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First things first - - what you need to do when you want to open a bed and breakfast

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JunieBJones (JBJ)

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I would love for everyone to put their comments on this thread. I know some aspirings buy "how to" books but are still lost in the early stages of what to do, where to start, to open a B&B. Everyone's input here would be very valuable.
We will start with:
They have found the perfect house they want to renovate into a 4 room B&B. They are about to buy this house.
 

Morticia

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Can we do a whole separate thread on 'they found the perfect turn-key B&B to buy' as the problems are slightly different?
However, to your point...
  • ZONING!
  • Competition in the area?
  • Why would anyone come here?
  • At the typical 30% occ rate can you charge enough to make a go of it?
 

gillumhouse

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If it is anything other than a sole proprieter go to a GOOD lawyer and have everything spelled out as to who gets what IF....
I have seen too many inns close because of divorce when one of them REALLY, REALLY wanted to stay a B & B. It also helps in the case of demise.
Also are you aware that you will not find your pillow until midnight and that damned alarm clock will be screaming at you at 5 am??
On the assumption zoning has been checked and all is well - do you know how/where you are going to cram a bathroom - in the room - for each guestroom?
Do you have sufficient parking area?
Did you check with the assessor's office about tax rates? Will you be charging "bed" tax and how much?
Did you register as a business with the secretary of state's office in your state?
Did you secure a domain name? Did you write it down and then look at it to ensure it says only what you want it to say?
 

Sunshine

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If it's a historical home, or in a historical district did you check to see what the rules are affecting that? We not only have a historical home listed on the national registry which brings its own set of rules; our historic district has its rules and also our own street has its own set of rules! This include signage. be sure you check with the city about requirements or regulations on signs. We are only allowed a 2X2 sign attached to the structure of the home!
 

swirt

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Can the septic handle the possible flow of all the additional bathrooms?
Do they think breakfast is the hardest part about running a B&B?
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Have lots of $$$$..
Samster said:
Have lots of $$$$.
I find it strange that about 50% of those aspiring who hit this forum think there is some magic bullet - that someone will give them money to start a business that typically doesn't make much money (much of it goes back into the business or overhead). Banks don't even want to finance those who HAVE money. Like stated, the deductions, living in the business, working it yourself are the bennies for this.
How can you buy an extremely large home without actually paying for it? YOU CAN'T.
 

gillumhouse

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Have lots of $$$$..
Samster said:
Have lots of $$$$.
I find it strange that about 50% of those aspiring who hit this forum think there is some magic bullet - that someone will give them money to start a business that typically doesn't make much money (much of it goes back into the business or overhead). Banks don't even want to finance those who HAVE money. Like stated, the deductions, living in the business, working it yourself are the bennies for this.
How can you buy an extremely large home without actually paying for it? YOU CAN'T.
.
I find it strange that about 50% of those aspiring who hit this forum think there is some magic bullet - that someone will give them money to start a business
The one looking for grants to get a B & B had me screaming WHAT? But, of course, whyever would anyone be expected to invest any of their OWN money to start a business that they expect to fill their bank account with no effort on their part. Haven't you heard the ads on the radio (and I think they are on TV too) about making $5000 a month with only working a couple days a month? ...and making a fortune selling products you do not have to store - or even pay for? Gimmee something for nothing has become the mentality.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Another thing in opening a B&B we have heard from aspirings lately - you open your home to strangers. Period. You cannot pick and choose race, religion, orientation, marital status.
That is something people should realize AT THE BEGINNING before buying a place. If you can't get past that, then cast the dream or notion aside and do something else with your time and $.
The purpose of this thread is to answer some of these questions to the newbies who are just starting out. Maybe this is a good spot to face the realities of innkeeping.
 

egoodell

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If you are building make sure you have all the departments of the County approve your plans. Don't expect the top cheese of the Building Dept to be the one that does the approving. The Zoning Dept, believe it or not, can disapprove what the Building Dept RECOMMENDS.
Riki
 

egoodell

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And, if the County says you cannot do something, make them give it to you in WRITING. Make them SHOW you where it is written that it is not allowed. Many times the inspectors don't know the regulations.
Riki
 

