My original title for this post was going to be “An Ode to Airbnb”, but then these rental services come and go, and although airbnb might currently be the flavor of the month, it won’t always be, and I wouldn’t want the opinions expressed here to die with it!
So we’ve owned (along with a friend of ours) the current place we’re living in out here in the country for around 6 years now; we bought it after much frustration from the inaffordability of owning anything in Vancouver where we used to live, mainly with the intention of coming to visit our little getaway on weekends, and with the hopes that the value of the place might one day go up. When we found it, we were very excited because it actually had two completely separate living quarters which at the time seemed ideal, since there were three of us going in on it.
Having the two units on the property turned out to be a far greater blessing than I ever would have imagined, and not at all for the reason that we originally had thought.
Interestingly, our second unit is very much not allowed to be built these days in the District of Sechelt, and so the grandfathering in of it is crucial here. I often wonder if they would let us rebuild it if it were to burn down one day!
Over the years we dabbled with renting one or both of our cabins out, mostly through word of mouth to people we knew plus friends of friends, and then later on airbnb, but it was always incredibly difficult to manage, us still living in Vancouver and all, having to organize cleaners, pass on keys, etc, etc, etc.
And so back in last April after we had jumped out of light speed from city life to country life, we decided I should take over the airbnb account from our partner who had been managing it up until then since I’d mostly be over here. Not to toot my own horn here, but goddamnit look at some of these reviews we’ve been getting!
You Could Live Mortgage Free By Renting Your Home
Getting down to the nitty-gritty here, our first rental with the account in my name happened on May 3rd, 2013. Five and a half months later as of the writing of this post, we have earned $7500 to date. Incredible, if you ask me. And there isn’t a single thing about the entire experience that we haven’t thoroughly enjoyed either!
The administrative side of it takes a little bit of my time, I’d suggest perhaps two hours a week at most, and the cleaning also takes a little bit of our time, on average perhaps another two hours a week (cleaning the cabin takes one hour, and we might have to do it twice in a week). **Very important note: we charge a $25 cleaning fee, so since I’m being paid for that time, I don’t consider it as overhead, unlike the administrative side of things.
I was assuming that as soon as summer was done, so would our rentals, but amazingly that has not at all turned out to be the case so far – I don’t know yet how much we will have made by next May, but I will be surprised if it doesn’t top $10K!
We are in a bit of a unique situation here as we have a third person involved, plus the big cabin that we live in is rotting away from under our feet (well, that might be a little on the extreme side), and so we’ve agreed that all the money goes towards fixing up this ol’ house (DIY deck story coming soon!) But it is important to note that since our mortgage is around $1K/month out here, a person could come very close to living mortgage free with this setup, if they wanted.
Note that you don’t at all need a separate building with a suite in it to be making money on airbnb! If you take a look at the site, people rent everything from treehouses and yerts, to pullout couches in peoples’ living rooms. I’d be willing to bet that most people who read this do have the space to have something up there and rentable if they tried just a little.
Do yourself a favor and spend a little time thinking about how you might be able to pull it off. If you are able to somehow do it, trust me, it is well worth the effort!