. In some places, there is a limit on the number of days that you can do short term (Airbnb) rentals in a month/year.
NancySeptember 18, 2020 at 6:49 pm
My husband and I have stayed in airbnbs numerous times and really enjoyed it. The only suggestion I have is if you decide yes I would put a door with a lock on the entry from the music room to the hall. It gives you total privacy and also privacy for the one renting.
VictoriaSeptember 18, 2020 at 6:52 pm
One last piece of advice. Don’t put a coffee maker in the bedroom. Neither my husband nor I drink coffee, but I’ve Lund coffee drips in lots of places, including the area rugs.
VictoriaSeptember 18, 2020 at 6:54 pm
“Found”. My tablet is being funky.
CarolSeptember 18, 2020 at 6:54 pm
I would STRONGLY recommend following an AirBNB Facebook group for hosts. You will quickly see how little support hosts actually get from AirBNB and all the sly ways guests find to get around what safeguards there are. Still, renting a room in your house is quite a bit different than renting out a house (e.g., much less likely to get party animals! ). Still, it has been an eye opener!
Marianne in Mo.September 18, 2020 at 7:36 pm
We have the space, and with minor modifications, we could easily rent out our basement, with two rooms, a bath, living area dining area and small kitchenette. It’s a walkout basement, so they have private entrance and a patio if they choose to use it, under our screened porch. BUT……we had my husbands’ brother live with us for over a year, and we were not fans of having someone living under us. He could hear us, we could hear him. He was a somewhat tidy and considerate person, but I still was not happy with his cleaning abilities, so I would clean when he was at work. When he left, the carpet was almost so soiled we considered replacing it, we had to repaint, and deodorize from the smell of B.O!!! NO WAY would we rent out a room in such close proximity as yours will be, but that’s us. We are a more private couple in our old age, and like our privacy. I suppose if you are willing to entertain all manner of people, I could see it, as long as you knew they weren’t ax murderers or something! But I would rather have a secure space that they could have so you could be safe, with no access to your other spaces. People are too weird these days!
Liz ThompsonSeptember 18, 2020 at 9:33 pm
Kristi, I would first like to thank you for your blog. I’ve been following for a very long time and love seeing a new post from you.
I am a Registered Insurance Broker in the province of Ontario. I can’t speak to insurance regulations in ANY state. That being said, if I had a client considering this, I would want to have a very long and thorough conversation with them. Some of our insurance companies will deny claims if the property is used as a short-term rental. That’s because the risks increase dramatically when someone who doesn’t have a vested interest is residing in the home (even if YOU are present!.
Some of my clients have had wonderful experiences. Some have not. The important thing is to be well informed. And so many people forget to check with their insurance provider before hand.
bobbieSeptember 18, 2020 at 9:58 pm
Karen HSeptember 19, 2020 at 1:12 am
There is pretty much nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said several times. But let me just say this. Please don’t do it. There are just too many unknowns… too many things that could go wrong. It might be an awesome experience 99.9% of the time, but it only takes one bad thing/experience to turn your world upside down. Call me cynical… like one of your other commenters said, maybe I watch too many true crime stories. But Matt’s and your lives and wellness are way too important.
Caroline ElliotSeptember 19, 2020 at 9:06 am
While I have not (and would not) rent a room in someone else’s house, my sister does it all the time (she’s a photographer and travels all the time and since her travel expenses come out of her own pocket, she tries to do it as cheaply as possible). So there is definitely a market for it. And based on some of the pictures she’s sent me – yours would be one of the nicest!!
MarleneSeptember 19, 2020 at 10:16 am
Something else to possibly consider, you could rent to a high school foreign exchange student. My sister-in-law did this while her son was in high school. You get to choose if you want a male or female. She had a boy from Germany one year and a boy from Spain. They are very much vetted and come with their own money to do things. My sis-in-law, her husband and son very much enjoyed it. They even took a vacation to Europe and visited with the German boy and his family while there. You learn alot from each other. The kids are busy with their studies and being involved with high school activities.
VictoriaSeptember 20, 2020 at 7:02 am
We had three foreign exchange students at different times (2 Japanese girls and one French boy). It was a positive experience, but they didn’t pay us. We paid for most of their meals and also took them places with us, as if they were our own children. Although I enjoyed it, and we are still in communication with one of the girls and the boy (15-20 years later), it was not a money maker, and it did affect things like when we took vacations, since they were still in high school.
