Quantcast

Think back to when you bought your B&B

INNspiring.com | Innkeeper Forum & Innkeeping Resources

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

Penelope

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
1,716
Reaction score
0
I've posted a few questions in the last few weeks, but my phone service has been out for the past week. Therefore my dinosaur-age dialup internet service has been down, too.
I am wondering this: when you decided to become innkeepers, did you look at something in the town you were living in at that time, or did you look around the country/state to find it?
What factors did you use to decide where to begin this dream of yours?
 

EmptyNest

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
8,741
Reaction score
1
We PLANNED AND SAVED for 10 year! We had very specific criteria we were looking for. A DESTINATION..where we knew we would have guests, but yet be an area where we wanted to actually live. We searched up and down the Blue RIdge Mts. for 2 years to find our place. We fell in love with it, it met almost all of our criteria and we continue to live here now that we have retired. We will sell the place someday, but will still stay in this location.
 

Penelope

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
1,716
Reaction score
0
See, that's what I mean. My DH is from Maine and, while I know I am a Mid-Western girl at heart, I really do love the coast of Maine. I could see us there, but with our kids, it makes me very nervous to think about THAT kind of move.
We do know that we want to be in a destination instead of trying to become the destination. That much we know...other than that, it is a major source of discussion.
I am also concerned about the level of competition in that area. I have heard that it is relatively cut-throat. That scares me. I know that my skin will thicken, but right now, I am too soft to live where I am afraid of being beaten up, business-wise.
 

EmptyNest

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
8,741
Reaction score
1
See, that's what I mean. My DH is from Maine and, while I know I am a Mid-Western girl at heart, I really do love the coast of Maine. I could see us there, but with our kids, it makes me very nervous to think about THAT kind of move.
We do know that we want to be in a destination instead of trying to become the destination. That much we know...other than that, it is a major source of discussion.
I am also concerned about the level of competition in that area. I have heard that it is relatively cut-throat. That scares me. I know that my skin will thicken, but right now, I am too soft to live where I am afraid of being beaten up, business-wise..
I hate that word competition. I know some innkeepers fear it but in my mind..the more the better because it shows business is good..that is ..if they are all doing well. For instance here, we have about 15 B & B's within a couple of miles, we also have about 250 rental cabin properties in our area. The good ones stay full all the time, the others so so and the ones who don't keep their places up, have poor service and poor guest relations..they don't do well.
In my mind there are enough people in this world to go around and everyone has different tastes in lodging. So you market to your niche and don't worry about what the others do. If you do it well, word gets out and you will be fine.
If there is nothing to do where you live, why would people want to come and stay there???
 

Penelope

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
1,716
Reaction score
0
Very good points, Catlady. Thank you for putting that into my head.
Yes, you are right on the word "competition". But even if you/I don't think in that way, how do you deal with the ones who DO think in that manner?
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
3,893
Reaction score
0
That would be about 2% of innkeepers who have a B&B in the town they live in. THat is all part of the adventure - most do not even live in the same state or even the same part of the country. I came from Seattle to Virginia.
 

swirt

Forum founder. Former Owner.
Joined
May 17, 2008
Messages
3,210
Reaction score
0
Very good points, Catlady. Thank you for putting that into my head.
Yes, you are right on the word "competition". But even if you/I don't think in that way, how do you deal with the ones who DO think in that manner?.
You ignore them

 

swirt

Forum founder. Former Owner.
Joined
May 17, 2008
Messages
3,210
Reaction score
0
For us we looked at our back yard and said...hmm we could do this. We looked at the area which was and is growing more and more popular, attracting more and more people and realized there were not enough places to stay.
Then we started looking at the costs and potential income and ran the numbers. The only thing we underestimated (thought we were being realistic) was the amount of effort that goes into running the place.
Stil if you want to expand your search to 4ish hours outside of NYC the Finger Lakes can be favorable place to run a B&B.
 

hawley

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 2, 2008
Messages
383
Reaction score
0
We loved staying in different bnb's and when my husband was losing his job, we looked at that as something he could do. We also owned a number of rental houses, so looked at dealing with rentals.
We looked at the market where we were located and at other locations and decided to stay where we were and the other job that I had.
For personal reasons my husband didn't start the bnb after we bought the property but we decided to go ahead with the bnb as I am retiring from my regular job.
I am probably one of the oldest around. But I have stayed with a number of older people running bnb's, not like the ones on this forum. There are different thoughts on what it takes to run the bnb.
 

