Turnkey Inns vs converting historic homes to B&B's

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I want to address this today. I heard of another high occupancy B&B for sale, and for whatever reason I think those of you aspirings assume it is for sale because it is a dog or something?

This is pure nonsense. Listen to me for a moment...lend me your ears 

B&B's have an innkeeper shelf-life. This is just a fact, and the higher the occupancy, perhaps the sooner an innkeeper is ready to list it. As they are on on on every day most days of the year. It is not an easy profession. Even if they have staff, there is that to deal with, which adds an additional stress level.

We pour our hearts and souls into these inns, they are our babies. We pour everything into them, including our finances. Then we hand them on to the next set caretakers. We want the next set of caretakers to love these old homes like we do, to make them succeed! Most of us are go getters, we jump and we jump high! 

Now for those of you who think all the inns on the market are because they are not good viable inns, then you are mistaken. There are plenty of B&B's that are very successful financially. Some have room to grow, which is an opportunity to those who want to give them a shot!

           For example our B&B: I have at least one call per week for small weddings and other functions here. It is so DOABLE IT AIN'T EVEN FUNNY! We have two children, as it is we pour our lives into this inn, but we cannot do it all. Our kids needs us, we need to be a family. The past owners did do dinners, and weddings. This place is the gem of this town, hands down. They want us to host events, weddings, functions, dinners, etc. We are approved and can do them as often as we wish.

But for us, we strive to be a B&B and host "wedding nights" not functions. But the next set of innkeepers can do elopement packages, small garden weddings, heck I even know a Harpist who can play out near the ponds!

So, there ya have it. I wanted to share this. I wanted those of you considering building a business from scratch to consider one with reservations on the books, innstant inncome, so to speak. An operating business that you can purchase turnkey, step into and make your own! Be the boss. We have websites, marketing, all operation costs printed out for you, there are no surprises!

You won't need to spend months and years in renovations, adding bathrooms, and doing all of that. We are licensed, operational, and most of us have been a B&B for many many years, we are nearly in our 25th year as an inn.

Here is a website to see inns for sale by state that I recommend:

http://www.innshopper.com/

 

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I just think everyones situation (whatever it may be), is unique.  What works for one, may not work for another.

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Olga wrote:

I just think everyones situation (whatever it may be), is unique.  What works for one, may not work for another.

Aboslutely.

I am just pointing out rat infested place "Hey this would make a great B&B!"

ANY HOUSE could be a B&B. Period, Full stop.

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 and I state my case:

Former rat-infested care home up for sale

Rye and Battle Today

Former rat-infested care home up for sale Rye and Battle Today James Emson, auctioneer, said: We have been instructed by the joint administrators of the property, which is considered ideal for reuse as a care home or a bed-and-breakfast or as one or two private residences, subject to consents.

 Yeah IDEAL!

Weaver's picture
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The architecture is cool, the roof looks like it is going to cave any minute.  Lots of places can be a B n B if you have the money, the insanity, the therapist (in the event you want to treat your insanity), and the time.

And everything is subject to......

 

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I think when people say 'suitable for a B&B' in a situation like that they really mean some sort of group home.

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Innkeep's picture
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I agree with the majority here that those of you whose dream is to run a B&B that turnkey saves lots of grief and in most cases is the sane way to proceed.

My case is rather unique because I got into innkeeping bass ackwards.  It was my job to sell the house my parents had lived in for 50 years when they got too old to live there.  This was 2005 when most people had a reasonable expectation that houses would eventually sell.  It was on the market (priced lower than what the realtor recommended so I could get rid of it fast) for a year without the first nibble.  I was despairing what to do with this 5 bedroom house and one day when I was driving past it on my way to work the idea just popped into my head that it would make a great B&B.

For example, the zoning ordinance in my town doesn't even define what a B&B is, health department was very difficult to work with, so obviously if I had done "all" my homework I would have run away from this project very fast.

