Quantcast

Need help deciding

INNspiring.com | Innkeeper Forum & Innkeeping Resources

Help Support INNspiring.com | Innkeeper Forum & Innkeeping Resources:

eyevea

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 9, 2010
Messages
58
Reaction score
0
My husband and I have been planning to buy a B & B for about 6 years now. At first I was doing a lot of online research about businesses in various parts of New England. We started staying at more B & B's to get ideas about what our place should be. We considered starting from scratch, but decided that buying an existing business would be best. About a year and a half ago, we started going to B & Bs that are for sale...some of them have been for sale for years. We looked at 11 different places, examined financial from about 15 places, and have really done our homework. We want a place that is financially viable. Anyway, we have found the place that we'd like to buy. We're in negotiations right now with the owners and love the place. My husband just finished cooking school, our kids are all out of college, we are very handy and look forward to doing renovations on the place. The location is great, the financials look good. We have to sell our house, but the sellers are okay with that.
Now I'm getting cold feet. All I can think about is why this is a bad idea. The questions that keep coming into my head are: Why do people burn out after 5-7 years? What if we really hate it and we become the people with the business that can't be sold? Do I really want to leave my stable job (that I actually like) and my friends, and the house we've lived in for 25 years......
Anyway, I just need to hear from people who also had fears and what made you decide to go for it. And do you think you made the right decision. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

Morticia

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
17,328
Reaction score
198
Why did you originally think buying and operating a B&B was a good idea? Look back at that. I guess I'm wondering why, if you love your life the way it is now, did you start looking to buy a B&B? Is this DH's idea and you went along and now you realize it's for real?

PS- the questions aren't being 'fired' at you because I think you've made a mistake! They're soul-searching questions you need to answer.
 

eyevea

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 9, 2010
Messages
58
Reaction score
0
Why did you originally think buying and operating a B&B was a good idea? Look back at that. I guess I'm wondering why, if you love your life the way it is now, did you start looking to buy a B&B? Is this DH's idea and you went along and now you realize it's for real?

PS- the questions aren't being 'fired' at you because I think you've made a mistake! They're soul-searching questions you need to answer..
Thanks for writing back. My husband actually went to cooking school because he thought my idea of buying and running and B & B was a good one. He took a voluntary buyout from his career as a journalist. He'd always wanted to go to cooking school and my youngest was just finishing college. The timing is all working for us.
It was my idea. I love the idea of running a B & B. We're both great at customer service and loved the idea of living in an old, large house. Of course I didn't realize that the owner's quarters are often less than grand. The house we live in is nothing special, but we've worked hard on it and now I've learned to not dislike it so much. I think I'm having issues with "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence."
When we first started looking online and even in person, we had no idea that most people bail in 5-7 years. Our plan was to do this for the next 25 years. And also didn't realize that even when people decide they've had enough, it takes sometimes 5 more years to actually sell. And I know of a couple of places that went into foreclosure because people couldn't wait any longer to sell.
So, I don't want to make a huge life changing mistake. That's why I'm asking for what other people's thoughts were and are.
 

EmptyNest

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
8,741
Reaction score
1
Why did you originally think buying and operating a B&B was a good idea? Look back at that. I guess I'm wondering why, if you love your life the way it is now, did you start looking to buy a B&B? Is this DH's idea and you went along and now you realize it's for real?

