Possible B&B Home

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01/19/2012

The home I was looking at to buy (it's a fair distance), I'm starting to wonder if it's worth the trouble.  The real estate rep took a look at it for me, took a tonne of photos for me so I can see the 'real house' since on the ads pictures always just show the good side. 

On the main floor it's got an eat in kitchen, formal dining room, laundry room, den, half bath, 2 porches, 2 stairwells going to the 2nd floor.  The 2nd floor has 5 bedrooms, and a bathroom (with claw foot bathtub).  The 3rd floor (attic) is tall enough to finish into atleast 2 rooms. 

It's an older home that has been neglected over the years, and so it needs a lot of work.  I can get it for a really inexpensive price (meaning I wouldn't need a mortgage to deal with).  I'm told it's a solid foundation.  Windows are old, but still keeps the heat in.  I think I would start with re-doing the kitchen and bathroom, and outside paint (unless siding would be better?)

It would be a project that would take me a while to do.  Even if I don't do a b&b, I can always update it, and sell it for a better price than what I paid.  (house flip I think they call it).  Might be fun.

I'm still keeping my eyes open for other possible homes though.

... oh I'm so confused.

 

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05/18/2012

Hi Olga,

I joined this group because we are hoping to sell our family home in Berkeley Springs, WV and it would make a wonderful B&B.  I posted about it under the topic Inn Misc.  I don't know where you might be wanting to relocate - the house is just 100 miles west of DC and Baltimore.  Just thought I would mention.  I was corrected that it is just a house that has B&B potential - not an active business.  I don't wish to mislead anyone - just trying to reach out folks with vision and interest.

- David

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01/19/2012

dmcbee wrote:

Hi Olga,

I joined this group because we are hoping to sell our family home in Berkeley Springs, WV and it would make a wonderful B&B.  I posted about it under the topic Inn Misc.  I don't know where you might be wanting to relocate - the house is just 100 miles west of DC and Baltimore.  Just thought I would mention.  I was corrected that it is just a house that has B&B potential - not an active business.  I don't wish to mislead anyone - just trying to reach out folks with vision and interest.

- David

Thank you so much for mentioning your house for sale.  I'm hoping to find something in Canada though.

swirt's picture
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05/17/2008

 AS Weaver said...  CHeck the septic.. If it is on a septic, going from 1 bath to 5 baths will likely mean the septic system will need to be completely re-done and expanded in size considerably.  Code has changed a lot in 50 years as far as how big a tank you need, how big a drain field ...  Definitely don't buy anything until you get it completely checked out.

If it is on a well .. check that out right after the septic.   The amount of water consumed by a B&B at capacity is amazing.  When people are traveling they are more wasteful than when at home.  You need a well that won't run out when couple number 5 is taking shower number 9 and 10 for the morning...... or when you are on your third load of laundry before noon.

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01/24/2012

You are so right Swirt, the septic is a huge issue.

My well is more than capable of supporting 7 bathrooms (only two in this house), however my septic can barely handle what is here.  Cost to replace and design for 7 bathrooms, and to handle the B n B laundry, $50K NTM needing it pumped annually for the solid matter that will not decompose fast enough for the leech fields to work.

Hence I am buying elsewhere.

It isn't just do you have a well that will handle the need, or a water heater to keep your guests in hot water, but do you have a place for it all to go?

 

Weaver's picture
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01/24/2012

Olga,

How old is the home?

Has any of the wiring and or plumbing been updated?

What is the capacity of the septic tank or are you on city sewer?

 

I can tell you from personal experience that renovating a 100+ year house is insane.  BTDT, I have a 5 bedroom 2 bath 102 year old solid as the day is long house.  I looked at turning it into a BnB.  After about 10 min I decided NOPE.  I renovated my bathrooms, didn't add any, renovated my kitchen, moved appliances, insulated attic, gave up one bedroom for additionaly attic access thereby not changing my room count.

I love this house, but to make it a B N B would cost me well over $200k almost what I paid for it.

And that does not include additional landscaping, parking, furnishings, and owner's suite security.

The place I am looking at is different, the existing buildings are ready to go, the new ones will be easier than renovating a 100+ y/o house, and I have a destination location with a significant draw. 

Once I close and web site is done, it will litterally take me 2 maybe 3 days to install the furnishings, do a little touch up work and be ready to roll. The rest will be over a period of 5 years.

I know you said you could pay cash for it, but where will the money for the reno come from?

Either an equity loan which = payments, or you have a boat load of cash in the back closet.

I did things cheap but I did cosmetic stuff, biggest change I made was the kitchen with a new location for the fridge, cook top and oven, replacing what was a range, and adding a d/w - still not hooked up.

And that was over $2K for the electrical work, and my DS put in all the outlets, that was just for new 100amp service a new box and a second line into the house, we did the rest.

Not trying to be a negative nelly but look long and hard at what it will really cost and what you can really do.  And do you have the funds to do it, and get the marketing rolling, while still working to feed the kids and deal with real life? 

If on the other hand you love this place, and are going to do it over a period of say 5-10 years as the kids get older, and you can pay for things out of pocket and not as K puts it "have a big HONKIN loan Payment" then do that.

 

Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

I agree with CL. There are SO MANY b&bs for sale at amazingly low prices that you should really put your energy into researching those first.

Adding bathrooms alone will probably cost you $50,000.

Olga, we're really trying to help you, don't take any of this personally. So we can help even more, can you tell us the price range you're looking at? A lot of times we innkeepers know of terrific properties that are for sale that you won't typically find on the b&b listings.

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01/19/2012

Breakfast Diva wrote:

I agree with CL. There are SO MANY b&bs for sale at amazingly low prices that you should really put your energy into researching those first.