Fortunately for me I found the Forum and my forum buddies steered me into lots of correct choices during that start up phase.  Had I not converted the old house into a B&B I would have missed out on such a great adventure.  This is saying a lot because as I explain to the guests who compliment my breakfasts that I was a non-cook before the B&B.

I love my commute, 97% of my guests are super nice people, I've learned how to cook (breakfasts, at least) and I've met lots of wonderful Innmates.

I am fortunate in so many ways.  I was able to plow my retirement savings into the undertaking so there was not a mortgage.  I've been able to pay my overhead expenses from earnings, but don't yet think I'd earn enough to make mortgage payments.  I'm now in my fifth year, and this is the first year that I can say I might possibly have a month with 40% occupancy, and the first year that there have been times that I've had to turn away bookings cause I was already full up!

So I'm still getting the hang of things around here, not ready to contemplate selling, having too much fun... I already know nobody wants to buy this house anyway.

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Innkeep, what a wonderful success story!   I have a feeling you will have many happy innkeeping years ahead of you.  Not having a mortgage is a wonderful feeling in that every day you have guests, you know that you are doing it by choice...not because you absolutely have to.  To me that makes a big difference.

We also just happened into the business of innkeeping over 20 years ago.  Our challange now is how to scale it back and still offer a quality stay without killing ourselves with work.  There is not much chance of our ever selling this place as a viable B+B because it is too small to pay a mortgage.  But, it may be just the right size for us to live out our days here just running it weekends.   Like you, most of our guests are wonderful and we really do enjoy the social aspects of the business.  As people-pleasers, we can't imagine selling this place and retiring to a total life of leisure.

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Much tougher to open a start-up B&B than to buy a great viable biz!  While we renovated, we kept the bulk of our household belongings in the moving company boxes for almost 2 years.  I had 2 nails in a tiny closet to hang some clothes on. The end result with our home is great and the memory of living through that is fading, but I would never do it again.  There was no turnkey property for sale anywhere in the vicinity of where my husband's full-time job is which was absolutely my first choice. 

 

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Joey Camb's picture
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Don't get me started on this issue! just made online friends with a woman in my town doing bb

1- property has 4 double bedrooms with just 2 bathrooms so you have to share! both bathrooms are big and could have been easily cut into 2 shower rooms.

2- no parking even 1 space!!!! you have to park 7 mins walk away and pay $26 a day

3 - crap location you would never find it unless you knew it was there - as a local I had to look it up on google maps - therefore no possible chance of passing trade.

4- at least 10 BB's up for sale at fricking bargain prices why try and force it into the wrong place!!!!!????

 

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But given the people who have emailed or called re leasing this inn instead of buying, they don't even have enough for a down payment and think they can bargain.  They think "I can't do anything else, I was laid off so I will run a B&B, that has got to be easy enough."

I would shut 'er down before I fell into that trap. 

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

But given the people who have emailed or called re leasing this inn instead of buying, they don't even have enough for a down payment and think they can bargain.  They think "I can't do anything else, I was laid off so I will run a B&B, that has got to be easy enough."

I would shut 'er down before I fell into that trap. 

It's frightening how many people think they can get into this business without any money.

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Not sure about now but there used to be a fair amount of books and seminars saying you could do just that. It is possible but not really a great idea for most people.

Edit: this was in response to the calls about getting in with no money down.

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Breakfast Diva wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

But given the people who have emailed or called re leasing this inn instead of buying, they don't even have enough for a down payment and think they can bargain.  They think "I can't do anything else, I was laid off so I will run a B&B, that has got to be easy enough."

I would shut 'er down before I fell into that trap. 

It's frightening how many people think they can get into this business without any money.

The harder I look at things and the more I try to tighten my budget the more things crop up in my mind.  It is like your belt at the Thanksgiving table, you gotta let it expand for a while before you can tighten it down again.

