Prepping your home for AirBnB guests

Ginger Dean

April 30, 2015

By: Ginger Dean, Home Finance Specialist

In: AppliancesGeneral Remodeling

AirBnB isn't exactly a new kid on the block, but it is the rich kid for homeowners looking to make a few bucks off their spare bedroom. If you're want to cash in on the latest way to make money using your home, read on for home improvement suggestions and other things to consider when renting out your space.

What is AirBnB?

In a nutshell, AirBnB is the Craigslist of the travel accommodations world. You can literally rent an apartment, home, spare room, or castle for as little or long as the owner will allow. This makes it the easiest way to monetize a vacation home, spare room, or empty residential property.

High expectations

AirBnB customers have high expectations. Don't make the mistake of thinking that deal sealers are willing to tolerate less than stellar accommodations. No, your space doesn't have to be reminiscent of the Ritz Carlton, but if you want to keep your space occupied it does need to be clean and aesthetically appealing to the wanderlusty traveler seeking shelter.

Suggested home improvements

New paint - Give your space a mini facelift by slapping on a few coats of paint. The colors you go with depends on the decor you're going for, so you'll need to decide if you're looking for a niche shopper who loves eclectic taste or if you want to appeal to the masses by going neutral.

Linens - Adding a new comforter set adds a fresh feel to the space. However, you'll do your wallet a favor if you avoid the "vacation floral" pattern that frequent so many outdated vacation rental spaces. Going for a pattern that isn't too distracting or colorful seems to go over well with weary travelers.

Bathrooms - Chipped tiles? Rotting base boards? It's time for a bathroom makeover. At the very least, paint, new baseboards, updated tiling, and new fixtures will give you the look needed to land AirBnB travelers.

Appliances - This is somewhat optional, however a strong consideration since many deal seekers like cooking their own food - even when on vacation. And your freshly updated kitchen might be an advantage that many other spaces don't have. When comparing spaces, this may give you the edge needed to secure a paid reservation.

When running the numbers on your new investment consider all expenses such as utilities, taxes, repairs, toiletries, snacks, and other things that may be necessary to keep your guests happy.

Then, of course, there's the legal side of it all. Does your home insurance cover damage rendered by guests? AirBnB has it's own coverage, however there are limitations:

  • Damage caused by the host
  • Reservations outside of the U.S.
  • Slander, emotional distress, and/or defamation of character are not covered
  • Specific defects such as: drywall problems, mold, bed bugs, asbestos, or pollution

Given that AirBnB doesn't cover the above-mentioned, it is important that you have insurance that will in the event a reservation results in damages to your property.

All in all this is a great option for someone seeking to make relatively passive income. Just keep in mind the updates and considerations to assure a smooth transaction.


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