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

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JBloggs

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I want to address this today. I heard of another high occupancy B&B for sale, and for whatever reason I think those of you aspirings assume it is for sale because it is a dog or something?
This is pure nonsense. Listen to me for a moment...lend me your ears

B&B's have an innkeeper shelf-life. This is just a fact, and the higher the occupancy, perhaps the sooner an innkeeper is ready to list it. As they are on on on every day most days of the year. It is not an easy profession. Even if they have staff, there is that to deal with, which adds an additional stress level.
We pour our hearts and souls into these inns, they are our babies. We pour everything into them, including our finances. Then we hand them on to the next set caretakers. We want the next set of caretakers to love these old homes like we do, to make them succeed! Most of us are go getters, we jump and we jump high!
Now for those of you who think all the inns on the market are because they are not good viable inns, then you are mistaken. There are plenty of B&B's that are very successful financially. Some have room to grow, which is an opportunity to those who want to give them a shot!
For example our B&B: I have at least one call per week for small weddings and other functions here. It is so DOABLE IT AIN'T EVEN FUNNY! We have two children, as it is we pour our lives into this inn, but we cannot do it all. Our kids needs us, we need to be a family. The past owners did do dinners, and weddings. This place is the gem of this town, hands down. They want us to host events, weddings, functions, dinners, etc. We are approved and can do them as often as we wish.
But for us, we strive to be a B&B and host "wedding nights" not functions. But the next set of innkeepers can do elopement packages, small garden weddings, heck I even know a Harpist who can play out near the ponds!
So, there ya have it. I wanted to share this. I wanted those of you considering building a business from scratch to consider one with reservations on the books, innstant inncome, so to speak. An operating business that you can purchase turnkey, step into and make your own! Be the boss. We have websites, marketing, all operation costs printed out for you, there are no surprises!
You won't need to spend months and years in renovations, adding bathrooms, and doing all of that. We are licensed, operational, and most of us have been a B&B for many many years, we are nearly in our 25th year as an inn.
Here is a website to see inns for sale by state that I recommend:
http://www.innshopper.com/
 

toddburme

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Hmmm we aren't on there. I thought we were.
The thing we have run into is that historical homes can be bought pretty cheaply these days. This causes the finished product to be discounted also.
A rising tide raises all the boats and the converse is true also.
 

gillumhouse

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Another contributing factor to great inns being for sale is called Father Time. Listen up Aspirings, JB has given you one reason and I am going to give you another,
Many go into being innkeepers as a second career, Funny thing - we then, after a few years or more get OLD! Our bodies wear out (and sometimes our minds or both). I do not climb stairs as easily as I used to.
I was a start-up. I KNOW how much get poured in to it - and my house was in good condition! First we upgraded the electric service from 60 amp to 200, rewired the house, installed electric baseboard heaters (hard-wired) in each second floor room (no ductwork as wach had been heated with gas fireplace. (This house is now 100 years old.) Then we replaced windows - we were lucky and were put in touch with a factory rep (one less layer of profit required) - almost $10k. Then the 1957 furnace that was functional and in good shape but not efficient was replaced and central air downstairs added. 10 years later we added another bathroom - should have done it in the beginning, PERIOD! Plumbing upgraded as we went along during the first 10 years. We are about to replace the roof. So then all the big ticket structure items will be done. Siding was done in 2004.
Another reason I would be on the market is that my city NEEDS a B & B and they know it. The NEXT innkeeper may have the energy to do more dinners (I am backing off pushing them - bad knees) and we have a lovely side yard that could be used more. Also I expect the next innkeeper to be younger with more ideas to attract younger guests. I have built a business that has a good reputation and when I hand it over, it will be up to the new innkeeper to take it to the next level.
Turnkey allows money to flow in to pay for the changes the new owner wants to make. The next owner will hate my decor - since I kept it simple, it will be easy to change.
 

Madeleine

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More pluses for turn key...we've worked out the bugs. We've fixed the problems. We know what the guests want and we've added it. We know stuff we'll share with you. I've got a list of ways the next owner can increase business that I just don't want to undertake at this point.
Totally understand the need to build it yourself and make it your own rather than taking over a 'used' business. Just saying that there are opportunities out there to walk into a running business and expand it to suit your needs. (And, no, we're not for sale. We've got a business plan for the next 7 years.)
 