PS- the questions aren't being 'fired' at you because I think you've made a mistake! They're soul-searching questions you need to answer..
Thanks for writing back. My husband actually went to cooking school because he thought my idea of buying and running and B & B was a good one. He took a voluntary buyout from his career as a journalist. He'd always wanted to go to cooking school and my youngest was just finishing college. The timing is all working for us.
It was my idea. I love the idea of running a B & B. We're both great at customer service and loved the idea of living in an old, large house. Of course I didn't realize that the owner's quarters are often less than grand. The house we live in is nothing special, but we've worked hard on it and now I've learned to not dislike it so much. I think I'm having issues with "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence."
When we first started looking online and even in person, we had no idea that most people bail in 5-7 years. Our plan was to do this for the next 25 years. And also didn't realize that even when people decide they've had enough, it takes sometimes 5 more years to actually sell. And I know of a couple of places that went into foreclosure because people couldn't wait any longer to sell.
So, I don't want to make a huge life changing mistake. That's why I'm asking for what other people's thoughts were and are.
.
When we purchased, we bought a place that suited our needs for what we wanted to do and IF for some reason we couldn't sell as a B & B again, it would still be a viable place for someone to purchase as their home. We had no mortgage so now that we closed ...after 6 years.... we are living here...thanks to the economy...we could never sell this for what we want...so we will live here happily until things do turn around and buy something smaller...hopefully in a few years.
Why we closed......After 6 years, my back gave out and I just wanted my house back for me and my husband. I was just tired of being "on" all the time when we had guests.
You have to do what is right for you and go with your gut. But have an "out" plan even as you purchase.
 

muirford

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
2,493
Reaction score
12
Why did you originally think buying and operating a B&B was a good idea? Look back at that. I guess I'm wondering why, if you love your life the way it is now, did you start looking to buy a B&B? Is this DH's idea and you went along and now you realize it's for real?

PS- the questions aren't being 'fired' at you because I think you've made a mistake! They're soul-searching questions you need to answer..
Thanks for writing back. My husband actually went to cooking school because he thought my idea of buying and running and B & B was a good one. He took a voluntary buyout from his career as a journalist. He'd always wanted to go to cooking school and my youngest was just finishing college. The timing is all working for us.
It was my idea. I love the idea of running a B & B. We're both great at customer service and loved the idea of living in an old, large house. Of course I didn't realize that the owner's quarters are often less than grand. The house we live in is nothing special, but we've worked hard on it and now I've learned to not dislike it so much. I think I'm having issues with "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence."
When we first started looking online and even in person, we had no idea that most people bail in 5-7 years. Our plan was to do this for the next 25 years. And also didn't realize that even when people decide they've had enough, it takes sometimes 5 more years to actually sell. And I know of a couple of places that went into foreclosure because people couldn't wait any longer to sell.
So, I don't want to make a huge life changing mistake. That's why I'm asking for what other people's thoughts were and are.
.
eyevea said:
When we first started looking online and even in person, we had no idea that most people bail in 5-7 years. Our plan was to do this for the next 25 years. And also didn't realize that even when people decide they've had enough, it takes sometimes 5 more years to actually sell. And I know of a couple of places that went into foreclosure because people couldn't wait any longer to sell.
Actually I think the average is 3 to 5 years these days. That said, I've was in the corporate world for 20 years and have been an innkeeper for almost 8. I've seen corporate employees see their occupations disappear (hello, nuclear engineers?) and companies go bankrupt or collapse (hello, former employers Ci ti bank and B P?). You need to be smart about making an investment in a B&B just like anything else, but sometimes the unexpected happens.
We bought this inn planning to be here for 7 to 10 years. At that point, DH will be 60 and we'd like a less-busy occupation. We are on the market now, knowing that it may take another 2 years to sell. Your plan may be different, and I know innkeepers who are still in the business willingly with at least 15 years behind them and three successful inns. Starting younger helps you do that! Have a solid plan, buy a solid business and be ready when life happens to your plans, as it inevitably will.
 

Copperhead

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Messages
5,969
Reaction score
0
Cold Feet!!! I remember those - really, and it has been over 15 years ago. Our purchase was a renovation then opening a B&B. I went through the cold feet, then excited roll-a-coaster intil we closed. For me it was not that I did not want to do a B&B, I did not have confidence in myself that I could do it. Thanks to DH, he had the confidence for both of us. Having a commonly shared goal with your partner makes all the difference in the world.
We both came from 20+ years in the corporate world in jobs we both loved but always wanted to be in control of our own destiny. We are beginning our 11th year and are starting to talk about what our future it to be. We still love welcoming people into our home but do not want to do this the rest of our lives. It is just like any other career, at some point you just need a change. With inkeeping, you live where you work so you are 'on' 24/7 (unless you are large enough to hire staff). Make sure you build in family and vacation time into your business plan - we all need this time to regroup our lives.
One other thought is the location. Make sure you love where (city, area, region) the B&B is. Moving somewhere just because it is a great B&B does not make it a wonderful place to be.
Good luck.
 

