Looking for financing info for B+B

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designer409

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Welcome me. I have recently come to a point in my life where my career and my passion must meet. Since as long as I can remember, I've wanted to take care of people and meet their needs when staying in a new city. I've stayed at many B+Bs and have been so inspired to do it myself. I've worked my entire professional career as a creative type helping businesses grow. Today I must make a decision to stay as a designer or follow my passion and take the plunge. I like with my wife and our new son in the Cleveland area and have been following some the new growth around the major downtown area and think that there are plenty of rehabbed homes available to convert to a b+B or inn. The one issue is that we are financially tight as are most but extremely driven in both a hospitality and marketing perspective. We've been writing a business plan a d have been doing copious amounts of research on this topic.
What we are now looking for is some wisdom from other innkeepers and or b+ b owners as to how we can do this with very little capital. Can anyone advise? Thanks in advance. I want nothing more than to own a place where I can house a few guests, provide a clean historical environment, have local art on display, and feed our guests with local produce grown from an urban farm here in town.
 

EmptyNest

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I understand where you are coming from....I too think Cleveland has turned things around...though I haven't been there in many years. Used to live out on the far east side......But....Sorry...you and everyone else..is looking for capital. You won't find it for a B & B these days. If you look at the ones for sale..they are lanquishing on the market for years!!!
I don't know what size property you are wanting to do, but unless you have your own bucks to invest , I know of no one who is going to be handing you the money. And always double what you think you will need.
We scrimped and saved for 15 years so that we could afford what we finally got. Sorry but there are no short cuts or fairy godmothers out there...at least that I have heard of .
 

egoodell

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I don't know if it would work for you, but we also had no money when we started. What we did was first find out what areas were zoned for B&Bs. Then we built f(we built ourselves saving lots of money. Do you have anyone in the family that is in any kind of building trade?)using a regular home mortgage loan. Then when we were ready we went and got our license and insurance. We would never have gotten the mortgage e if they knew our plans. Plus, business loans are a much higher percentage.
So, if you are already in the area, is it possible for you to sell your current home and purchase one that is properly zoned? Make sure you have plenty of space for family away from the common area for the inn. We have all our rooms and common areas on the ground floor, and our apartment is upstairs. Buy it and then later decide to change your careers and get your license?
You have to be sure to purchase in the best location where tourists that come to Cleveland are going to want to stay and walk to restaurants etc. But at the same time, if the plan does not work for whatever reason, be sure it's an area that you enjoy and want to live in.
We picked Charlottesville as we liked the area, it has lots of tourists already coming here (history, wineries, university) so we did not have to spend a lot of money to start up. The main thing you will need is a decent website.
Riki
 

EmptyNest

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I don't know if it would work for you, but we also had no money when we started. What we did was first find out what areas were zoned for B&Bs. Then we built f(we built ourselves saving lots of money. Do you have anyone in the family that is in any kind of building trade?)using a regular home mortgage loan. Then when we were ready we went and got our license and insurance. We would never have gotten the mortgage e if they knew our plans. Plus, business loans are a much higher percentage.
So, if you are already in the area, is it possible for you to sell your current home and purchase one that is properly zoned? Make sure you have plenty of space for family away from the common area for the inn. We have all our rooms and common areas on the ground floor, and our apartment is upstairs. Buy it and then later decide to change your careers and get your license?
You have to be sure to purchase in the best location where tourists that come to Cleveland are going to want to stay and walk to restaurants etc. But at the same time, if the plan does not work for whatever reason, be sure it's an area that you enjoy and want to live in.
We picked Charlottesville as we liked the area, it has lots of tourists already coming here (history, wineries, university) so we did not have to spend a lot of money to start up. The main thing you will need is a decent website.
Riki.
You give some good advice RIki but..they don't have money...and that is the most important thing in getting started. There is no magic answer for that one:)
Yes, absolutely they must do due diligence in finding out all about zoning requirements etc etc.
 