Weaver

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I would happily by operating business, my problem is finding one that is close enough to my desires. Land with operating b n b is hard to come by.
JB I would buy your place in a heart beat if it had 20 or 30 acres. There are others I have looked at that I love, and with great occupancy and ready to roll just hand over the keys, unfortunately they do not have the land I want.
I know that might sound odd to some of you, but if I am going to pour my heart and soul into it, it has to be what I want, where I want it, and at least has the potential for what I want it to become. It is tough finding those things when you have a pretty darn good idea what you want to do.
So if someone knows of an inn with good occupancy, or even ok occupancy, and there is land, a good amount of land, PLEASE tell me. I would rather walk into a place making money, and change things as need be.
Edited to add:
Contact not signed yet so I can change my mind, seriously if anyone has an operational B n B for sale with 20+ acres and it is south of the Mason Dixon Line, I might be seriously interested. No sense in reinventing the wheel.
 

gillumhouse

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I would happily by operating business, my problem is finding one that is close enough to my desires. Land with operating b n b is hard to come by.
JB I would buy your place in a heart beat if it had 20 or 30 acres. There are others I have looked at that I love, and with great occupancy and ready to roll just hand over the keys, unfortunately they do not have the land I want.
I know that might sound odd to some of you, but if I am going to pour my heart and soul into it, it has to be what I want, where I want it, and at least has the potential for what I want it to become. It is tough finding those things when you have a pretty darn good idea what you want to do.
So if someone knows of an inn with good occupancy, or even ok occupancy, and there is land, a good amount of land, PLEASE tell me. I would rather walk into a place making money, and change things as need be.
Edited to add:
Contact not signed yet so I can change my mind, seriously if anyone has an operational B n B for sale with 20+ acres and it is south of the Mason Dixon Line, I might be seriously interested. No sense in reinventing the wheel..
Weaver, you are not "normal" meaning you are not looking for a house with some property to be a B & B. You are looking for a niche place for your interests and needs - that cuts out many turnkey possibles. You would be looking for a farm to turn into a B & B not a B & B to turn into a farm.
 

Weaver

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I would happily by operating business, my problem is finding one that is close enough to my desires. Land with operating b n b is hard to come by.
JB I would buy your place in a heart beat if it had 20 or 30 acres. There are others I have looked at that I love, and with great occupancy and ready to roll just hand over the keys, unfortunately they do not have the land I want.
I know that might sound odd to some of you, but if I am going to pour my heart and soul into it, it has to be what I want, where I want it, and at least has the potential for what I want it to become. It is tough finding those things when you have a pretty darn good idea what you want to do.
So if someone knows of an inn with good occupancy, or even ok occupancy, and there is land, a good amount of land, PLEASE tell me. I would rather walk into a place making money, and change things as need be.
Edited to add:
Contact not signed yet so I can change my mind, seriously if anyone has an operational B n B for sale with 20+ acres and it is south of the Mason Dixon Line, I might be seriously interested. No sense in reinventing the wheel..
Weaver, you are not "normal" meaning you are not looking for a house with some property to be a B & B. You are looking for a niche place for your interests and needs - that cuts out many turnkey possibles. You would be looking for a farm to turn into a B & B not a B & B to turn into a farm.
.
gillumhouse said:
Weaver, you are not "normal" meaning you are not looking for a house with some property to be a B & B. You are looking for a niche place for your interests and needs - that cuts out many turnkey possibles. You would be looking for a farm to turn into a B & B not a B & B to turn into a farm.
True, I am NOT NORMAL. My kids tell me that every day.
Yep, farm becomes b n b is way easier to find then b n b that can be farm.
But if I am going to kill myself and work 24/7 for the next 10-12 years it has to be what will make me happy not just pay the bills.
 