Copperhead

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Messages
5,969
Reaction score
0
Swirt wrote:
The only thing we underestimated (thought we were being realistic) was the amount of effort that goes into running the place.
I think you speak for all (or most) inkeepers on that one!
Regarding the initial post. The MOST important thing to me is to LOVE where you live. So, find the location you feel you can call home and then start searching. Best of Luck!
 

gillumhouse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
15,536
Reaction score
111
For me it was coming back to my West Virginia. I had spent 24 years of sentence in Illinois and this was my reward for bringing up the 2-legged animals! I found a house that said I am yours in a town that met the criteria set out by DH and it was the best thing I ever did.
My town was ready for me and I was ready for it. The timing was perfect. 5 years earlier and it would have been a disaster. 5 years later someone else would have had my house.
And I also am an ancient one - I have lived long enough to see those beyuuuuuuutiful SS payments every month! It is called financial breathing space!
 

Morticia

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
17,324
Reaction score
187
See, that's what I mean. My DH is from Maine and, while I know I am a Mid-Western girl at heart, I really do love the coast of Maine. I could see us there, but with our kids, it makes me very nervous to think about THAT kind of move.
We do know that we want to be in a destination instead of trying to become the destination. That much we know...other than that, it is a major source of discussion.
I am also concerned about the level of competition in that area. I have heard that it is relatively cut-throat. That scares me. I know that my skin will thicken, but right now, I am too soft to live where I am afraid of being beaten up, business-wise..
emspiers said:
See, that's what I mean. My DH is from Maine and, while I know I am a Mid-Western girl at heart, I really do love the coast of Maine. I could see us there, but with our kids, it makes me very nervous to think about THAT kind of move.
We do know that we want to be in a destination instead of trying to become the destination. That much we know...other than that, it is a major source of discussion.
I am also concerned about the level of competition in that area. I have heard that it is relatively cut-throat. That scares me. I know that my skin will thicken, but right now, I am too soft to live where I am afraid of being beaten up, business-wise.
The coast of Maine is cut-throat? Have I not bared my soul on here? OK, certain towns are cut-throat, so you want to keep that in mind. But I don't think you're going to meet a whole lot of people more openly friendly than the bunch I've met here. Yeah, with kids it's tough to move. But what are you thinking the negatives are in moving your kids?
 

YellowSocks

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
2,179
Reaction score
13
Once we decided on doing a B&B we narrowed down the where like this:
1) We wanted deciduous forest biome (that means leafy trees grow if you don't mow your grass) - Mid-Missouri and East.
2) Couldn't afford the East Coast, and didn't like the stress there much - Mid-PA and west
3) Cold in winter, with some snow (for dh) - north of Tennessee
4) But not too cold, or too much snow (for me) - south of Detroit/Buffalo
5) Relatives in Ohio/Michigan, so we decided a 2 hour radius from Cleveland
6) Wanted a university/college town (our chosen target niche) with some tourism or other travelers
7) Settled in town where I lived for a few years before moving to Maryland, and which my sister still lives east of. She lives five miles away, on the other side of the interstate... close enough we can be helpful for each other, far enough away that we're not in each other's lives too much.
We LOVE it here! The weather is what it should be: cold in the winter, hot in late July, enough humidity to breathe without living in a sauna (which is what we had in Maryland!). We're from the Mid-West and love being back here... friendly people, safe neighborhood, small town, reduced stress, increased quality of life.
We knew we couldn't afford to buy an existing inn so we were looking for a house that could be converted, in a place where zoning wouldn't be a major issue. We are walking distance to the university and the seminary, we could open with two rooms without any issues, and were fairly confident that expanding to four rooms with a sign out front wouldn't be a major problem (it wasn't).
When we moved here the kids were 2-1/2. They don't really remember the old house, although they know we had one. By the time I opened with one room they were easier to care for. By the time we reached four rooms (this past June) they were 4-1/2 which I think was perfect... they are old enough now that they can go play in the backyard by themselves, and young enough that they won't remember any other style of life than having people come and stay.
=)
Kk.
 