One thing that I think is vital and has only been touched on, whether starting with nothing and doing the insane thing (like me) or taking on an existing and operating business the need for some sort of contingency fund is vital.  More small businesses fail because something went wrong with this thing or that, and they didn't plan for the "what ifs".  The bigger the project or older the house the larger the contingency fund should be.  Three to six months (or more depending on the situation) of your monthly nut and at least 15% of the reno cost should be a minimum.

It doesn't matter if that contingency fund is in cash, gold coins under your mattress or a LOC, having it will often save you money in the end.  Many reno projects (I can personally attest to this level of stupidity) get out of hand and over budget when trying to cut costs too much.  Sometimes it is better to just do it right and spend a little more on the front end and a lot less on the back end, something that can't be done without a contingency fund. 

Hope for the best and plan for the worst!

 Edited to add:

When I say nothing I mean, not an existing business, no rez on the books.

 

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We were required by the bank we got our biz loan from to have $75k in the bank after all start up expenses had been met. We thought that was a lot of money. Oh how wrong we were. Things that can go wrong with an existing business: flood ($10k), furnace ($12k), roof ($25k), replacement of 3 appliances that either died or were shot. And that's just infrastructure. That doesn't even take into account linens, kitchen ware and things like that. Things that the PO's were supposedly using everyday. Nor does it take into account completely renovating the innkeeper space from a 70's time warp into something I'm not embarrassed to have my family see. (Not done yet.) Yes, it will be gorgeous when we're done and why are we doing it? Why are we wasting our money? Why not leave it for the next owner the way we found it?

By the time we are done I would imagine we will have spent close to $500k just keeping the property up to spec. We will never see that in real dollars. We only hope we see it in a quick sale for a good price. Given nothing has sold in this town for 3 years, we're not optimistic. However, that has pretty much been our lives in a nutshell. We are always a day late and a dollar short. We buy high and sell low. College tax credits came out the year our youngest graduated. We got married at the end of the year and got hit with tax penalties when we filed a joint return because we should have 'thought about the tax implications of getting married' according to the IRS lady. (We are expecting a little windfall here of $1000. My car just ate $500 of that in repairs. This is typical. Check isn't even here and it's spent.)

No wonder I'm grumpy all the time!

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Breakfast Diva wrote:

It's frightening how many people think they can get into this

business

without any money.

Yes, that's the truth!

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Madeleine wrote:

Breakfast Diva wrote:

It's frightening how many people think they can get into this

business

without any money.

Yes, that's the truth!

That would be true with just about any small business.  Altho I have heard of people who start off with next to nothing and grow their business.  Lots of work and determination.

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Olga wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

Breakfast Diva wrote:

It's frightening how many people think they can get into this

business

without any money.

Yes, that's the truth!

That would be true with just about any small business.  Altho I have heard of people who start off with next to nothing and grow their business.  Lots of work and determination.

Of course you can build a business from nothing. I'm dating myself here but the guy who started Jordache jeans had $26 when he started out. So, if you don't have money what do you need? You've at least got to have the property or the ability to buy a property. And a vision. And the ability to live on nothing while you work toward that vision.

We've got an innkeeper on here who started out with a property and made a viable B&B. She bought her kids' clothes at Goodwill. She furnished the property close to the same way. She had family help with the work. She pounded the pavement getting the folks at the local college to know she was in business and to send business her way. She takes in students (at a lot less than B&B rates). So, yes, you can do whatever you set you mind to.

What you have to be sure of is the rest of your family. Will they stick it out with you or will they make your dream a nightmare? Will they up and leave you in the middle of the renovation? Will the kids expect you to be at every school event? Do you have a support system in place where you are moving to?

There are lots of people who start with nothing and come out way ahead of those who started with a lot. Just make sure your vision is clear and your ducks are lined up. Make sure your family is in it with you thick and thin. Make sure they understand that you are not available last minute for anything. We have 3 grandkids we had to wait over a month to see because they were born 'in season'. Can you make those sacrifices? Can your family?

If you have a support system and a vision you can do anything.