Breakfast Diva

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I would happily by operating business, my problem is finding one that is close enough to my desires. Land with operating b n b is hard to come by.
JB I would buy your place in a heart beat if it had 20 or 30 acres. There are others I have looked at that I love, and with great occupancy and ready to roll just hand over the keys, unfortunately they do not have the land I want.
I know that might sound odd to some of you, but if I am going to pour my heart and soul into it, it has to be what I want, where I want it, and at least has the potential for what I want it to become. It is tough finding those things when you have a pretty darn good idea what you want to do.
So if someone knows of an inn with good occupancy, or even ok occupancy, and there is land, a good amount of land, PLEASE tell me. I would rather walk into a place making money, and change things as need be.
Edited to add:
Contact not signed yet so I can change my mind, seriously if anyone has an operational B n B for sale with 20+ acres and it is south of the Mason Dixon Line, I might be seriously interested. No sense in reinventing the wheel..
Weaver, you have a specific vision and it's not your typical aspiring innkeeper vision, so I totally see why you are looking for your start-up. It makes sense.
Others out there tend to be folks that think they can just turn their house into a b&b. Or buy a cheap old house, add in bathrooms, do renovations, decorate it their way, etc. They think it will be cheaper. In this market you are dead wrong! Start up costs are astronomical. Just furnishing the place will cost $40,000-$50,000 and that's probably a conservative estimate. Licenses, fees, permits, websites, online directories, marketing, etc is big bucks. Oh yeah, and you will be operating in the red for at least 3 years. Where's your income for you to live on and pay all those bills we all have?
I deal with a lot of aspiring innkeepers. I truely do understand wanting to create your own vision. But 9 out of 10 of them who actually did start their own, after a few years under their belt wished they had bought instead of starting their own. The failure rate for a startup is much higher than for a turn-key. I have seen it happen over and over again. Again, where is the money going to come from to live on when you start up and nobody knows you exist? You have no reputation, and maybe the risk you took that tourists would want to come to your area didn't pan out?
Of course there are those that start from scratch and flourish. Ask them how tough it's been. We have those innkeepers on here too. It's not an easy life being an innkeeper. Rarely do I see posts on here from aspirings to those who have started up their own b&b. Get their input.
 

Weaver

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I would happily by operating business, my problem is finding one that is close enough to my desires. Land with operating b n b is hard to come by.
JB I would buy your place in a heart beat if it had 20 or 30 acres. There are others I have looked at that I love, and with great occupancy and ready to roll just hand over the keys, unfortunately they do not have the land I want.
I know that might sound odd to some of you, but if I am going to pour my heart and soul into it, it has to be what I want, where I want it, and at least has the potential for what I want it to become. It is tough finding those things when you have a pretty darn good idea what you want to do.
So if someone knows of an inn with good occupancy, or even ok occupancy, and there is land, a good amount of land, PLEASE tell me. I would rather walk into a place making money, and change things as need be.
Edited to add:
Contact not signed yet so I can change my mind, seriously if anyone has an operational B n B for sale with 20+ acres and it is south of the Mason Dixon Line, I might be seriously interested. No sense in reinventing the wheel..
Weaver, you have a specific vision and it's not your typical aspiring innkeeper vision, so I totally see why you are looking for your start-up. It makes sense.
Others out there tend to be folks that think they can just turn their house into a b&b. Or buy a cheap old house, add in bathrooms, do renovations, decorate it their way, etc. They think it will be cheaper. In this market you are dead wrong! Start up costs are astronomical. Just furnishing the place will cost $40,000-$50,000 and that's probably a conservative estimate. Licenses, fees, permits, websites, online directories, marketing, etc is big bucks. Oh yeah, and you will be operating in the red for at least 3 years. Where's your income for you to live on and pay all those bills we all have?
I deal with a lot of aspiring innkeepers. I truely do understand wanting to create your own vision. But 9 out of 10 of them who actually did start their own, after a few years under their belt wished they had bought instead of starting their own. The failure rate for a startup is much higher than for a turn-key. I have seen it happen over and over again. Again, where is the money going to come from to live on when you start up and nobody knows you exist? You have no reputation, and maybe the risk you took that tourists would want to come to your area didn't pan out?
Of course there are those that start from scratch and flourish. Ask them how tough it's been. We have those innkeepers on here too. It's not an easy life being an innkeeper. Rarely do I see posts on here from aspirings to those who have started up their own b&b. Get their input.
.
BD - mine is not in the normal range of an aspiring, and I get that, but I so wish - and here is a message for other aspirings - there was what I want out there operating. Would make life so much easier to buy a place with reservations - even if not many - on the books.
So aspirings, do not do what I am trying to do, I am certifiable!!!!
Just ask my oldest DD - just finished first year of grad school has two BS (psych and sociology) she will happily tell you her mom is nucking futty!!!!!
So once I am open, and I can say I am an Innkeeper and not an aspiring, have had my first guest and probably a PITA or two, yadda yadda yadda and all that jazz, I can say for cetainty this is not the way to do it, I will still say don't do what I did.
Instead, listen to the wise old and not so old sages here, they have just a little more than a clue. Now if only they could take JB's inn and put in on 20-200 acres I would be in hog (ok so that is not kosher - stop laughing at me) heaven.
 