Penelope

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
1,716
Reaction score
0
See, that's what I mean. My DH is from Maine and, while I know I am a Mid-Western girl at heart, I really do love the coast of Maine. I could see us there, but with our kids, it makes me very nervous to think about THAT kind of move.
We do know that we want to be in a destination instead of trying to become the destination. That much we know...other than that, it is a major source of discussion.
I am also concerned about the level of competition in that area. I have heard that it is relatively cut-throat. That scares me. I know that my skin will thicken, but right now, I am too soft to live where I am afraid of being beaten up, business-wise..
emspiers said:
See, that's what I mean. My DH is from Maine and, while I know I am a Mid-Western girl at heart, I really do love the coast of Maine. I could see us there, but with our kids, it makes me very nervous to think about THAT kind of move.
We do know that we want to be in a destination instead of trying to become the destination. That much we know...other than that, it is a major source of discussion.
I am also concerned about the level of competition in that area. I have heard that it is relatively cut-throat. That scares me. I know that my skin will thicken, but right now, I am too soft to live where I am afraid of being beaten up, business-wise.
The coast of Maine is cut-throat? Have I not bared my soul on here? OK, certain towns are cut-throat, so you want to keep that in mind. But I don't think you're going to meet a whole lot of people more openly friendly than the bunch I've met here. Yeah, with kids it's tough to move. But what are you thinking the negatives are in moving your kids?
.
Bree, yes, you have bared your soul on here. As an aspiring, I appreciate how transparent you are. It makes the concept of being an innkeeper more real and, at the same time, more scary. However, even after reading all the posts my heart is still in B&B mode. I've worked for almost 2 years as an Innkeepers Assistant and I've still not lost the initial desire to own my own B&B.
Thank you to all who have posted the "dirty side" of innkeeping on all the other forums. I think that it is very important to know so that we aspirings don't go into it with unrealistic expectations.
The negatives that I have been thinking about are in regard to two things: the ages of our children (10 & 9) and the moving away from family to live where there isn't any. Emotionally, that is the hardest part for me. I don't want to leave my folks, siblings, ectera, yet. They are the ones who would be our support group as we first get started. But if we live 16 hours away, there goes the stability of grandma/grandpa/uncle/aunt at a time when the kids would not only be losing us to insane hours of work, but a new house/neighborhood/community. In addition to losing our attention 24/7, they would be gaining a bunch of strangers coming in and out at all hours, sharing cold breakfasts in the kitchen and cleaning up peed on mattresses (sorry Bree.).
Strangely enough, the flip side to all of that is the fact that we would be working together as a family. We could live in a beautiful part of the country. I think the most important part of it for me is that when they leave the nest, I'll have something to do. That has been my biggest concern about being a stay-at-home mom: when they leave, I'll be bored. I won't have a "job". My "job" just started college; my "job" just got married...where does that leave me? As an innkeeper!
I KNOW that those are real issues and I have been waiting on the Good Lord to put my mind at ease regarding them.
 