YellowSocks

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Lots of storage.
Lots of locks.
The biggest High Efficiency washer and dryer you can find.
Private bath for every room.
AC
Private space for you to retreat to
Low debt ratio. (The first innkeeper I ever talked to said, "I don't know how people with mortgages can do this.")
The ability to get up early and stay up late, and a lot of stamina in between.
High tolerance for idiocy and inconsideration
A desire to serve complete strangers by cleaning their toilet.
Room for parking (at least one car per room, plus two for the innkeepers)
If buying to convert, a house with room to add bathrooms.
=)
Kk.
 

Willowpondgj

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Lots of storage.
Lots of locks.
The biggest High Efficiency washer and dryer you can find.
Private bath for every room.
AC
Private space for you to retreat to
Low debt ratio. (The first innkeeper I ever talked to said, "I don't know how people with mortgages can do this.")
The ability to get up early and stay up late, and a lot of stamina in between.
High tolerance for idiocy and inconsideration
A desire to serve complete strangers by cleaning their toilet.
Room for parking (at least one car per room, plus two for the innkeepers)
If buying to convert, a house with room to add bathrooms.
=)
Kk..
I just discovered the Super Wash feature on my HE washer, got a really dirty batch of towels? Super wash 'em, it takes longer but they come out like new! I was amazed!
 

Willowpondgj

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Lots of storage.
Lots of locks.
The biggest High Efficiency washer and dryer you can find.
Private bath for every room.
AC
Private space for you to retreat to
Low debt ratio. (The first innkeeper I ever talked to said, "I don't know how people with mortgages can do this.")
The ability to get up early and stay up late, and a lot of stamina in between.
High tolerance for idiocy and inconsideration
A desire to serve complete strangers by cleaning their toilet.
Room for parking (at least one car per room, plus two for the innkeepers)
If buying to convert, a house with room to add bathrooms.
=)
Kk..
You forgot, a psychiatrist....

 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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If buying to convert, a house with room to add bathrooms.
What is the cost to add ONE bathroom? Those who do not build or reno houses do not have a clue how expensive it is.
For a non-steam shower/jacuzzi spa tub what is the approx to add a bathroom?
We added a bathroom (actually two) and did the entire thing 100% ourselves - plumbing, septic, electrical, drywall, finish work - it was $5000 each that was with basic fixtures and toilet, shower etc. Nothing fancy.
 

EmptyNest

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1.Make sure zoning exists or can be obtained for a B & B before you DO ANYTHING
2. Make sure you have plenty of YOUR OWN SPACE.
3. Make sure you have lots of money saved. No one is going to give you any to open a B & B.
4. Make sure you have an exit strategy if it doesn't work out or for when you actually will retire..REALLY!
 

YellowSocks

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If buying to convert, a house with room to add bathrooms.
What is the cost to add ONE bathroom? Those who do not build or reno houses do not have a clue how expensive it is.
For a non-steam shower/jacuzzi spa tub what is the approx to add a bathroom?
We added a bathroom (actually two) and did the entire thing 100% ourselves - plumbing, septic, electrical, drywall, finish work - it was $5000 each that was with basic fixtures and toilet, shower etc. Nothing fancy..
$5-10 for basic, $10-$20 for fancy, on up for ridiculous... Depends on how much you can do yourself, how competent your contractor is, how good you are at finding $4 mirrors at yard sales, and the current layout and condition of the space to be renovated.
=)
Kk.
 

trishany

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Purchase: website, locks and keys for each room, a GREAT vaccum, curtains, shades, linens, towels, bedspreads, comforters, plates, silverware, glasses, placemats, napkins (and a good iron to iron these), soaps, shampoos, ironing boards, hair dryers, trash can liners, make-up removers, q-tips, plastic cups, vases for flowers, 409, Windex, Tilex, good washer and dryer, AND
A good attitude !
 

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