Don Draper

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Another option is purchasing an existing b&b that has good financials. We started with less than 0 dollars of our own money. We purchased a well established inn with high cash flow which satisfied the banks.
Don't let nay sayers discourage you. Though it can be true that capital is hard to find these days, there are always folks looking for good opportunities to invest their money. SBA is offering a lot through small banks these days, get established at a small bank in the area you want your b&b to be in.
 

rrh

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We worked with a couple of gals who are B&B realtors to find an established inn that needed a little TLC. They helped use get financing from SBA and a local bank. We sold our house and borrowed money from our family. We wrote an exhausive business plan that sold the whole deal to the financiers. I had to keep my day job to make the formula work. We are winding up our second year as inn keepers and, so far, are meeting or exceeding our business plan goals. Research and planning are key. You get financing based on hard data not dreams.
r
 

wendydk

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Firstly, welcome to the forum!

With a new child, I would be very careful how I approach this business. Buy an existing B&B, and you are stuck with it. If you find it difficult or completely incompatible to do it with a small child, you're in trouble. You could face foreclosure or absolute misery for years waiting for it to sell again.
If you currently have a good career, it might be better to buy a house in decent shape that would work and start your own Inn. Make it family friendly to mesh with your young family rather than trying to stuff your young family into someone else's concept and established clientele. Given the type of Inn you want to run, I strongly feel this would be your best option.
Starting from scratch takes a little longer, but requires less money up front. The internet (and a great, visible website) puts you on nearly equal footing with established Inns, and you can shape your reputation from the start rather than buying someone else's.
You can ease into it with your child, taking guests on a scale that you're comfortable with. You have to pay housing costs regardless of where you are, just be careful not to take on more renovations or a bigger payment than you can afford, especially if you decide B&B is not for you and close. Any type of house will work for a family friendly Inn...the less formal, the better. Even a one story ranch will do if it has the right amount of personal space.
It's far easier to get residential financing and then start working on opening and building your business. If one of you can continue working, so much the better.
 

Morticia

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If you have anything you can trade on to show you are serious- IRA retirement plan you are willing to give up, home you are willing to sell, etc you'll get a lot further with lenders. Check to see if there is an urban revitalization group in the area that will help you navigate the loan system.
Unlike others, we were required to have a hefty downpayment and substantial cash in the bank before we could get a loan. We were also required to have substantial (ie-enough to cover the loan) life insurance on BOTH of us, should either die before the loan was paid off.
This is purchasing an existing business with an excellent track record of over 15 years.
To start a new business in a developing area is risky. Banks are not open to risk right now.
 

egoodell

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Firstly, welcome to the forum!

With a new child, I would be very careful how I approach this business. Buy an existing B&B, and you are stuck with it. If you find it difficult or completely incompatible to do it with a small child, you're in trouble. You could face foreclosure or absolute misery for years waiting for it to sell again.
If you currently have a good career, it might be better to buy a house in decent shape that would work and start your own Inn. Make it family friendly to mesh with your young family rather than trying to stuff your young family into someone else's concept and established clientele. Given the type of Inn you want to run, I strongly feel this would be your best option.
Starting from scratch takes a little longer, but requires less money up front. The internet (and a great, visible website) puts you on nearly equal footing with established Inns, and you can shape your reputation from the start rather than buying someone else's.
You can ease into it with your child, taking guests on a scale that you're comfortable with. You have to pay housing costs regardless of where you are, just be careful not to take on more renovations or a bigger payment than you can afford, especially if you decide B&B is not for you and close. Any type of house will work for a family friendly Inn...the less formal, the better. Even a one story ranch will do if it has the right amount of personal space.
It's far easier to get residential financing and then start working on opening and building your business. If one of you can continue working, so much the better..
wendydk said:
Firstly, welcome to the forum!