gillumhouse

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I would happily by operating business, my problem is finding one that is close enough to my desires. Land with operating b n b is hard to come by.
JB I would buy your place in a heart beat if it had 20 or 30 acres. There are others I have looked at that I love, and with great occupancy and ready to roll just hand over the keys, unfortunately they do not have the land I want.
I know that might sound odd to some of you, but if I am going to pour my heart and soul into it, it has to be what I want, where I want it, and at least has the potential for what I want it to become. It is tough finding those things when you have a pretty darn good idea what you want to do.
So if someone knows of an inn with good occupancy, or even ok occupancy, and there is land, a good amount of land, PLEASE tell me. I would rather walk into a place making money, and change things as need be.
Edited to add:
Contact not signed yet so I can change my mind, seriously if anyone has an operational B n B for sale with 20+ acres and it is south of the Mason Dixon Line, I might be seriously interested. No sense in reinventing the wheel..
Weaver, you have a specific vision and it's not your typical aspiring innkeeper vision, so I totally see why you are looking for your start-up. It makes sense.
Others out there tend to be folks that think they can just turn their house into a b&b. Or buy a cheap old house, add in bathrooms, do renovations, decorate it their way, etc. They think it will be cheaper. In this market you are dead wrong! Start up costs are astronomical. Just furnishing the place will cost $40,000-$50,000 and that's probably a conservative estimate. Licenses, fees, permits, websites, online directories, marketing, etc is big bucks. Oh yeah, and you will be operating in the red for at least 3 years. Where's your income for you to live on and pay all those bills we all have?
I deal with a lot of aspiring innkeepers. I truely do understand wanting to create your own vision. But 9 out of 10 of them who actually did start their own, after a few years under their belt wished they had bought instead of starting their own. The failure rate for a startup is much higher than for a turn-key. I have seen it happen over and over again. Again, where is the money going to come from to live on when you start up and nobody knows you exist? You have no reputation, and maybe the risk you took that tourists would want to come to your area didn't pan out?
Of course there are those that start from scratch and flourish. Ask them how tough it's been. We have those innkeepers on here too. It's not an easy life being an innkeeper. Rarely do I see posts on here from aspirings to those who have started up their own b&b. Get their input.
.
Hear-hear! When I was a start-up the online directories were also star-ups and had reasonable rates. They have grown into BIG BOYS with rates to match - in fact the 2 big ones have been purchased by corporations and are no longer "owner-owned". Katrina changed the cost of construction - upward!
The potential guests I expected to be getting ended up being a very small part of y actual occupancy. Using my own money to start up made it easier because I did not have to make a payment BUT it made it harder when my money ran out. I would have been smarter to start out with a payment and had PRIVATE ENSUITE bath to begin with. I would have had more business from the get-go. And if I did not beat the bushes the way I have, I would be sitting here with a non-existent business because they must know you are there before they can come.
Part of what I do to beat the bushes is to be willing to open the cica 1778 log house to visitors - and I have to do just that in less than 20 minutes (did video & photos of Playful City at the Park again this morning My city is just one of 219 this year nationwide - we were one of 151 last year.).
 