Morticia

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
17,328
Reaction score
198
Why did you originally think buying and operating a B&B was a good idea? Look back at that. I guess I'm wondering why, if you love your life the way it is now, did you start looking to buy a B&B? Is this DH's idea and you went along and now you realize it's for real?

PS- the questions aren't being 'fired' at you because I think you've made a mistake! They're soul-searching questions you need to answer..
Thanks for writing back. My husband actually went to cooking school because he thought my idea of buying and running and B & B was a good one. He took a voluntary buyout from his career as a journalist. He'd always wanted to go to cooking school and my youngest was just finishing college. The timing is all working for us.
It was my idea. I love the idea of running a B & B. We're both great at customer service and loved the idea of living in an old, large house. Of course I didn't realize that the owner's quarters are often less than grand. The house we live in is nothing special, but we've worked hard on it and now I've learned to not dislike it so much. I think I'm having issues with "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence."
When we first started looking online and even in person, we had no idea that most people bail in 5-7 years. Our plan was to do this for the next 25 years. And also didn't realize that even when people decide they've had enough, it takes sometimes 5 more years to actually sell. And I know of a couple of places that went into foreclosure because people couldn't wait any longer to sell.
So, I don't want to make a huge life changing mistake. That's why I'm asking for what other people's thoughts were and are.
.
The burnout rate comes from a lot of things. (Read the posts about horrible guests!) My personal opinion on burnout rate is that a lot of folks think the only part to this 'job' is making breakfast and sitting around drinking wine with the guests. They forget that all the other biz stuff needs to get done. And there needs to be time for it. Not sure where you are looking, but there is a New England B&B 'joke' that goes something like, 'The only time you and your spouse can have relaxed 'relations' is in April or November.' Those are the traditional 'down' times for the area. Otherwise you are completely aware that there are other adults in the house with you and that can put a crimp in your exuberance. (Or not, we all have stories about rambunctious guests so we know sound travels!)
So, it can wear on your personal life very strongly. You said you child has graduated college? Well, what happens when he/she comes home and says they are getting married on your biggest weekend of the year? Do you lose $5000-$6000 in revenue? Do you hire an innsitter? And when the babies come?
If you are in a busy area you are on 24x7 for months on end, possibly lots of months. How do you have personal time? Hiring people to cover for you works, but you see the money going out the door. Money that is very irregular at times. If you've worked around an irregular paycheck, you'll be a lot better off than those who had regular deposits into a checking account every week.
If you're in an area with seasonal dips, you'll panic when the mortgage payments are still due and there are no bookings. You need to be able to 'make hay while the sun shines'.
If you go into this with the idea you will keep at it for 25 years, and you have your eyes wide open, know how much work there is vs how much fun time with the guests there is, you probably will last 25 years! We were worried because we have a 10 year plan. We thought we might burn out early on but we've found that's not the case. We didn't come into this thinking we'd be making tons of new friends with our guests, that we would be their new best friends or that all there was to this was the breakfast & meeting and greeting. (Altho I really had NO idea how much laundry there is!)
25 years is a LONG time, tho. Lots will happen during that time. Heck, your grandkids could be married in that time! So, if you find out it's not a 25 year job and you want to stop after 10 years, so what? You did it, you enjoyed it, you move on.
 