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Olga wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

Breakfast Diva wrote:

It's frightening how many people think they can get into this

business

without any money.

Yes, that's the truth!

That would be true with just about any small business.  Altho I have heard of people who start off with next to nothing and grow their business.  Lots of work and determination.

I disagree.

Open a restaurant you need to have money to do it successfully.  Work and determination do not pay what is needed to convert a place, license and furnish and open it properly.

Why people think they can "put up guests" in susize's spare room and guests will love that is beyond me, and charge the same rate as other nearby inns with many more amenities. A homestay is a different subject, that is supposed to be homespun, vs professional.

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Olga wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

Breakfast Diva wrote:

It's frightening how many people think they can get into this

business

without any money.

Yes, that's the truth!

That would be true with just about any small business.  Altho I have heard of people who start off with next to nothing and grow their business.  Lots of work and determination.

I disagree.

Open a restaurant you need to have money to do it successfully.  Work and determination do not pay what is needed to convert a place, license and furnish and open it properly.

Why people think they can "put up guests" in susize's spare room and guests will love that is beyond me, and charge the same rate as other nearby inns with many more amenities. A homestay is a different subject, that is supposed to be homespun, vs professional.

I wrote 'next to nothing', not  'nothing'.  Some people are resourceful in how they go about doing things.

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Olga, every person who has posted is honestly trying to help you. The negatives are just as important as the positives because the negatives are what will deep six you when you were not looking. We are trying to give you the facts - especially tyhe facts with kids. There is no way I could have done this with kids - DH is enough thank you very much! He has had 3 MAJOR medical episodes plus several other hospital visits since we opened - an my closest kid is 600 miles away. And I had revolving door guestswhile he did his fun & games (I am talking aoritic aneurysm, 6-wy bypass, and a femoral artery bypass - not hiccups). Daddy died here just after I opened so no guest interruption then but we had my b-i-l here for his last 8 months and worked around guests. And my examples are chump change to what some go through.

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gillumhouse wrote:

Olga, every person who has posted is honestly trying to help you. The negatives are just as important as the positives because the negatives are what will deep six you when you were not looking. We are trying to give you the facts - especially tyhe facts with kids. There is no way I could have done this with kids - DH is enough thank you very much! He has had 3 MAJOR medical episodes plus several other hospital visits since we opened - an my closest kid is 600 miles away. And I had revolving door guestswhile he did his fun & games (I am talking aoritic aneurysm, 6-wy bypass, and a femoral artery bypass - not hiccups). Daddy died here just after I opened so no guest interruption then but we had my b-i-l here for his last 8 months and worked around guests. And my examples are chump change to what some go through.

Thank you, but this isn't really about me.  I know my limits.  I'm generalizing my comments and saying that some people are able to do amazing things when they set their minds to it.  I think it's great.

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Another thing that gets my goat! is people who open and then start saying - oh what do you think we should do about advertising? HUHHH!!!!! When it looks like you have a firm date for finishing then you should be taking bookings (im not saying for that date necessarily but if you think you will be finished in June and you have people ringing up for november then that should be ok) you have to start building your books as soon as a realistic end is in sight.

The other alternative is to buy a turnkey and you have the books there all set and lets hope they are reasonable.

Its like another neighbour of mine just has 3 double bedrooms but they are fab - said to me the other day yes we really should get with internet booking!!! this is after 3 weekends empty!!!! you think? you have just realised you are 6 years behind everyone else?

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The risk is much higher in a conversion. An existing business is a much better bet. You have established income etc.

I would imagine that you could get in with less down in a finished product also so your overall exposure might be less also.

Just some thoughts I had after revisiting this idea in the shower this morning. hahahahha

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toddburme wrote:

The risk is much higher in a conversion. An existing business is a much better bet. You have established income etc.

I would imagine that you could get in with less down in a finished product also so your overall exposure might be less also.

Right, a business with a proven financial record vs converting and hoping the licensing/ispections and permitting and such is all approved, and then hope after everything is said and DONE someone will want to stay with you.  