With a new child, I would be very careful how I approach this business. Buy an existing B&B, and you are stuck with it. If you find it difficult or completely incompatible to do it with a small child, you're in trouble. You could face foreclosure or absolute misery for years waiting for it to sell again.If you currently have a good career, it might be better to buy a house in decent shape that would work and start your own Inn. Make it family friendly to mesh with your young family rather than trying to stuff your young family into someone else's concept and established clientele. Given the type of Inn you want to run, I strongly feel this would be your best option.
Starting from scratch takes a little longer, but requires less money up front. The internet (and a great, visible website) puts you on nearly equal footing with established Inns, and you can shape your reputation from the start rather than buying someone else's.
You can ease into it with your child, taking guests on a scale that you're comfortable with. You have to pay housing costs regardless of where you are, just be careful not to take on more renovations or a bigger payment than you can afford, especially if you decide B&B is not for you and close. Any type of house will work for a family friendly Inn...the less formal, the better. Even a one story ranch will do if it has the right amount of personal space.
It's far easier to get residential financing and then start working on opening and building your business. If one of you can continue working, so much the better.
This is exactly what I was saying. I forgot to mention that I am working outside the business as DH is running it. We need my job still for HEALTH INSURANCE. Too many innkeepers forget about those costs when they quit work to run their inn. When I leave my job I'll be able to take it with me, but for just dh and me I expect it will cost around $600/month.
We will be able to handle this as we will at that time have five rooms and with the wine tours have the income of 10 rooms .
As a start up - it does not take time at all IF YOU HAVE A GREAT WEBSITE. We started booking right away and receive about 95% of our bookings from online.
RIki
 

Alibi Ike

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Firstly, welcome to the forum!

With a new child, I would be very careful how I approach this business. Buy an existing B&B, and you are stuck with it. If you find it difficult or completely incompatible to do it with a small child, you're in trouble. You could face foreclosure or absolute misery for years waiting for it to sell again.
If you currently have a good career, it might be better to buy a house in decent shape that would work and start your own Inn. Make it family friendly to mesh with your young family rather than trying to stuff your young family into someone else's concept and established clientele. Given the type of Inn you want to run, I strongly feel this would be your best option.
Starting from scratch takes a little longer, but requires less money up front. The internet (and a great, visible website) puts you on nearly equal footing with established Inns, and you can shape your reputation from the start rather than buying someone else's.
You can ease into it with your child, taking guests on a scale that you're comfortable with. You have to pay housing costs regardless of where you are, just be careful not to take on more renovations or a bigger payment than you can afford, especially if you decide B&B is not for you and close. Any type of house will work for a family friendly Inn...the less formal, the better. Even a one story ranch will do if it has the right amount of personal space.
It's far easier to get residential financing and then start working on opening and building your business. If one of you can continue working, so much the better..
wendydk said:
Firstly, welcome to the forum!