JBloggs

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Messages
17,743
Reaction score
0
Now I'm getting cold feet. All I can think about is why this is a bad idea. The questions that keep coming into my head are: Why do people burn out after 5-7 years? What if we really hate it and we become the people with the business that can't be sold? Do I really want to leave my stable job (that I actually like) and my friends, and the house we've lived in for 25 years......
Because they are tired. Very tired.
You work 24/7 and get little sleep.
If you have any qualms, don't do it.
 

eyevea

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 9, 2010
Messages
58
Reaction score
0
Thank you all for your thoughts. It really is cold feet. I keep thinking about how I'll feel if I pull the plug on the whole thing. Right now we own two houses (one is a rental without tenants at the moment) and we don't have mortgages on either one. Our original plan was to sell both houses and buy the B & B outright, but we're actually making pretty good money with the rental in a college town (if we get tenants for this next year), and were advised not to sell yet by our business advisor.
And we thought we'd buy a place that we could live in if the business didn't work out for whatever reason.
My husband will be 60 in a couple of weeks and we're just getting this thing going. We do have a lot of energy and thrive on hard work.
My third and last child graduated college 3 years ago and my other 2 kids are married with their own kids. They all have good careers and none of them live close to us now, so we wouldn't be leaving them behind, and it's doubtful that any of the will need to move in with us.
The advise on having an out even going in is a good one. I know I couldn't run a place on my own. My husband and I have been very good partners for the past 34 years. I do wonder if he has the confidence for both of us to make this work.
I'd love to hear stories about people who had cold feet and went forward and maybe some who didn't to help me decide. Any information would be helpful. Thanks.
 

JBloggs

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Messages
17,743
Reaction score
0
One more comment:
After you live in a "grand old home" for a while you realize you are the maintenance and caretakers, you see the imperfections and all the work. IF we get a chance to sit on the porch, we start discussing this and that which needs work and we cannot even sit out there and enjoy it.
The work never stops, any small minor repair turns into a major one. Just when you thought you were making a little $ you pour it all back into the house. If you don't, you should, you have to maintain these historic homes.
I can guarantee 9/10th of the forum would say right now "Give me a low maintenance patio home!" But alas you need to get it out of your system. B&B's take a long time to sell, even viable money making beautiful B&B's...they wait for the right person to purchase them, to pour their love, sweat and tears into them, and then hand them off to the next.
Just because a B&B is for sale does not mean it is not a wonderful opportunity to live the life as innkeepers. It is a cycle, the house respects the fresh blood as well. The house needs fresh blood to give it life!
 

wendydk

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 7, 2009
Messages
1,656
Reaction score
0
Cold Feet!!! I remember those - really, and it has been over 15 years ago. Our purchase was a renovation then opening a B&B. I went through the cold feet, then excited roll-a-coaster intil we closed. For me it was not that I did not want to do a B&B, I did not have confidence in myself that I could do it. Thanks to DH, he had the confidence for both of us. Having a commonly shared goal with your partner makes all the difference in the world.
We both came from 20+ years in the corporate world in jobs we both loved but always wanted to be in control of our own destiny. We are beginning our 11th year and are starting to talk about what our future it to be. We still love welcoming people into our home but do not want to do this the rest of our lives. It is just like any other career, at some point you just need a change. With inkeeping, you live where you work so you are 'on' 24/7 (unless you are large enough to hire staff). Make sure you build in family and vacation time into your business plan - we all need this time to regroup our lives.
One other thought is the location. Make sure you love where (city, area, region) the B&B is. Moving somewhere just because it is a great B&B does not make it a wonderful place to be.
Good luck..
copperhead said:
Make sure you build in family and vacation time into your business plan - we all need this time to regroup our lives.
One other thought is the location. Make sure you love where (city, area, region) the B&B is. Moving somewhere just because it is a great B&B does not make it a wonderful place to be.
My thoughts exactly. We are for sale because we want to spend more time with family and are ready for a LESS restrictive lifestyle. Love this old place, wish I could take it with me and still live in it...but I really made somewhat of a prison for myself with the business...wish I would have handled free time a little differently all these years.
 

JBloggs

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Messages
17,743
Reaction score
0
There is no "out" going in.
Most Innkeepers also do not "BAIL" I actually thought that was a poor term to use, as we slave away day after day after day. We miss weddings, births, our kids band concerts and games AND FUNERALS, fyi. Sheesh I have been working all morning from the crack of dawn today AND my stomach hurts and I don;t feel well, I can't call in sick. Guests are getting ready to head out for the day...
 