If you build it they will come does not apply to B&B's...there is way so much more to it than that.

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I was having a hard time deciding on whether to buy a fixer upper, because I just like the idea.  Even if I didn't make it into a b&b, I think it would still be a fun thing to do.  I also like the idea of a turnkey because the business is already set up ... one just has to learn the ropes and get into some sort of groove that works for them. 

I think it all depends on the owners personality, experiences, and financial means.

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Olga wrote:

I was having a hard time deciding on whether to buy a fixer upper, because I just like the idea.  Even if I didn't make it into a b&b, I think it would still be a fun thing to do.  I also like the idea of a turnkey because the business is already set up ... one just has to learn the ropes and get into some sort of groove that works for them. 

I think it all depends on the owners personality, experiences, and financial means.

Olga, until you have lived through a reno you have no clue how NOT fun it is.

I have personally with the help of my DS (not an adult but a teenager) renovated my 100 y/o house while living in it with two teenagers, one stupid dog and 5 cats.

It was pure insanity, but I did it, saved a ton of money, got what I wanted but I didn't do anything too major, no new bathrooms, hardly moved anything except in the kitchen, and started with very solid bones.

You have children living at home, there is only so much they can take before they up and revolt on you, and depending on their age that could be anything from hiding in their room with their i pod or computer to having a temper tantrum over what they are not getting for dinner.

Good example, when I pulled up the flooring in my dining room, which in this old farm house is like the central hall (has 6 doors leading everywhere), there was nasty sticky black adhesive all over the floor.  We had to let it dry out for at least a week before scraping it off the floor and then sanding it.  The kids had to go outside and around the house to get from their side of the upstairs to the kitchen, or they had to come through my bathroom and bedroom to come down.  Anyway you look at it, it was not good.

We ran into a problem in the kitchen, needed additional electrical service, I wasn't planning on the extra $3k and the permits, so we ate what I could cook in the roasting oven and the electric skillet until tax refund came.  

Sewage line from house to septic tank collapsed this past winter.  We were digging a hole in below 40 temps, thank G-d it was a mild winter, and I was lucky enough to have a great neighbor.  We didn't run water down a drain in the house for 4 days.  Two seater outhouse was about to be brought back into service but it wasn't that bad and I fixed it myself for $30 and only two trips to L  ow es.

So think long and hard about renovating with kids in the house, it ain't fun.  And the above are just the highlights, I have more stories of reno nightmares.

Would I do it again, OH SURE, would I do it with kids of any age in the house, NO WAY.  The dream is your dream not theirs, they want to watch tv, have a hot meal, and a warm bed.  If you can find a place that is even close to what you want, do that.  What I am doing is not the easy way, but then again I never do anything the easy way.

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Weaver wrote:

Good example, when I pulled up the flooring in my dining room, which in this old farm house is like the central hall (has 6 doors leading everywhere), there was nasty sticky black adhesive all over the floor.  We had to let it dry out for at least a week before scraping it off the floor and then sanding it.  The kids had to go outside and around the house to get from their side of the upstairs to the kitchen, or they had to come through my bathroom and bedroom to come down.  Anyway you look at it, it was not good.

Daughter came home from college when the house was torn apart. She was living in one side of it and we were living in the other. The middle was a disaster. To get to the bathroom she had to come downstairs, go outside, go down the driveway, come back inside and go back upstairs. She did this with a towel wrapped around her. The (male) neighbors loved her. She did not get why this was a problem as this is how they all lived in college!

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I would happily by operating business, my problem is finding one that is close enough to my desires.  Land with operating b n b is hard to come by.

JB I would buy your place in a heart beat if it had 20 or 30 acres.  There are others I have looked at that I love, and with great occupancy and ready to roll just hand over the keys, unfortunately they do not have the land I want.

