[N/A] Using a property as an AirBnB

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by SixPapaCharlie, Sep 5, 2021.

  1. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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    My wife and I love Red River NM thanks to POA.
    Several years back I asked where you guys Ski and enough of you mentioned RR that we tried it and love it.

    So much so that we are considering getting a place out there.

    I have found several properties out there that are spitting distance from the ski lifts.
    Realistically, we would go out there about 4X a year.

    Is it realistic to think that one could buy a place, and when not using it, list it as an AirBNB and break even on the cost of ownership / maintenance, etc?

    On paper it sounds easy but I am assuming there are things I have not thought about because nobody is snatching these properties up. They are sitting on the market for long periods of time.

    Who has done this?
    Is it worth it or is it better to just buy it and not rent it out?
     
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  2. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    Condo/townhouse? Or single family home? Seems the costs on one would be more stable/predictable than the other.
     
  3. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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    Let's use this one as an example just because I have stayed here before.
    My assumption is it would be easy to rent out because it is a stones throw from the ski lift.
    Not sure about summer months but given the low price, am I naive to think I could offset a chunk of the annual costs if it were booked 50% of ski season?
    When we stayed here, I believe we paid $120 / night

    https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/303-Pioneer_Red-River_NM_87558_M97100-57134
     
  4. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Does the town regulate/tax short term rentals ?

    Either you end up paying a management company to look after the place, or you are going to commute back and forth to deal with issues. Then, when it comes to using the place, you end up looking at it under the aspect of how much you could have made that week by renting it out. If you AirBnB the place its a business.
     
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  5. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Big missing information I see - What are the HOA costs? Given the environment, they could could easily be double the mortgage. Taxes on rentals?

    For Airbnb, some market analysis is needed. How many units are in the market (look at the max future) and how many are rented? More important, what are the characteristics of the units that rent vs the ones that don’t. Can you reliably manage that property remotely or will you need a local management company? Who will contract with the cleaning crews and monitor their quality?
     
  6. Lndwarrior

    Lndwarrior Line Up and Wait

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    I did. Paid the mortgage plus had a positive cash flow of $1000 a month. Recently sold it when the market went. Best financial decision I ever made (which is not saying a lot...).
     
  7. Rushie

    Rushie En-Route

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    Which? Doing it in the first place, or selling it?
     
  8. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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    I would use a management company
     
  9. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    as your financial advisor* I think this is a really bad idea. you'd be FAR better off taking the money you planned for this purchase and using it for a better airplane purchase. this makes the most financial sense and your wife and family will surely support you in this decision.

    *no charge for this one.
     
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  10. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Don't be surprised when someone reports you to the SEC for pretending to be a financial advisor online without an actual CFP certificate. Then you'll have to make a funny video about your escapades when they call you in to explain yourself.
     
  11. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That's a good start. It will keep you from having to answer the 1am 'the microwave beeps too loud' phonecalls yourself.
    Just make sure you understand their pricing structure and build it into your pro-forma. In addition to their percentage off the top, there may be callout fees and additional charges for handyman calls when your customers unplug the refrigerator or plug the toilet. The maintenance company has its network of tradesmen to do more qualified work, but unless you are local, you have to give them wide latitude in deciding when to call a plumber or electrician. If you always insist on getting cellphone pictures and videos before you approve a repair, there will be times when you have to cancel a rental because the unit 'isn't ready'. If you leave it up to them, you may notice that there is something that 'needs fixed' at a time and a half charge every other Saturday.

    If you want the place to be a popular property on AirBnB, you need to renovate it and have nice durable commercial furniture in there. Just like a hotel, you need to budget for doing a refresh every x years. The moment your unit becomes dated or the mattress sags, it will show up in your AirBnB reviews.

    For every happy owner of a vacation property who makes ok money, gets the place paid off and at some point uses it for only his own family, there is someone else who is miserable every step along the way.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2021
  12. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    I was also reading last night about HOA restrictions. For the specific example, you might be forced to use the condo’s organization for renting and not Airbnb. I could not find the HOA docs online, but given the marketing site, it’s a possibility.
     
  13. Jim K

    Jim K Pattern Altitude

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    We thought seriously about doing this at the place we go in Florida in the winter. The math worked, assuming we could keep it rented for the 3-4 month busy season. There's a management company that represents about 1/2 the units in the complex, so the hassle factor would've theoretically been pretty low, mainly paying bills and doing the taxes.