YellowSocks

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
2,179
Reaction score
13
See, that's what I mean. My DH is from Maine and, while I know I am a Mid-Western girl at heart, I really do love the coast of Maine. I could see us there, but with our kids, it makes me very nervous to think about THAT kind of move.
We do know that we want to be in a destination instead of trying to become the destination. That much we know...other than that, it is a major source of discussion.
I am also concerned about the level of competition in that area. I have heard that it is relatively cut-throat. That scares me. I know that my skin will thicken, but right now, I am too soft to live where I am afraid of being beaten up, business-wise..
emspiers said:
See, that's what I mean. My DH is from Maine and, while I know I am a Mid-Western girl at heart, I really do love the coast of Maine. I could see us there, but with our kids, it makes me very nervous to think about THAT kind of move.
We do know that we want to be in a destination instead of trying to become the destination. That much we know...other than that, it is a major source of discussion.
I am also concerned about the level of competition in that area. I have heard that it is relatively cut-throat. That scares me. I know that my skin will thicken, but right now, I am too soft to live where I am afraid of being beaten up, business-wise.
The coast of Maine is cut-throat? Have I not bared my soul on here? OK, certain towns are cut-throat, so you want to keep that in mind. But I don't think you're going to meet a whole lot of people more openly friendly than the bunch I've met here. Yeah, with kids it's tough to move. But what are you thinking the negatives are in moving your kids?
.
Bree, yes, you have bared your soul on here. As an aspiring, I appreciate how transparent you are. It makes the concept of being an innkeeper more real and, at the same time, more scary. However, even after reading all the posts my heart is still in B&B mode. I've worked for almost 2 years as an Innkeepers Assistant and I've still not lost the initial desire to own my own B&B.
Thank you to all who have posted the "dirty side" of innkeeping on all the other forums. I think that it is very important to know so that we aspirings don't go into it with unrealistic expectations.
The negatives that I have been thinking about are in regard to two things: the ages of our children (10 & 9) and the moving away from family to live where there isn't any. Emotionally, that is the hardest part for me. I don't want to leave my folks, siblings, ectera, yet. They are the ones who would be our support group as we first get started. But if we live 16 hours away, there goes the stability of grandma/grandpa/uncle/aunt at a time when the kids would not only be losing us to insane hours of work, but a new house/neighborhood/community. In addition to losing our attention 24/7, they would be gaining a bunch of strangers coming in and out at all hours, sharing cold breakfasts in the kitchen and cleaning up peed on mattresses (sorry Bree.).
Strangely enough, the flip side to all of that is the fact that we would be working together as a family. We could live in a beautiful part of the country. I think the most important part of it for me is that when they leave the nest, I'll have something to do. That has been my biggest concern about being a stay-at-home mom: when they leave, I'll be bored. I won't have a "job". My "job" just started college; my "job" just got married...where does that leave me? As an innkeeper!
I KNOW that those are real issues and I have been waiting on the Good Lord to put my mind at ease regarding them.
.
emspiers said:
The negatives that I have been thinking about are in regard to two things: the ages of our children (10 & 9) and the moving away from family to live where there isn't any. Emotionally, that is the hardest part for me. I don't want to leave my folks, siblings, ectera, yet. They are the ones who would be our support group as we first get started. But if we live 16 hours away, there goes the stability of grandma/grandpa/uncle/aunt at a time when the kids would not only be losing us to insane hours of work, but a new house/neighborhood/community. In addition to losing our attention 24/7, they would be gaining a bunch of strangers coming in and out at all hours, sharing cold breakfasts in the kitchen and cleaning up peed on mattresses (sorry Bree.).
This is HUGE. I left wonderful friends in Maryland to come to Ohio where I have my sister. It is hard to develop a new support system... finding friends takes time and it's hard to find time with small children and a business. This factor alone is enough to seriously consider starting your B&B where you are instead of in Maine.
What do your kids think? 10 and 9 is old enough to have an opinion... ask them! My sister briefly thought about moving to another state. Most of her family was ready to go... but you have to ask them to know.
emspiers said:
Strangely enough, the flip side to all of that is the fact that we would be working together as a family.
How do your kids feel about that? Do you have the kinds of relationship with them that they will pitch in and help? Will you be able to give them ownership, that they can feel like they own the business, too?
emspiers said:
We could live in a beautiful part of the country.
The Midwest is also beautiful! Again, how do your kids feel about that? Beauty is nice, but family's even more important. We had guests from Utah who marveled at how beautiful it is here. Here? When you grow up in a place it doesn't seem that spectacular. We don't have mountains (although there's a gorge about a half hour from here), or shoreline... just trees and grass and corn and things they didn't grow up seeing. My sister lives on a hill overlooking a sweeping valley... it's gorgeous here!
emspiers said:
I think the most important part of it for me is that when they leave the nest, I'll have something to do. That has been my biggest concern about being a stay-at-home mom: when they leave, I'll be bored. I won't have a "job". My "job" just started college; my "job" just got married...where does that leave me? As an innkeeper!
This is a valid argument! Two answers: 1) your children are not really your job... your entire family and home are. That is, they are an addition to you and your husband, not your reason for existence. You are right to be concerned about that mode of thinking, and I think they shouldn't be your entire focus. 2) There are many "jobs" you could tackle other than innkeeping that you can do from home. If you feel called to be an innkeeper, then another alternative is you spend the next ten years saving and planning and once they're out the door you make your move. As you know, time goes quickly!
emspiers said:
I KNOW that those are real issues and I have been waiting on the Good Lord to put my mind at ease regarding them.
And I think this is important, too. I can say that I feel God led us to be here now. If you're willing to do what He wants, He'll show you what it is He has for you. It could be going for it, or waiting a few years, or abandoning the idea altogether for a different stay home job.
I think being a mom IS good training for being an innkeeper. And I also believe that working is good for kids. But not all housewives and moms would do well as innkeepers... you have to have the right personality to make it work.
=)
Kk.
 