With a new child, I would be very careful how I approach this business. Buy an existing B&B, and you are stuck with it. If you find it difficult or completely incompatible to do it with a small child, you're in trouble. You could face foreclosure or absolute misery for years waiting for it to sell again.If you currently have a good career, it might be better to buy a house in decent shape that would work and start your own Inn. Make it family friendly to mesh with your young family rather than trying to stuff your young family into someone else's concept and established clientele. Given the type of Inn you want to run, I strongly feel this would be your best option.
Starting from scratch takes a little longer, but requires less money up front. The internet (and a great, visible website) puts you on nearly equal footing with established Inns, and you can shape your reputation from the start rather than buying someone else's.
You can ease into it with your child, taking guests on a scale that you're comfortable with. You have to pay housing costs regardless of where you are, just be careful not to take on more renovations or a bigger payment than you can afford, especially if you decide B&B is not for you and close. Any type of house will work for a family friendly Inn...the less formal, the better. Even a one story ranch will do if it has the right amount of personal space.
It's far easier to get residential financing and then start working on opening and building your business. If one of you can continue working, so much the better.
This is exactly what I was saying. I forgot to mention that I am working outside the business as DH is running it. We need my job still for HEALTH INSURANCE. Too many innkeepers forget about those costs when they quit work to run their inn. When I leave my job I'll be able to take it with me, but for just dh and me I expect it will cost around $600/month.
We will be able to handle this as we will at that time have five rooms and with the wine tours have the income of 10 rooms .
As a start up - it does not take time at all IF YOU HAVE A GREAT WEBSITE. We started booking right away and receive about 95% of our bookings from online.
RIki
.
egoodell said:
This is exactly what I was saying. I forgot to mention that I am working outside the business as DH is running it. We need my job still for HEALTH INSURANCE. Too many innkeepers forget about those costs when they quit work to run their inn. When I leave my job I'll be able to take it with me, but for just dh and me I expect it will cost around $600/month.
RIki
Right. Everyone needs to keep in mind the additional expenses that may have been covered elsewhere, or at least partially covered by outside employment. As a wake-up call, our health insurance is around $1200/month for 2 adults, no children. Because we are employees of the business, it's a business expense. The business has to make that money in order to pay it out. That's the catch.
On the other hand, we don't require business clothing or lunch money or commuting costs any longer! Depending on how far you have to travel, who you need to interact with and what your daily work schedule looks like, these savings could more than cover having to get a personal health insurance policy.
Child care costs are gone if you both work from home. Costly haircuts can be minimized. Buying lunch is out. Lots of places where costs can be cut.
Our mortgage lender required that we have enough personal income to cover our own monthly expenses. We have to pay for a personal phone, our utilities, food, clothing, vacations, car expenses not related to the business, medical and dental expenses not covered by our policy and all of that. So that is something else the OP has to be aware of. There are definitely months we are skimping on one thing to pay for another.
My partner needs dental work done that we can't afford. It will have to wait until it is either an emergency situation or we save up for it.
If the business is not making a profit, you cannot get a salary from it. If you can't get a salary, you can't get any kind of retirement plan.
Lots of things to think about in throwing all of your eggs into that one basket.
 

white pine

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Firstly, welcome to the forum!

With a new child, I would be very careful how I approach this business. Buy an existing B&B, and you are stuck with it. If you find it difficult or completely incompatible to do it with a small child, you're in trouble. You could face foreclosure or absolute misery for years waiting for it to sell again.
If you currently have a good career, it might be better to buy a house in decent shape that would work and start your own Inn. Make it family friendly to mesh with your young family rather than trying to stuff your young family into someone else's concept and established clientele. Given the type of Inn you want to run, I strongly feel this would be your best option.
Starting from scratch takes a little longer, but requires less money up front. The internet (and a great, visible website) puts you on nearly equal footing with established Inns, and you can shape your reputation from the start rather than buying someone else's.
You can ease into it with your child, taking guests on a scale that you're comfortable with. You have to pay housing costs regardless of where you are, just be careful not to take on more renovations or a bigger payment than you can afford, especially if you decide B&B is not for you and close. Any type of house will work for a family friendly Inn...the less formal, the better. Even a one story ranch will do if it has the right amount of personal space.
It's far easier to get residential financing and then start working on opening and building your business. If one of you can continue working, so much the better..
wendydk said:
Firstly, welcome to the forum!