    What turned us off it is we decided we didn't want to be locked in to one place, and we didn't want to have to feed it if it didn't rent or someone flaked out. In hindsight it was a good thing because winter 20/21 was decimated by covid. Also in the back of my mind is whether I want to own a building built on sand at 2' MSL.

    The other thing is managing repairs at distance. Someone WILL have problems, and then you're at the mercy of whatever local service provider you can find. Renters destroy everything in inventive, unpredictable ways. The house we rented in in Texas had stickers pulled from products and stuck in all the places the cleaners didn't look. Then you're spending your 4 weeks a year there finding and fixing all that little crap. Don't underestimate the value of being able to just walk away.

    Of course, if you "work" on it, you can deduct your travel to/from as a business expense, which is a pretty good deal. We just decided we'd rather see the country than have one spot. We can only get away a couple weeks a year.
     
  14. Rushie

    Rushie En-Route

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    These. The market is everything, not only past but what you think it will be going forward. We bought a vacation rental property in a place with a strong tourist economy - just before the Great Recession, and it tanked. You need a crystal ball, we forgot to look in ours. On the other hand we had another vacation rental that did great all through bad times. You have to consider both the big picture and local resilience (or lack thereof) to a down market.

    For regular rental, I wouldn’t touch it again with a mile long pole. We had a bad enough time evicting a psychopathic tenant and that was before eviction moratoriums. Despite the recent SC ruling, I have no confidence that sort of thing won’t come back. You basically have no control over your own property and must allow squatters who are paying you nothing to stay indefinitely for free while you continue paying on the mortgage. Supposedly that is gone now but they got their toe in the door and the risk for me is too great it could happen again. YRTMV*

    Management companies can be great or not so great. We’ve had one of each. If you don’t use one, plan on putting a lot of time and trouble into it yourself. If you don’t live nearby you almost have to have someone local for the occupants to call if something goes wrong in the middle of the night.

    We had a bunch of vacationing Russians in one of our houses that were drinking and partying so loudly and so late that the neighbors called the police. Our management company was called and had to go deal with it. The Russians were combative and obstinate, saying that in Russia everybody understands partying and having fun and there are no laws about disturbing the peace at night. Yeah sure. They were made to leave the property.

    If you do use a management company of course their commission is an additional expense. (And I just saw @weilke ’s post, great points). But for AirBNB I have no idea how it works or if there is such a thing as a management company option. That we haven’t done.

    In my mind a management company is mandatory for short term rentals if you live more than an hour away. Or how far do you want to drive after being jolted awake at 2:00 AM?

    If you think the economy is going to be good in the long run, and that local area will keep up, and property values grow, it might be a good investment even if you only break even with cash flow in the meantime. Use your crystal ball again. But keep in mind resort/tourist/vacation spots are volatile, market wise. They could swing widely, but some are still a good gamble. You really need to do your research.

    *your risk tolerance may vary
     
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  15. FORANE

    FORANE En-Route

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    I would disagree with @weilke on this depending on how one defines a management company. In the market I am familiar with (Gatlinburg), the management companies typically take 40% of gross plus whatever garbage fees they can add on to the owners 60%. In the end, between 3 different management companies, we typically collected around 55% of gross. The other issue we had was the management company let maintenance go and the property slowly deteriorated. Even with 3 properties under management, we were just a small player so the management company really didn't care if we complained.

    On Airbnb, one host may act as a "co-host" for another host and serve in the role as a manager replying to emails, scheduling maintenance, etc. That takes a significant load off the owner. The maximum a co-host may charge is 15% per Airbnb. This is what we do as we live 100 miles from the properties and don't have the time to serve as a manager. I would look at the area you are interested in on Airbnb, search for a "superhost" with great reviews, then contact that host directly. Ask that host if they would be willing to co-host a property if you bought one. Ask who they use for cleaning. We have been through a couple arrangements. Our current cleaners provide all the linens as part of their price. This is huge as your expensive linens end to walk of end up in someone elses cabin.

    We have 3 cabins.
    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/446426...share_id=1e2634f7-d4f4-40f6-b972-00bec88561be
    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/412787...share_id=5a696aeb-2084-4f35-ba4e-1104dd372ad0
    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/413245...share_id=a00fe5c3-b75e-4560-b0cd-b02d17896f2e

    If you look at bookings, they all have a high occupancy rate. Monthly gross for all three combined is running close to 20k. This combined with reasonable management costs and low debt service means we're making money on the cabins. Yes, Gatlinburg charges taxes in addition to state and county but once figured out it is manageable. Our area is pretty much year round except for a slower period Jan-Mar. If your area is more seasonal, that would need to be taken into account. @Rushie is absolutely correct in vacation housing being affected by the economy. Ask yourself what people cut out when they tighten their belt. I also completely concur with her regarding long term rentals. I just sold our 80 units of apartments because of the eviction moratoriums; we had tenants that hadn't paid rent in 2 years that we couldn't evict.