I know that might sound odd to some of you, but if I am going to pour my heart and soul into it, it has to be what I want, where I want it, and at least has the potential for what I want it to become.  It is tough finding those things when you have a pretty darn good idea what you want to do.

So if someone knows of an inn with good occupancy, or even ok occupancy, and there is land, a good amount of land,  PLEASE tell me.  I would rather walk into a place making money, and change things as need be.

 Edited to add:

Contact not signed yet so I can change my mind, seriously if anyone has an operational B n B for sale with 20+ acres and it is south of the Mason Dixon Line, I might be seriously interested.  No sense in reinventing the wheel.

 

 

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Weaver, you have a specific vision and it's not your typical aspiring innkeeper vision, so I totally see why you are looking for your start-up. It makes sense.

Others out there tend to be folks that think they can just turn their house into a b&b. Or buy a cheap old house, add in bathrooms, do renovations, decorate it their way, etc. They think it will be cheaper. In this market you are dead wrong! Start up costs are astronomical. Just furnishing the place will cost $40,000-$50,000 and that's probably a conservative estimate. Licenses, fees, permits, websites, online directories, marketing, etc is big bucks. Oh yeah, and you will be operating in the red for at least 3 years. Where's your income for you to live on and pay all those bills we all have?

I deal with a lot of aspiring innkeepers. I truely do understand wanting to create your own vision. But 9 out of 10 of them who actually did start their own, after a few years under their belt wished they had bought instead of starting their own. The failure rate for a startup is much higher than for a turn-key. I have seen it happen over and over again. Again, where is the money going to come from to live on when you start up and nobody knows you exist? You have no reputation, and maybe the risk you took that tourists would want to come to your area didn't pan out?

Of course there are those that start from scratch and flourish. Ask them how tough it's been. We have those innkeepers on here too. It's not an easy life being an innkeeper. Rarely do I see posts on here from aspirings to those who have started up their own b&b. Get their input.

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I have a perfect example right next door to me, yes a place that thought it could be a B&B, afterall we are over here raking in the dough, right. Well it is a guest house, they spent tons on renovations and it sits empty. Why? They have no clue.

They use it for functions from time to time and a thurs/fri restaurant downstairs.  They have put in ad in the local newspaper (I mean local, 4 or 5 pages max is all it is), and have no website, I think they may be on home away now. so any free links they can get they put the generic home away link, not EVEN to their exact listing.

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You have to pay to play.  Lots of marketing is inexpensive, but none of it is really free.

How do they expect anyone to know they exist if no one outside their neighbors know they have rooms?

Sometimes you just gotta scratch your head and wonder.

 

 

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Hear-hear! When I was a start-up the online directories were also star-ups and had reasonable rates. They have grown into BIG BOYS with rates to match - in fact the 2 big ones have been purchased by corporations and are no longer "owner-owned".  Katrina changed the cost of construction - upward!

The potential guests I expected to be getting ended up being a very small part of y actual occupancy. Using my own money to start up made it easier because I did not have to make a payment BUT it made it harder when my money ran out. I would have been smarter to start out with a payment and had PRIVATE ENSUITE bath to begin with. I would have had more business from the get-go. And if I did not beat the bushes the way I have, I would be sitting here with a non-existent business because they must know you are there before they can come.

Part of what I do to beat the bushes is to be willing to open the cica 1778 log house to visitors - and I have to do just that in less than 20 minutes (did video & photos of Playful City at the Park again this morning My city is just one of 219 this year nationwide - we were one of 151 last year.).

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BD - mine is not in the normal range of an aspiring, and I get that, but I so wish - and here is a message for other aspirings - there was what I want out there operating.  Would make life so much easier to buy a place with reservations - even if not many - on the books.

 

So aspirings, do not do what I am trying to do, I am certifiable!!!!

Just ask my oldest DD - just finished first year of grad school has two BS (psych and sociology) she will happily tell you her mom is nucking futty!!!!!