1linda

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 18, 2008
Messages
98
Reaction score
0
See, that's what I mean. My DH is from Maine and, while I know I am a Mid-Western girl at heart, I really do love the coast of Maine. I could see us there, but with our kids, it makes me very nervous to think about THAT kind of move.
We do know that we want to be in a destination instead of trying to become the destination. That much we know...other than that, it is a major source of discussion.
I am also concerned about the level of competition in that area. I have heard that it is relatively cut-throat. That scares me. I know that my skin will thicken, but right now, I am too soft to live where I am afraid of being beaten up, business-wise..
emspiers said:
See, that's what I mean. My DH is from Maine and, while I know I am a Mid-Western girl at heart, I really do love the coast of Maine. I could see us there, but with our kids, it makes me very nervous to think about THAT kind of move.
We do know that we want to be in a destination instead of trying to become the destination. That much we know...other than that, it is a major source of discussion.
I am also concerned about the level of competition in that area. I have heard that it is relatively cut-throat. That scares me. I know that my skin will thicken, but right now, I am too soft to live where I am afraid of being beaten up, business-wise.
The coast of Maine is cut-throat? Have I not bared my soul on here? OK, certain towns are cut-throat, so you want to keep that in mind. But I don't think you're going to meet a whole lot of people more openly friendly than the bunch I've met here. Yeah, with kids it's tough to move. But what are you thinking the negatives are in moving your kids?
.
As some of you know that my daughter and family lived in Maine. She loved the people of Maine.
She is now in Mystic Ct. again.
 

EmptyNest

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
8,741
Reaction score
1
I think all of your family including the children have to be in on this discussion. Having young children and all that it requires comes first in my mind..and sometimes that doesn't always work if you have an inn to run. WHo comes first ? children? Paying guests???
I think it would be REALLY important for you to have a place where it is TOTALLY separate from the guests. You MUST have your privacy.
Is there a reason you want to do this RIGHT NOW? Or can you postpone, save money etc until they have finished school...ooops then there is paying for college...can't do that with income from a B & B. Will someone still be holding down a "regular" job with pay and benefits? You won't have that if you are just innkeeping.
 

1linda

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 18, 2008
Messages
98
Reaction score
0
The B and B was our daughter's idea. We thought about it and decided to make our own home into one. We have been in business 10 years. We made a plan and did research. The out come of our research was just the opposite of the actual happenings. The companies that said that they would use us all the time do not and those that do use us, said they would not. We still would like to add a bathroom and change the office space. We should live so long.
 