Adding bathrooms alone will probably cost you $50,000.

Olga, we're really trying to help you, don't take any of this personally. So we can help even more, can you tell us the price range you're looking at? A lot of times we innkeepers know of terrific properties that are for sale that you won't typically find on the b&b listings.

Thanks, I do appreciate all the input.

I would have a bit left over for renovations if I buy the place.  I don't think enough for everything tho.  So yes, the renovations would be over time for sure.

In the area I'm looking at, I did notice a b&b for sale as a turnkey.  I would have to have a mortgage tho.  That might be better. 

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

I would have a bit left over for renovations if I buy the place.  I don't think enough for everything tho.  So yes, the renovations would be over time for sure.

In the area I'm looking at, I did notice a b&b for sale as a turnkey.  I would have to have a mortgage tho.  That might be better. 

I paid cash for my house and used all my money getting started. What helped us was no kids (thankfully all grown), neither of us had expensive habits (DH had already acquired most of his "toys" but did start a new interest that made life interesting financially), and with no mortgage we could manage with being estatic if we had 6 room nights in a month. THEN finally even DH saw the light and agreed to sign for a loan *VERY grudgingly" to install a new bathroom and reno the original. What I "thought" from what the deconstructor said was going to be $10,000 turned into $28,000. And now I had used ALL my money and had nothing left as a cushion. Starting out with a loan and keeping my own money as a cushion would have been a lot smarter. I started out when the Internet was JUST starting and now it is a bit easier to be found sooner but a LOT costlier. That is why I pointed out the bene of turnkey. I honestly am speaking the voice of experience. I market like made and have managed to survive but since I am not in a "tourist" area, I REALLY have to work at it. Funny thing is that I have come up with ads and ideas and put together group marketing that have worked wonders - for everyone else. I end up sitting there wishing. I want you to succeed - therefore the warning.

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01/19/2012

Thank you everyone for all the advise and warnings.  I appreciate it all Smiling

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

What costs less?

Buy a house that needs a LOT of renovations that has 5 bedrooms an one bathroom BUT a couple rooms can be turned into bathrooms @ even doing it yourself a minimum of $5000 to $6000 each with all the clean-up down time etc so now you have 3 guestrooms with private bath. You were making payments while doing reno and bringing in NO money for a minimum of 1 to 2 months. Now you get to spend $$$$$ on furniture, linens, amenities, and a jillion other things it takes to start-up.

OR lay out about the same amount of money it would cost to do the above and have everything in place on day one - including reservations on the books - ready to go.

No matter how much you THINK it is going to cost to do renovations, it costs more.

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 1 bathroom / 5 bedrooms...forget about it. You know what we have said all along..private baths for every guest room is a MUST. Who is going to do the work?  Are you even allowed to have a B & B in that location in that town? Sounds like a real money pit to me. Unless you have tons of it. I would pass on this one. Why would this location make a good place for a B & B? Are there others in the town? This could take you years. Why bother if you can find something fairly turnkey. There are so many properties on the market these days, you really owe it to yourself to consider some of them first.

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catlady wrote:

 1 bathroom / 5 bedrooms...forget about it. You know what we have said all along..private baths for every guest room is a MUST. Who is going to do the work?  Are you even allowed to have a B & B in that location in that town? Sounds like a real money pit to me. Unless you have tons of it. I would pass on this one. Why would this location make a good place for a B & B? Are there others in the town? This could take you years. Why bother if you can find something fairly turnkey. There are so many properties on the market these days, you really owe it to yourself to consider some of them first.

The others that are already renovated cost a lot more money.  Yes, it doesn't have enough bathrooms, but a couple of rooms are small enough to turn into more bathrooms.  There is another b&b in the area (not sure how close), and yes, b&b's are allowed.  The area I'm looking at is very touristy.

I'm just on the fence.  Part of me says, too much work, the other part thinks it has potential.

If I was rich with lots of moola to spend, it would be a no brainer Eye-wink

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

The turn key properties can also be more expensive because they have money coming in the day you close on the property. There really is something to be said for money coming in immediately. Plus, if the business was maintained (proprty as well as the good will part) you can build on THAT instead of starting from scratch.

So, let's say you can do this house without a mortgage. How long before you have guests find you online? How long to build up a reputation? You could go for a few years just making enough to keep you in ramen noodles.

If you're going to do the DIY project you have to have a lot of energy. You need to be focused, driven and know the market where you are buying so you design the B&B around that market. (ie- if it's all romance and newlyweds you are going to want a lot of privacy and 'romantic' features. If it's outdoorsy people you're going to want to cater to that mindset. Etc.) Then, while you're renovating or overseeing renovations, you also need to be somewhere else marketing yourself.

Now a lot of people look at a challenge like that and rub their hands together and say, 'Bring it on, I'm ready!' If that's you, go for it. If you can't see yourself out in the town everyday meeting and greeting and handing out information about what you're doing, then the DIY project might not be for you.

I'm not really sure you can reno a property completely to code, buy all of the B&B 'equipment & furnishings', get the phone ringing, build your marketing, etc for less than a turn key property.

You've got to think about stuff that's not an issue at your house right now...7 guest rooms all running the A/C and hair dryers while you're running the dryer. Can your electric panel handle that load? Can you supply water for all the guest showers AND your family's as well? (Guests shower for hours.)

A turn key place hopefully has all of that worked out!

__________________

Everyday, for good or ill, we intersect with some else's story and become a part of it.

 

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05/22/2008

 But you seem to forget...you are going to have to spend $$$$$$$$ to renovate it. By the time you are finished you may as well buy turnkey.

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