Breakfast Diva

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I would happily by operating business, my problem is finding one that is close enough to my desires. Land with operating b n b is hard to come by.
JB I would buy your place in a heart beat if it had 20 or 30 acres. There are others I have looked at that I love, and with great occupancy and ready to roll just hand over the keys, unfortunately they do not have the land I want.
I know that might sound odd to some of you, but if I am going to pour my heart and soul into it, it has to be what I want, where I want it, and at least has the potential for what I want it to become. It is tough finding those things when you have a pretty darn good idea what you want to do.
So if someone knows of an inn with good occupancy, or even ok occupancy, and there is land, a good amount of land, PLEASE tell me. I would rather walk into a place making money, and change things as need be.
Edited to add:
Contact not signed yet so I can change my mind, seriously if anyone has an operational B n B for sale with 20+ acres and it is south of the Mason Dixon Line, I might be seriously interested. No sense in reinventing the wheel..
Weaver, you have a specific vision and it's not your typical aspiring innkeeper vision, so I totally see why you are looking for your start-up. It makes sense.
Others out there tend to be folks that think they can just turn their house into a b&b. Or buy a cheap old house, add in bathrooms, do renovations, decorate it their way, etc. They think it will be cheaper. In this market you are dead wrong! Start up costs are astronomical. Just furnishing the place will cost $40,000-$50,000 and that's probably a conservative estimate. Licenses, fees, permits, websites, online directories, marketing, etc is big bucks. Oh yeah, and you will be operating in the red for at least 3 years. Where's your income for you to live on and pay all those bills we all have?
I deal with a lot of aspiring innkeepers. I truely do understand wanting to create your own vision. But 9 out of 10 of them who actually did start their own, after a few years under their belt wished they had bought instead of starting their own. The failure rate for a startup is much higher than for a turn-key. I have seen it happen over and over again. Again, where is the money going to come from to live on when you start up and nobody knows you exist? You have no reputation, and maybe the risk you took that tourists would want to come to your area didn't pan out?
Of course there are those that start from scratch and flourish. Ask them how tough it's been. We have those innkeepers on here too. It's not an easy life being an innkeeper. Rarely do I see posts on here from aspirings to those who have started up their own b&b. Get their input.
.
BD - mine is not in the normal range of an aspiring, and I get that, but I so wish - and here is a message for other aspirings - there was what I want out there operating. Would make life so much easier to buy a place with reservations - even if not many - on the books.
So aspirings, do not do what I am trying to do, I am certifiable!!!!
Just ask my oldest DD - just finished first year of grad school has two BS (psych and sociology) she will happily tell you her mom is nucking futty!!!!!
So once I am open, and I can say I am an Innkeeper and not an aspiring, have had my first guest and probably a PITA or two, yadda yadda yadda and all that jazz, I can say for cetainty this is not the way to do it, I will still say don't do what I did.
Instead, listen to the wise old and not so old sages here, they have just a little more than a clue. Now if only they could take JB's inn and put in on 20-200 acres I would be in hog (ok so that is not kosher - stop laughing at me) heaven.
.
Weaver, I'm just stating the obvious here....you do know that if one day you want to sell, it will take a VERY long time to find a buyer since you've narrowed down the market on the number of folks that would be happy buying that unique type of property. I guess my caution would be to not put so much money into it that you wouldn't be able to get out one day if you had to sell as a private farm.
 