So once I am open, and I can say I am an Innkeeper and not an aspiring, have had my first guest and probably a PITA or two, yadda yadda yadda and all that jazz, I can say for cetainty this is not the way to do it,  I will still say don't do what I did.

Instead, listen to the wise old and not so old sages here, they have just a little more than a clue.  Now if only they could take JB's inn and put in on 20-200 acres I would be in hog (ok so that is not kosher - stop laughing at me) heaven.

 

 

Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

Weaver, I'm just stating the obvious here....you do know that if one day you want to sell, it will take a VERY long time to find a buyer since you've narrowed down the market on the number of folks that would be happy buying that unique type of property. I guess my caution would be to not put so much money into it that you wouldn't be able to get out one day if you had to sell as a private farm.

Weaver's picture
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01/24/2012

Oh believe me I know that, which is one reason why I like the place that is almost mine, it is actually 6 parcels, so the cabins will go on the smaller parcels and the farm will be on the big parcel, with just the farmhouse/lodge/barn building.

 

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

Weaver, you are not "normal" meaning you are not looking for a house with some property to be a B & B. You are looking for a niche place for your interests and needs - that cuts out many turnkey possibles. You would be looking for a farm to turn into a B & B not a B & B to turn into a farm.

Weaver's picture
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gillumhouse wrote:

Weaver, you are not "normal" meaning you are not looking for a house with some property to be a B & B. You are looking for a niche place for your interests and needs - that cuts out many turnkey possibles. You would be looking for a farm to turn into a B & B not a B & B to turn into a farm.

True, I am NOT NORMAL.  My kids tell me that every day.

Yep, farm becomes b n b is way easier to find then b n b that can be farm.

But if I am going to kill myself and work 24/7 for the next 10-12 years it has to be what will make me happy not just pay the bills.

 

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

More pluses for turn key...we've worked out the bugs. We've fixed the problems. We know what the guests want and we've added it. We know stuff we'll share with you. I've got a list of ways the next owner can increase business that I just don't want to undertake at this point.

Totally understand the need to build it yourself and make it your own rather than taking over a 'used' business. Just saying that there are opportunities out there to walk into a running business and expand it to suit your needs. (And, no, we're not for sale. We've got a business plan for the next 7 years.)

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

Another contributing factor to great inns being for sale is called Father Time. Listen up Aspirings, JB has given you one reason and I am going to give you another,

Many go into being innkeepers as a second career, Funny thing - we then, after a few years or more get OLD! Our bodies wear out (and sometimes our minds or both). I do not climb stairs as easily as I used to.

I was a start-up. I KNOW how much get poured in to it - and my house was in good condition! First we upgraded the electric service from 60 amp to 200, rewired the house, installed electric baseboard heaters (hard-wired) in each second floor room (no ductwork as wach had been heated with gas fireplace. (This house is now 100 years old.) Then we replaced windows - we were lucky and were put in touch with a factory rep (one less layer of profit required) - almost $10k. Then the 1957 furnace that was functional and in good shape but not efficient was replaced and central air downstairs added. 10 years later we added another bathroom - should have done it in the beginning, PERIOD! Plumbing upgraded as we went along during the first 10 years. We are about to replace the roof. So then all the big ticket structure items will be done. Siding was done in 2004.

Another reason I would be on the market is that my city NEEDS a B & B and they know it. The NEXT innkeeper may have the energy to do more dinners (I am backing off pushing them - bad knees) and we have a lovely side yard that could be used more. Also I expect the next innkeeper to be younger with more ideas to attract younger guests. I have built a business that has a good reputation and when I hand it over, it will be up to the new innkeeper to take it to the next level.

Turnkey allows money to flow in to pay for the changes the new owner wants to make. The next owner will hate my decor - since I kept it simple, it will be easy to change.

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08/04/2008

Well put, JB

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04/21/2010

Hmmm we aren't on there. I thought we were.

The thing we have run into is that historical homes can be bought pretty cheaply these days. This causes the finished product to be discounted also.

A rising tide raises all the boats and the converse is true also.

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