With a new child, I would be very careful how I approach this business. Buy an existing B&B, and you are stuck with it. If you find it difficult or completely incompatible to do it with a small child, you're in trouble. You could face foreclosure or absolute misery for years waiting for it to sell again.If you currently have a good career, it might be better to buy a house in decent shape that would work and start your own Inn. Make it family friendly to mesh with your young family rather than trying to stuff your young family into someone else's concept and established clientele. Given the type of Inn you want to run, I strongly feel this would be your best option.
Starting from scratch takes a little longer, but requires less money up front. The internet (and a great, visible website) puts you on nearly equal footing with established Inns, and you can shape your reputation from the start rather than buying someone else's.
You can ease into it with your child, taking guests on a scale that you're comfortable with. You have to pay housing costs regardless of where you are, just be careful not to take on more renovations or a bigger payment than you can afford, especially if you decide B&B is not for you and close. Any type of house will work for a family friendly Inn...the less formal, the better. Even a one story ranch will do if it has the right amount of personal space.
It's far easier to get residential financing and then start working on opening and building your business. If one of you can continue working, so much the better.
This is exactly what I was saying. I forgot to mention that I am working outside the business as DH is running it. We need my job still for HEALTH INSURANCE. Too many innkeepers forget about those costs when they quit work to run their inn. When I leave my job I'll be able to take it with me, but for just dh and me I expect it will cost around $600/month.
We will be able to handle this as we will at that time have five rooms and with the wine tours have the income of 10 rooms .
As a start up - it does not take time at all IF YOU HAVE A GREAT WEBSITE. We started booking right away and receive about 95% of our bookings from online.
RIki
.
egoodell said:
This is exactly what I was saying. I forgot to mention that I am working outside the business as DH is running it. We need my job still for HEALTH INSURANCE. Too many innkeepers forget about those costs when they quit work to run their inn. When I leave my job I'll be able to take it with me, but for just dh and me I expect it will cost around $600/month.
RIki
Right. Everyone needs to keep in mind the additional expenses that may have been covered elsewhere, or at least partially covered by outside employment. As a wake-up call, our health insurance is around $1200/month for 2 adults, no children. Because we are employees of the business, it's a business expense. The business has to make that money in order to pay it out. That's the catch.
On the other hand, we don't require business clothing or lunch money or commuting costs any longer! Depending on how far you have to travel, who you need to interact with and what your daily work schedule looks like, these savings could more than cover having to get a personal health insurance policy.
Child care costs are gone if you both work from home. Costly haircuts can be minimized. Buying lunch is out. Lots of places where costs can be cut.
Our mortgage lender required that we have enough personal income to cover our own monthly expenses. We have to pay for a personal phone, our utilities, food, clothing, vacations, car expenses not related to the business, medical and dental expenses not covered by our policy and all of that. So that is something else the OP has to be aware of. There are definitely months we are skimping on one thing to pay for another.
My partner needs dental work done that we can't afford. It will have to wait until it is either an emergency situation or we save up for it.
If the business is not making a profit, you cannot get a salary from it. If you can't get a salary, you can't get any kind of retirement plan.
Lots of things to think about in throwing all of your eggs into that one basket.
.
You got that right! Amazing what people take for granted! We have been free-lancers for about seven years now. Even with tax credits, you have to first earn it, then pay it, and with luck, get it back.
 

JBloggs

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You want to buy a business and make money but have no money to buy one? Because you want to? Dont think any bank will find "wanting to" as good collateral.
 

swirt

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Hi Designer409 and welcome to innspiring.com

I want nothing more than to own a place where I can house a few guests, provide a clean historical environment, have local art on display, and feed our guests with local produce grown from an urban farm here in town.
Here is what I see when I read this
  • own a place where I can house a few guests - three people can't survive on housing a few guests. Have you run the numbers to figure out how many guests you have to house for how many room nights to live the life you want to have.
  • provide a clean historical environment - historical environments are not cheap. Make sure you figure in renovations AND infrastructure upgrades that will be needed And whatever you estimate the costs... triple it or more to be safe.
  • have local art on display, and feed our guests with local produce grown from an urban farm here in town. - all good stuff
Your dream is not impossible, but you really need to run the numbers before you get too caught up in the leisurely sittin on the porch drinking lemonade dream of innkeeping.
 

egoodell

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Hi Designer409 and welcome to innspiring.com