Weaver

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I would happily by operating business, my problem is finding one that is close enough to my desires. Land with operating b n b is hard to come by.
JB I would buy your place in a heart beat if it had 20 or 30 acres. There are others I have looked at that I love, and with great occupancy and ready to roll just hand over the keys, unfortunately they do not have the land I want.
I know that might sound odd to some of you, but if I am going to pour my heart and soul into it, it has to be what I want, where I want it, and at least has the potential for what I want it to become. It is tough finding those things when you have a pretty darn good idea what you want to do.
So if someone knows of an inn with good occupancy, or even ok occupancy, and there is land, a good amount of land, PLEASE tell me. I would rather walk into a place making money, and change things as need be.
Edited to add:
Contact not signed yet so I can change my mind, seriously if anyone has an operational B n B for sale with 20+ acres and it is south of the Mason Dixon Line, I might be seriously interested. No sense in reinventing the wheel..
Weaver, you have a specific vision and it's not your typical aspiring innkeeper vision, so I totally see why you are looking for your start-up. It makes sense.
Others out there tend to be folks that think they can just turn their house into a b&b. Or buy a cheap old house, add in bathrooms, do renovations, decorate it their way, etc. They think it will be cheaper. In this market you are dead wrong! Start up costs are astronomical. Just furnishing the place will cost $40,000-$50,000 and that's probably a conservative estimate. Licenses, fees, permits, websites, online directories, marketing, etc is big bucks. Oh yeah, and you will be operating in the red for at least 3 years. Where's your income for you to live on and pay all those bills we all have?
I deal with a lot of aspiring innkeepers. I truely do understand wanting to create your own vision. But 9 out of 10 of them who actually did start their own, after a few years under their belt wished they had bought instead of starting their own. The failure rate for a startup is much higher than for a turn-key. I have seen it happen over and over again. Again, where is the money going to come from to live on when you start up and nobody knows you exist? You have no reputation, and maybe the risk you took that tourists would want to come to your area didn't pan out?
Of course there are those that start from scratch and flourish. Ask them how tough it's been. We have those innkeepers on here too. It's not an easy life being an innkeeper. Rarely do I see posts on here from aspirings to those who have started up their own b&b. Get their input.
.
BD - mine is not in the normal range of an aspiring, and I get that, but I so wish - and here is a message for other aspirings - there was what I want out there operating. Would make life so much easier to buy a place with reservations - even if not many - on the books.
So aspirings, do not do what I am trying to do, I am certifiable!!!!
Just ask my oldest DD - just finished first year of grad school has two BS (psych and sociology) she will happily tell you her mom is nucking futty!!!!!
So once I am open, and I can say I am an Innkeeper and not an aspiring, have had my first guest and probably a PITA or two, yadda yadda yadda and all that jazz, I can say for cetainty this is not the way to do it, I will still say don't do what I did.
Instead, listen to the wise old and not so old sages here, they have just a little more than a clue. Now if only they could take JB's inn and put in on 20-200 acres I would be in hog (ok so that is not kosher - stop laughing at me) heaven.
.
Weaver, I'm just stating the obvious here....you do know that if one day you want to sell, it will take a VERY long time to find a buyer since you've narrowed down the market on the number of folks that would be happy buying that unique type of property. I guess my caution would be to not put so much money into it that you wouldn't be able to get out one day if you had to sell as a private farm.
.
Oh believe me I know that, which is one reason why I like the place that is almost mine, it is actually 6 parcels, so the cabins will go on the smaller parcels and the farm will be on the big parcel, with just the farmhouse/lodge/barn building.
 