    Your question of if the property should be rented at all is a new topic. Some guests will cause damage. Some items will grow legs. We've had to screw hdmi cables to the wall so the next guest doesn't end up wondering why the TV says no connection. Good cleaners help with this issue.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2021
  16. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    Rent your accommodations, own your plane.

    Do you want to be a landlord, or a guest?

    In my eyes it’s yet another job and I have enough jobs already.

    worth what you paid.
     
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  17. Rushie

    Rushie En-Route

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    We always had an “owner’s closet” that was padlocked. We kept tools in there, supplies (non-perishable food, TP, shampoo, etc.) for us so we wouldn’t have to go buy everything each time we came (keep in mind we were flying in), and any other items we didn’t want to disappear but wanted to keep at the house for our use. We never had a guest try to break into those but I still wouldn’t keep anything there you couldn’t afford to lose.
     
  18. FORANE

    FORANE En-Route

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    Yes, an owners closet is good; we have them also. We've had glassware, cheap silverware, towels, comforters, cables - esp hdmi cables, dvd players, wall pictures, etc go missing. Much of it I think is unintentional, but some wasn't.
     
  19. cowtowner

    cowtowner Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I have a friend that has about 10 properties out in Carlsbad NM. He quit his oil field job to do it full time.

    he has since “taken” over the market doing management for about half the Airbnb in town and has hired a bunch of full time staff.

    he is retiring from working next month.

    he 39 years old.
     
  20. Rushie

    Rushie En-Route

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    This is the big downside. Yes, you own a place you can vacation at all you want. But it turns out that a “vacation” there is always more a “maintenance visit”. You’re hyper aware of anything amiss, any damage done, things out of place or missing, you can’t let go of the feeling of responsibility, and that kind of defeats the whole purpose of a vacation. It is another job, even if it’s just a side business and even if you have a management company.

    On the other hand, when you’re young and have the energy, maybe it’s not a bad thing to work your butt off all the time and never have a proper vacation. If you make it a financial success you’ll thank yourself when you have a bigger retirement nest egg. On balance we came out ahead. But that was on balance. It was a ton of work and misery for some big failures as well as success and was the net gain worth it? Yes, I suppose. But there was a price paid. There always is when you’re a workaholic.

    But here’s the thing. It wasn’t a vacation for Mark and I but it was for our kids, and all the extended relatives we hosted there. Their memories are golden. From that standpoint it was all totally worth it. And we have good memories too, it’s not like we didn’t have fun, it’s just that it was like having to have fun while still on the job.

    If we hadn’t owned the houses those get togethers would never have happened. Yes the relatives vacationed rent free on our dime but we also visited them rent free and they would buy our dinners and stuff so it evened out. It provided time for our kids to get to know their out of state cousins, build relationships that carry into their adulthood now.

    Mark would have “guy weekend” with the males, again, priceless memories. Now, they keep saying they need to do that again but it seems a lot harder to organize a get together when you don’t own a fixed getaway location. And now they aren’t a 4 hour drive away but half the country. So that might be over with unless we can talk them all into moving to Texas.

    So there are the upsides and downsides, every situation is different, it might be right for you, it might not. It might be right in one phase of life and not another.
     
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  21. Rushie

    Rushie En-Route

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    We had the reverse also, a lot of items unintentionally left behind, especially in the house where they had to bring their own linens.
     
  22. simtech

    simtech En-Route

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    We have long term rentals and an airbnb all in our home town (small town MS). The Airbnb is the way to go, we cash flow over a grand in a month on it vs 200 per door on the long term. We manage ourselves and we both work full time so it's doable. If I had one far away I'd still manage it, emails and online bookings aren't hard or all that time consuming. Find you a local handy man and a cleaner and then you're set. Locally property managers take 10%...I save that and have a few good people I can call on. It's all about setting up a system, it's not difficult and is reliable.

    I've had more issues from long term tenants than airbnb guest. Unless something is grossly wrong we never hear a peep from them. I'm tempted to sell off all long term rentals and just focus on airbnb. Gotta be picky and have to stand by your rules. Never sign up for auto book on airbnb...approve and vet everyone!