I want nothing more than to own a place where I can house a few guests, provide a clean historical environment, have local art on display, and feed our guests with local produce grown from an urban farm here in town.
Here is what I see when I read this
  • own a place where I can house a few guests - three people can't survive on housing a few guests. Have you run the numbers to figure out how many guests you have to house for how many room nights to live the life you want to have.
  • provide a clean historical environment - historical environments are not cheap. Make sure you figure in renovations AND infrastructure upgrades that will be needed And whatever you estimate the costs... triple it or more to be safe.
  • have local art on display, and feed our guests with local produce grown from an urban farm here in town. - all good stuff
Your dream is not impossible, but you really need to run the numbers before you get too caught up in the leisurely sittin on the porch drinking lemonade dream of innkeeping..
swirt said:
Hi Designer409 and welcome to innspiring.com

I want nothing more than to own a place where I can house a few guests, provide a clean historical environment, have local art on display, and feed our guests with local produce grown from an urban farm here in town.
Here is what I see when I read this
  • own a place where I can house a few guests - three people can't survive on housing a few guests. Have you run the numbers to figure out how many guests you have to house for how many room nights to live the life you want to have.
  • provide a clean historical environment - historical environments are not cheap. Make sure you figure in renovations AND infrastructure upgrades that will be needed And whatever you estimate the costs... triple it or more to be safe.
  • have local art on display, and feed our guests with local produce grown from an urban farm here in town. - all good stuff
Your dream is not impossible, but you really need to run the numbers before you get too caught up in the leisurely sittin on the porch drinking lemonade dream of innkeeping.
This is so true. We are "housing a few guests" right now as we only have two rooms to rent. We are also running wine tours 2 to 5 times a week @ $125 per person,and I am working full time at the university. This is making a very good living, as the tours are the same money as a night in the B&B with less overhead, and my job takes care of health insurance.
But this would not leave any time for a child. I barely have enough time for my dog.
Don't get me wrong - I love this but I look forward to the day that we have all five rooms so I don't have to work outside the office. But leaving means I have to pay health insurance.
RIki
 

Joey Camb

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Not to beat the issue to death but plan plan plan PLAN!! Do some work experience if you can and make sure it is for you. Too many people think it is all done by lunch time and time and then just a bit of time with the guests. Make sure you are up to speed with IT and if you can do a Bookkeeping course as so many people slip up in this area.
 

seashanty

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welcome

have you looked into innsitting positions? not short term, but long term?
see how the lifestyle works for you. 24/7 and with a small child.
you might love it. i did.
but you have a long way to go, maybe, to owning your own because of financing.
 

Breakfast Diva

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PLEASE take an aspiring innkeeper course before you go any further. If you have a house with equity to sell and buy a house that would be suitable for a b&b, then you might have a chance, but if you are trying to create a business plan and get a loan and have no capital, then forget it. There's no bank out there that will do that, even with your spouse/partner keeping their day job.
I don't know how you could have done "copious amounts of research" and still think this is possible with tight finances.
 

wendydk

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You want to buy a business and make money but have no money to buy one? Because you want to? Dont think any bank will find "wanting to" as good collateral..
Joey Bloggs said:
You want to buy a business and make money but have no money to buy one? Because you want to? Dont think any bank will find "wanting to" as good collateral.
Jeez, Debbie Downer....
He didn't say anything about buying a business..he said "there are plenty of rehabbed homes available to convert to a b+B or inn."
No money but a passion to do this? Has a good job right now? People start businesses (especially B&B's) with very little money all the time...we did. It was our drive and our passion to open a B&B that made us a success. It was our previous professions that allowed us to borrow the money to get started.
Nothing is really impossible if you want it bad enough.
 

egoodell

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You are a designer, right? Can you work from home? I know a B&B owner that did that as she started out. She designed office layouts. You could be doing design work as you are waiting for your check ins....we are able to run the wine tours in the afternoons, so no reason why you could not do design work while running the B&B
RIki
 
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