Elaine V CarmichaelSeptember 19, 2020 at 1:16 pm
If you do it, the opening to the hallway would lend itself to a pocket door. If the wall doesn’t accomodate it, you could build a thin fake wall on the hallway side. For that matter, if you hung a barn door on the hallway side that could work too, but it might be hard to find a style and hardware that matches your aesthetic. Either would close off the area better than a curtain while remaining fairly subtle when that wing is open to all.
Christine CzarneckiSeptember 20, 2020 at 2:45 am
This is a decision you and your husband should make, and my suggestion is, if you think it’d be fun to try, try it!
We have stayed in airbnbs several times, both with great success. Our daughter and son-in-law have dear friends who rent out parts of their home, often and successfully. And our son worked in Europe for several years, working for a tech firm, a few months in one city, then moved to another, for eight times. His company put him up in airbnbs, and out of that experience, he has actually made longtime friends with a couple that rented to him in Lisbon.
Now my son is back in the U.S., married and a home owner. Earlier in the year, he and his wife went to Mexico for a two week vacation, and rented out their house twice while they were away. They charged a cleaning fee, and had a cleaning lady clean after each one. It paid for their vacation, which was two weeks in an … airbnb!
If you decide to do this, consider making a rolling cart of some sort with the following: A small coffee maker and a microwave, perhaps a small toaster oven, and two cups, glasses, bowls, plates and silverware. When you don’t have anyone there, roll it back into your studio closet, but having it will allow you set up comfortably for guests when you want to.
Or not. Try it out if you like the idea. I would wager you’d get enough of just your blog fans coming through to fund your retirement plan!
Sue RoodSeptember 20, 2020 at 11:28 am
It’s an interesting idea and you could probably make it work. I don’t think I’d like my privacy invaded that much to rent out a room/bathroom. (I agree with others that having a private entrance might be better and safer) It is a truly personal choice that you have to make.
WendySeptember 20, 2020 at 6:06 pm
I personally wouldn’t do it, but that’s just me. I have friends that do/did, and it worked great for them.
Something to think about and to check into though, if you are considering it — here in College Station (just a little ways down the road from Waco), they decided that the Hotel Occupancy Tax applies to all AirBNBs also, so during Aggie football season when hotels and AirBNBs are at maximum occupancy, College Station decided they needed “their” piece of that, and the owner is obligated to pay those taxes now. Not sure if Waco has anything like that, but it’s worth looking into and may sway some people to rent out a room or not.
MissySeptember 21, 2020 at 6:05 pm
No. Just no.
I’ve been a long time reader and fan, and would personally love an opportunity to Airbnb where all the magic takes place. And there is no doubt you would have plenty of traffic with the Silos and Baylor, BUT I also know I’m not a wackadoodle. I would be SO concerned about Matt’s safety and the vulnerability of it all and having other people in your house and having access to shared rooms-kitchen, etc.
ClaireSeptember 21, 2020 at 10:20 pm
i’ve been an air b&B host for many years and it’s a number game like most things in life. always the occasional ‘not so nice’ / disrespectful guest – but on the whole we have a great experience.
benefits are you can open and close the diary when you want – so you are not stuck with someone full time – who is also harder to get rid of if things go sour.
i would definitely have people in my home once i’d set up a few basic safety items.
most people who book these types of accommodation are lovely and enjoy meeting locals.
it’s not hard to set up on air b&b and if you ended up not liking it – you can delete the listing – not much lost.
Especially if you have any hospitals or universities close by you will definitely get bookings x
There is a site called Air DNA which has incredible amount of info on air bnb. stats, prices, availability, occupancy rates and much more. well worth looking at your local area on that site to see what range you can charge and decide if it’s worth it for you.
happy to private message if you’d like more personal experience xx
Good on you for being open to new things 😉
JanetteSeptember 22, 2020 at 10:14 am
Only with an outside entrance. Also, I
would lock the door between the guest room and your hallway.
stephanieSeptember 24, 2020 at 8:00 am
I just stayed at my first Airbnb and it was a private bedroom, shared bath with the home owner. It was in Savannah. It was fine and a cost savings for me a solo traveler. It was a single woman homeowner, she only rents to females or couples. I would recommend it and I think you can approve renters before anything is finalized. Go for it! Made some extra money!