Morticia

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
17,328
Reaction score
198
Thank you all for your thoughts. It really is cold feet. I keep thinking about how I'll feel if I pull the plug on the whole thing. Right now we own two houses (one is a rental without tenants at the moment) and we don't have mortgages on either one. Our original plan was to sell both houses and buy the B & B outright, but we're actually making pretty good money with the rental in a college town (if we get tenants for this next year), and were advised not to sell yet by our business advisor.
And we thought we'd buy a place that we could live in if the business didn't work out for whatever reason.
My husband will be 60 in a couple of weeks and we're just getting this thing going. We do have a lot of energy and thrive on hard work.
My third and last child graduated college 3 years ago and my other 2 kids are married with their own kids. They all have good careers and none of them live close to us now, so we wouldn't be leaving them behind, and it's doubtful that any of the will need to move in with us.
The advise on having an out even going in is a good one. I know I couldn't run a place on my own. My husband and I have been very good partners for the past 34 years. I do wonder if he has the confidence for both of us to make this work.
I'd love to hear stories about people who had cold feet and went forward and maybe some who didn't to help me decide. Any information would be helpful. Thanks..
Pardon me for being gruesome, but do you really think you're going to want to be doing this when you're 85? Do you think you'll be alive? How about a 10 year plan?
 

eyevea

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 9, 2010
Messages
58
Reaction score
0
Thank you all for your thoughts. It really is cold feet. I keep thinking about how I'll feel if I pull the plug on the whole thing. Right now we own two houses (one is a rental without tenants at the moment) and we don't have mortgages on either one. Our original plan was to sell both houses and buy the B & B outright, but we're actually making pretty good money with the rental in a college town (if we get tenants for this next year), and were advised not to sell yet by our business advisor.
And we thought we'd buy a place that we could live in if the business didn't work out for whatever reason.
My husband will be 60 in a couple of weeks and we're just getting this thing going. We do have a lot of energy and thrive on hard work.
My third and last child graduated college 3 years ago and my other 2 kids are married with their own kids. They all have good careers and none of them live close to us now, so we wouldn't be leaving them behind, and it's doubtful that any of the will need to move in with us.
The advise on having an out even going in is a good one. I know I couldn't run a place on my own. My husband and I have been very good partners for the past 34 years. I do wonder if he has the confidence for both of us to make this work.
I'd love to hear stories about people who had cold feet and went forward and maybe some who didn't to help me decide. Any information would be helpful. Thanks..
Pardon me for being gruesome, but do you really think you're going to want to be doing this when you're 85? Do you think you'll be alive? How about a 10 year plan?
.
I didn't mean 25 years literally....I just meant we were going it as the next thing in our lives. Not that we were going into the business with a plan of getting out in only 5 years. It surprised me to learn that people got out after such a short time. I wondered if the plan was to stay in business for only 5 years, or if other people were also surprised by the burnout.
I hope to be alive at 85, but no, probably not running a B & B.
 

eyevea

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 9, 2010
Messages
58
Reaction score
0
Why did you originally think buying and operating a B&B was a good idea? Look back at that. I guess I'm wondering why, if you love your life the way it is now, did you start looking to buy a B&B? Is this DH's idea and you went along and now you realize it's for real?

PS- the questions aren't being 'fired' at you because I think you've made a mistake! They're soul-searching questions you need to answer..
Thanks for writing back. My husband actually went to cooking school because he thought my idea of buying and running and B & B was a good one. He took a voluntary buyout from his career as a journalist. He'd always wanted to go to cooking school and my youngest was just finishing college. The timing is all working for us.
It was my idea. I love the idea of running a B & B. We're both great at customer service and loved the idea of living in an old, large house. Of course I didn't realize that the owner's quarters are often less than grand. The house we live in is nothing special, but we've worked hard on it and now I've learned to not dislike it so much. I think I'm having issues with "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence."
When we first started looking online and even in person, we had no idea that most people bail in 5-7 years. Our plan was to do this for the next 25 years. And also didn't realize that even when people decide they've had enough, it takes sometimes 5 more years to actually sell. And I know of a couple of places that went into foreclosure because people couldn't wait any longer to sell.
So, I don't want to make a huge life changing mistake. That's why I'm asking for what other people's thoughts were and are.
.
When we purchased, we bought a place that suited our needs for what we wanted to do and IF for some reason we couldn't sell as a B & B again, it would still be a viable place for someone to purchase as their home. We had no mortgage so now that we closed ...after 6 years.... we are living here...thanks to the economy...we could never sell this for what we want...so we will live here happily until things do turn around and buy something smaller...hopefully in a few years.
Why we closed......After 6 years, my back gave out and I just wanted my house back for me and my husband. I was just tired of being "on" all the time when we had guests.
You have to do what is right for you and go with your gut. But have an "out" plan even as you purchase.
.
Did you and/or your husband have jobs outside the B & B? You said you don't have a mortgage, which will also be our situation. But I'm curious as to how you earn a living now....don't mean to be personal, but you do still have to eat and pay taxes, have medical insurance, etc.
 