Samster

Well-known member
Joined
May 30, 2008
Messages
6,475
Reaction score
14
Location
South Carolina
See, that's what I mean. My DH is from Maine and, while I know I am a Mid-Western girl at heart, I really do love the coast of Maine. I could see us there, but with our kids, it makes me very nervous to think about THAT kind of move.
We do know that we want to be in a destination instead of trying to become the destination. That much we know...other than that, it is a major source of discussion.
I am also concerned about the level of competition in that area. I have heard that it is relatively cut-throat. That scares me. I know that my skin will thicken, but right now, I am too soft to live where I am afraid of being beaten up, business-wise..
emspiers said:
See, that's what I mean. My DH is from Maine and, while I know I am a Mid-Western girl at heart, I really do love the coast of Maine. I could see us there, but with our kids, it makes me very nervous to think about THAT kind of move.
We do know that we want to be in a destination instead of trying to become the destination. That much we know...other than that, it is a major source of discussion.
I am also concerned about the level of competition in that area. I have heard that it is relatively cut-throat. That scares me. I know that my skin will thicken, but right now, I am too soft to live where I am afraid of being beaten up, business-wise.
The coast of Maine is cut-throat? Have I not bared my soul on here? OK, certain towns are cut-throat, so you want to keep that in mind. But I don't think you're going to meet a whole lot of people more openly friendly than the bunch I've met here. Yeah, with kids it's tough to move. But what are you thinking the negatives are in moving your kids?
.
Bree, yes, you have bared your soul on here. As an aspiring, I appreciate how transparent you are. It makes the concept of being an innkeeper more real and, at the same time, more scary. However, even after reading all the posts my heart is still in B&B mode. I've worked for almost 2 years as an Innkeepers Assistant and I've still not lost the initial desire to own my own B&B.
Thank you to all who have posted the "dirty side" of innkeeping on all the other forums. I think that it is very important to know so that we aspirings don't go into it with unrealistic expectations.
The negatives that I have been thinking about are in regard to two things: the ages of our children (10 & 9) and the moving away from family to live where there isn't any. Emotionally, that is the hardest part for me. I don't want to leave my folks, siblings, ectera, yet. They are the ones who would be our support group as we first get started. But if we live 16 hours away, there goes the stability of grandma/grandpa/uncle/aunt at a time when the kids would not only be losing us to insane hours of work, but a new house/neighborhood/community. In addition to losing our attention 24/7, they would be gaining a bunch of strangers coming in and out at all hours, sharing cold breakfasts in the kitchen and cleaning up peed on mattresses (sorry Bree.).
Strangely enough, the flip side to all of that is the fact that we would be working together as a family. We could live in a beautiful part of the country. I think the most important part of it for me is that when they leave the nest, I'll have something to do. That has been my biggest concern about being a stay-at-home mom: when they leave, I'll be bored. I won't have a "job". My "job" just started college; my "job" just got married...where does that leave me? As an innkeeper!
I KNOW that those are real issues and I have been waiting on the Good Lord to put my mind at ease regarding them.
.
Lots of things for you to think about as you decide if this is the right business and lifestyle for you and your family! I have known several innkeepers that have made it work with kids of all ages. I also know several that got out of the innkeeping business because it was sucking too much time, money, and other resources away from their family life.

We first started seriously looking for properties when we had middle school aged kids. We didn't want to uproot them once they were in high school. I stayed at home until they were in upper grade school. My "real" career is flexible enough that I can find work around school schedules - did all the stuff that I wanted to do when they were young...room mother, field trips, sports, PTA, Boy Scouts, Vacation Bible School, fundraising chair, local politics & the list goes on & on. It was critical to me personally to be there for the kids and my family as I had grown up with both parents working outside the home. My dh was always in a fairly demanding job with long hours & often travel. So........ all things to take into account. We didn't find a suitable property in a place that we really wanted to call home. Put the search on hold until the college years. Then, serendipity brought us to where we are now and we renovated 2 properties since there were no turnkey ones here. That's the short version!
Make a list. Make another list. Make still another list. All the lists need to include why this is what you want to do for yourself, your significant other, children, and the future. It's all important to the BIG picture.

You may find that you need some time while your kids are young to have the nest egg that you need. Trust me...you can go through some $$$ in this business!! You always need funds in reserve.
Best of luck in your search!
 

Latest posts

Top