    I say go for it, but don't expect to visit it during your peak money making times.
     
  23. ColoPilot

    ColoPilot Line Up and Wait

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    I have a tiny ski condo that is on the slopes and have rented it with a management company and on my own, but we don't rent anymore. There has been a lot of good information on management companies, maintenance, etc so I won't rehash that. I can add specifics on renting a ski property. First the season is short. We got great rentals from Thanksgiving to early April. April, May, October, and November are mud season and you will not get any rentals. Summer is OK but the nightly rates are half of the ski season. Also, you shouldn't plan on using your unit during holidays, that's when you'll make the most money renting (Christmas week, President weekend, MLK weekend, spring break). Nightly rates for holidays are twice normal rates. This is all for Colorado, I'll not sure on NM.

    Finally, do some investigation on the short term rental climate with the local government. In Colorado, lots of jurisdictions are starting to push back on STR. The town of Breckenridge is getting ready to reduce the number of STR licenses by 10%. They aren't going to take away any licenses, but if you sell your unit the new owner doesn't get your license and has to go on the waiting list to get a license before they can rent short term. Other counties are forcing owners to use management companies too. Again, this is Colorado specific, but I'd look into it for Red River before buying.
     
  24. Mikey B

    Mikey B Pre-Flight

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    Make sure the HOA (if there is one) allows short-term rentals, if that's what you want to do. Our HOA in AZ specifically prohibits rentals for less than (I forget exactly, but let's say at least 3 months for winter season). Despite that, there are a couple of properties rented out through AirB&B or VRBO. They tend to be loud partiers, and the neighbors hate them. The HOA is taking the owners to court.
     
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  25. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    HOA restrictions can be a big problem, even in rural areas. The property association (chartered to maintain the roads) in a very rural area (think 50-100 acre lots) near me just imposed some pretty onerous restrictions because one of the board members got tourqued that someone was planning on opening a B&B. The restrictions apply to any kind of "home based business" but are particularly aimed at B&B or other "short term rentals".

    And that's on top of the regulations, licensing, and taxes that the county imposes.
    Really - for 100 acre lots there's no need for a big-city type HOA/POA. Some folks that already own there are thinking of selling.

    The others have good points on management and maintenance.

    Depending on specifics it can be better or worse than a leaseback deal for an airplane.
     
  26. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Yeah I agree. I’d treat an AirBnB the same as I would a rental house, because that’s essentially what it is. Be ready for the unexpected repairs and dealing with the tenants (good and bad). I’m not sure 4x per year is really enough to make it worth your while honestly. It’s probably better to just rent someone else’s AirBnB and leave the headaches with them. I’m sure you could make it work out quite well if it’s done right though!
    That’s a good reason to stay out of anywhere with an HOA. Granted, they can be useful to help ensure neighbors keep their places up, but other than that, little benefit. Now, unless it’s a place that requires ID or an access code for entry, there’s no reason the HOA would need to know who’s living there and who isn’t.
     
  27. Mikey B

    Mikey B Pre-Flight

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    Well, that's a whole nother thread, but we currently own homes in two HOAs, and are happy with both. Gated, 24-hr security, pools, common areas, etc.
     
  28. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    I haven't done this so can't give any advice on the management side, but on the purchase side, all the times I ever considered it, any interesting properties were already priced as income properties. So to me it really just depends on where you want to invest your $$.
     
  29. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The traditional management companies that take a 30 or 40% cut usually also have a physical office in town, advertise and do the guest screening. It's a bit different with AirBnB and VRBO where the owner can keep that in their own hands. A much more limited role for the local manager.

    'management' as in 'having a on-site manager'. Whether that person is called 'manager' or 'superhost' doesn't matter, but you do need someone who is a keyholder and has decision authority when the police calls at 1am and its time to evict 20 drunks instead of the 6 people you rented to.
     
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  30. ColoPilot

    ColoPilot Line Up and Wait

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    Doing a quick rough numbers:
    Mortgage $400/month (P&I, taxes)
    HOA $400/month (no idea what it really is, the listing doesn't say, this is just an average for a mountain condos)
    Other -- $100/month? for utilities, insurance, etc

    That's $10,800/year. If you rent for $120, you probably get $75/night from the management company so that requires 144 rental nights to break even. Red River's ski season is only about 110 days (and you won't rent every night of the ski season), so you'd need a healthy summer rental demand to break even. If you only rent 50% of the ski season, you'd be ~$6700 in the red for the year.
     