eyevea

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 9, 2010
Messages
58
Reaction score
0
Cold Feet!!! I remember those - really, and it has been over 15 years ago. Our purchase was a renovation then opening a B&B. I went through the cold feet, then excited roll-a-coaster intil we closed. For me it was not that I did not want to do a B&B, I did not have confidence in myself that I could do it. Thanks to DH, he had the confidence for both of us. Having a commonly shared goal with your partner makes all the difference in the world.
We both came from 20+ years in the corporate world in jobs we both loved but always wanted to be in control of our own destiny. We are beginning our 11th year and are starting to talk about what our future it to be. We still love welcoming people into our home but do not want to do this the rest of our lives. It is just like any other career, at some point you just need a change. With inkeeping, you live where you work so you are 'on' 24/7 (unless you are large enough to hire staff). Make sure you build in family and vacation time into your business plan - we all need this time to regroup our lives.
One other thought is the location. Make sure you love where (city, area, region) the B&B is. Moving somewhere just because it is a great B&B does not make it a wonderful place to be.
Good luck..
copperhead said:
Make sure you build in family and vacation time into your business plan - we all need this time to regroup our lives.
One other thought is the location. Make sure you love where (city, area, region) the B&B is. Moving somewhere just because it is a great B&B does not make it a wonderful place to be.
My thoughts exactly. We are for sale because we want to spend more time with family and are ready for a LESS restrictive lifestyle. Love this old place, wish I could take it with me and still live in it...but I really made somewhat of a prison for myself with the business...wish I would have handled free time a little differently all these years.
.
How long have you been running the business? Where is it? How long has it been for sale?
 

eyevea

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 9, 2010
Messages
58
Reaction score
0
There is no "out" going in.
Most Innkeepers also do not "BAIL" I actually thought that was a poor term to use, as we slave away day after day after day. We miss weddings, births, our kids band concerts and games AND FUNERALS, fyi. Sheesh I have been working all morning from the crack of dawn today AND my stomach hurts and I don;t feel well, I can't call in sick. Guests are getting ready to head out for the day....
Are you sorry that you bought a B & B? We love restoring and fixing things and we know about that kind of work. And we know how hard it can be to relax when things need to be done.
Isn't the plan to get business? Don't you want people there all the time? And when there is an off season or a few days of no guests, isn't there time to do some relaxing then?
And between when they head out for the day and when they come back or before new guests arrive, there must be time to do some breath-catching.
You don't make it sound like much fun. We do want it to be fun.
 

Joey Camb

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Messages
4,793
Reaction score
0
Is it me or are there a lot of newbies this week? As a full time crazy woman I love my work but then I have a full time chamber maid who works 7 days a week who helps me as well as my parents to sit in for free if I want a night off. The people who get burn out the fastest are the ones who don't realise how much work it is and think it is like being a hotel owner and you spend you time doing a bit of breakfast and swanning about. It isn't it is 24/7 365 days a year and you have to wear a million different hats every day. It is about learning to delegate and training and retaining good staff to help even if it is part time. If you don't mind me asking how many rooms?
If it comforts you any I have been in the hotel/B&B biz for 20 years and still love it but I always say to people thinking of getting into the biz it will be the hardest work you will ever do but it will also be the best laugh you ever have as well.
 

eyevea

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 9, 2010
Messages
58
Reaction score
0
Is it me or are there a lot of newbies this week? As a full time crazy woman I love my work but then I have a full time chamber maid who works 7 days a week who helps me as well as my parents to sit in for free if I want a night off. The people who get burn out the fastest are the ones who don't realise how much work it is and think it is like being a hotel owner and you spend you time doing a bit of breakfast and swanning about. It isn't it is 24/7 365 days a year and you have to wear a million different hats every day. It is about learning to delegate and training and retaining good staff to help even if it is part time. If you don't mind me asking how many rooms?
If it comforts you any I have been in the hotel/B&B biz for 20 years and still love it but I always say to people thinking of getting into the biz it will be the hardest work you will ever do but it will also be the best laugh you ever have as well..
thanks. The place we're negotiating for has 10 rooms, all with private baths and the current owners run it themselves, and we plan to as well. But, I know they have busier times and slower times. They're open all year and get some ski business, and some business from business travelers. They're busiest months are Aug. and Oct. Lots of vacationers in Aug. and leaf-peeping in Oct.
What I don't understand is why is it 24/7 365 days/year if there is only a 30% occupancy rate. I would think there would be "downtime" from playing hostess...not that there isn't always work to do, but we always find that there is work to do i the house we live in...so how is it different?
 

gillumhouse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
15,539
Reaction score
114
Thank you all for your thoughts. It really is cold feet. I keep thinking about how I'll feel if I pull the plug on the whole thing. Right now we own two houses (one is a rental without tenants at the moment) and we don't have mortgages on either one. Our original plan was to sell both houses and buy the B & B outright, but we're actually making pretty good money with the rental in a college town (if we get tenants for this next year), and were advised not to sell yet by our business advisor.
And we thought we'd buy a place that we could live in if the business didn't work out for whatever reason.
My husband will be 60 in a couple of weeks and we're just getting this thing going. We do have a lot of energy and thrive on hard work.
My third and last child graduated college 3 years ago and my other 2 kids are married with their own kids. They all have good careers and none of them live close to us now, so we wouldn't be leaving them behind, and it's doubtful that any of the will need to move in with us.
The advise on having an out even going in is a good one. I know I couldn't run a place on my own. My husband and I have been very good partners for the past 34 years. I do wonder if he has the confidence for both of us to make this work.
I'd love to hear stories about people who had cold feet and went forward and maybe some who didn't to help me decide. Any information would be helpful. Thanks..
My DH rewarded me for 19 years of raising kids by offering me my home State - and he knew I wanted to do B & B. ALL our house hunting was with future B & B in mind (we started out inviting a
aunt of mine to live with us - hey she was old!). At the time I was just under 50 and he was just over. The old bat moved out and we were rolling for B & B.
Sorry, I got ahead of myself. When it came down to making the move, I had a tiny niggling feeling in my gut - was the dream of going "home" (no family in the State since early 60s) better than the reality was going to be? For us, it was better even - but we know some that went back from the "dream" because reality sucked.
I was a start-up in 1996. I still love being a B & B. That said, I will be putting my B & B on the market next year IF the political situation smoothes out so everyone knows what is happening. I will not go on the market and possibly stick someone with something they cannot continue with because of that. The ONLY reason I plan to go on the market is because my city NEEDS a B & B and the only way I can guarantee (at least for a while) that is for me to step aside and sell as a B & B. My original exit plan was feet first - but at that point I no longer have control over anything.
I am in "Podunk", in a small City that is on the move to be better than it ever was - just in a different way - that is off the Interstate a few miles and too small to be on most maps. It is not going to sell quickly. When it sells, I am not leaving town because I love this City - but I do know how to keep my nose where it belongs (in my own house) unless asked so the new owners will, I hope, just make things better with the foundation I built for them. But I believe I am not "burned out" because I am also heavily involved in my City and several organizations on a local and on State level. For me it was a nice mix - even when everything had things happening at the same time.
 
Top