  31. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    Don’t forget to block it for 4 weeks during the season, or what’s the point of owning it.
     
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  32. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier En-Route

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    Bottom line is unless you want another job that more than often than not loses money, don’t rent anything you own regardless of how. If you hire somebody else to manage the property, it’s still a job to manage them.

    I’ve owned a share of a condo in Steamboat for years and use it for weeks at a time in ski season. Never rented it and no intention to at any time.

    I’ve also owned a condo on a SC Barrier Island and rented it thru a management company. Broke even a couple years, lost a few bucks the rest of the time. PITA except when the family and I enjoyed the property.

    YMMV and good luck.

    Cheers
     
  33. Cluemeister

    Cluemeister Line Up and Wait

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    My only advice is if you have to rent it in order to afford it, then I wouldn’t buy it.

    If you can afford it, and the rental income is a bonus, then go for it.

    Ok, my only second advice: If another real estate meltdown occurs, can you afford to dump it for 50 cents on the dollar without crying yourself to sleep every night?
     
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  34. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach

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    In this market, if stuff is sitting, there's probably a reason.

    I've been in the vacation rental business for 6 years now, and if there's one thing I've learned from experience and being active in loads of different owners groups, is every market is different. So take advice from owners in other areas in the context of a different market. Someone was mentioning it that property management companies in their market take 40%. In our market it's about 15-20%, but there are many variables. In some markets, PMs are turnkey and do marketing, handle money, answer calls, etc. That's how it is mostly in my market (Hatteras NC) but I use a management company purely for cleaning/turnovers and handle the marketing, payment, etc. myself. I like doing it that way because my guests are weekly so I only have to deal with 15-25 guests a year. If you do partial weeks in your market you could easily deal with double or triple that.

    In our market, we're doing good. COVID-19 actually boosted demand for the last two years. But all it takes is one really bad storm. Like everything YMMV.
     
  35. catmandu

    catmandu Pattern Altitude

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    Take what you think you will get in income, reduce it by one third. Then take what you think you will spend in management and maintenance, and double it (when the management company loses rental commissions, maintenance magically increases). If it still makes sense for you financially with those parameters, you are good to go. Everything else is risk. BTDT.
     
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  36. FORANE

    FORANE En-Route

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    FORANE
    In my experience a local superhost can do everything a management company can do, only the superhost does it better and at a lower cost.

    Another thing I would advocate on an Airbnb is a smartlock, hub and the Rboy RLA rental lock automator app. The app can be tied to your Airbnb account so when a guest makes a reservation, the app automatically generates a custom door lock code (programs the door lock) to become functional at the checkin date and time and non-functional after checkout time. The RLA can make the code the same as your guests last 4 on their cell phone so the guest won't forget the code. This automates the check in / out process.
     
  37. NJP_MAN

    NJP_MAN Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,842
    Location:
    Kentucky

    Display name:
    Shawn
    As someone who has to put up with *******s that have no respect for their surroundings because they don't live in the neighborhood I detest short term rentals. I have 2 homes and could easily rent one or the other but I would never subject neighbors to the misery that comes with it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2021
    X3 Skier likes this.
  38. jbarrass

    jbarrass Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2010
    Messages:
    932
    Location:
    Oakton, VA

    Display name:
    jbarrass
    I've done it and made money. But it's a job and requires a fair amount of work.

    Vacations are nice, and you know what you're getting, but these days we just rent other peoples property for resort time.

    That said, I'm seriously thinking about doing it again...
     
  39. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,603
    Location:
    west Texas

    Display name:
    Dave Taylor
    Which airport for RedRiver? Taos? Questa? Angel Fire?
    If Angel Fire, why not get a place there and use those ski hills. Everything is a stone's throw away. I have fond memories of skiing there. It suits my style (very quiet, enough greens/blues to be interesting, few fools). There is some battle with the westerly winds in winter.

    One issue I would be watching is; the last few years with global warming, the ski season appears to be getting trimmed in these southern slopes.
     
  40. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2017
    Messages:
    2,194
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ and Ensenada, Mexico

    Display name:
    rgbeard
    I'm the Board President of a large HOA, and I'd recommend these things:

    Understand monthly assessments and any infrastructure projects
    Ask for the last six months board meeting minutes and read them to see what's going on.
    Ask about assessment increases
    Ask about minimum lease terms
    Ask if AirBnB is allowed. Just because you were there on one doesn't mean they're legit allowed.