Olga

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

Weaver

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I was having a hard time deciding on whether to buy a fixer upper, because I just like the idea. Even if I didn't make it into a b&b, I think it would still be a fun thing to do. I also like the idea of a turnkey because the business is already set up ... one just has to learn the ropes and get into some sort of groove that works for them.
I think it all depends on the owners personality, experiences, and financial means..
Olga said:
I was having a hard time deciding on whether to buy a fixer upper, because I just like the idea. Even if I didn't make it into a b&b, I think it would still be a fun thing to do. I also like the idea of a turnkey because the business is already set up ... one just has to learn the ropes and get into some sort of groove that works for them.
I think it all depends on the owners personality, experiences, and financial means.
Olga, until you have lived through a reno you have no clue how NOT fun it is.
I have personally with the help of my DS (not an adult but a teenager) renovated my 100 y/o house while living in it with two teenagers, one stupid dog and 5 cats.
It was pure insanity, but I did it, saved a ton of money, got what I wanted but I didn't do anything too major, no new bathrooms, hardly moved anything except in the kitchen, and started with very solid bones.
You have children living at home, there is only so much they can take before they up and revolt on you, and depending on their age that could be anything from hiding in their room with their i pod or computer to having a temper tantrum over what they are not getting for dinner.
Good example, when I pulled up the flooring in my dining room, which in this old farm house is like the central hall (has 6 doors leading everywhere), there was nasty sticky black adhesive all over the floor. We had to let it dry out for at least a week before scraping it off the floor and then sanding it. The kids had to go outside and around the house to get from their side of the upstairs to the kitchen, or they had to come through my bathroom and bedroom to come down. Anyway you look at it, it was not good.
We ran into a problem in the kitchen, needed additional electrical service, I wasn't planning on the extra $3k and the permits, so we ate what I could cook in the roasting oven and the electric skillet until tax refund came.
Sewage line from house to septic tank collapsed this past winter. We were digging a hole in below 40 temps, thank G-d it was a mild winter, and I was lucky enough to have a great neighbor. We didn't run water down a drain in the house for 4 days. Two seater outhouse was about to be brought back into service but it wasn't that bad and I fixed it myself for $30 and only two trips to L ow es.
So think long and hard about renovating with kids in the house, it ain't fun. And the above are just the highlights, I have more stories of reno nightmares.
Would I do it again, OH SURE, would I do it with kids of any age in the house, NO WAY. The dream is your dream not theirs, they want to watch tv, have a hot meal, and a warm bed. If you can find a place that is even close to what you want, do that. What I am doing is not the easy way, but then again I never do anything the easy way.
 

Madeleine

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I was having a hard time deciding on whether to buy a fixer upper, because I just like the idea. Even if I didn't make it into a b&b, I think it would still be a fun thing to do. I also like the idea of a turnkey because the business is already set up ... one just has to learn the ropes and get into some sort of groove that works for them.
I think it all depends on the owners personality, experiences, and financial means..
Olga said:
I was having a hard time deciding on whether to buy a fixer upper, because I just like the idea. Even if I didn't make it into a b&b, I think it would still be a fun thing to do. I also like the idea of a turnkey because the business is already set up ... one just has to learn the ropes and get into some sort of groove that works for them.
I think it all depends on the owners personality, experiences, and financial means.
Olga, until you have lived through a reno you have no clue how NOT fun it is.
I have personally with the help of my DS (not an adult but a teenager) renovated my 100 y/o house while living in it with two teenagers, one stupid dog and 5 cats.
It was pure insanity, but I did it, saved a ton of money, got what I wanted but I didn't do anything too major, no new bathrooms, hardly moved anything except in the kitchen, and started with very solid bones.
You have children living at home, there is only so much they can take before they up and revolt on you, and depending on their age that could be anything from hiding in their room with their i pod or computer to having a temper tantrum over what they are not getting for dinner.
Good example, when I pulled up the flooring in my dining room, which in this old farm house is like the central hall (has 6 doors leading everywhere), there was nasty sticky black adhesive all over the floor. We had to let it dry out for at least a week before scraping it off the floor and then sanding it. The kids had to go outside and around the house to get from their side of the upstairs to the kitchen, or they had to come through my bathroom and bedroom to come down. Anyway you look at it, it was not good.
We ran into a problem in the kitchen, needed additional electrical service, I wasn't planning on the extra $3k and the permits, so we ate what I could cook in the roasting oven and the electric skillet until tax refund came.
Sewage line from house to septic tank collapsed this past winter. We were digging a hole in below 40 temps, thank G-d it was a mild winter, and I was lucky enough to have a great neighbor. We didn't run water down a drain in the house for 4 days. Two seater outhouse was about to be brought back into service but it wasn't that bad and I fixed it myself for $30 and only two trips to L ow es.
So think long and hard about renovating with kids in the house, it ain't fun. And the above are just the highlights, I have more stories of reno nightmares.
Would I do it again, OH SURE, would I do it with kids of any age in the house, NO WAY. The dream is your dream not theirs, they want to watch tv, have a hot meal, and a warm bed. If you can find a place that is even close to what you want, do that. What I am doing is not the easy way, but then again I never do anything the easy way.
.
Weaver said:
Good example, when I pulled up the flooring in my dining room, which in this old farm house is like the central hall (has 6 doors leading everywhere), there was nasty sticky black adhesive all over the floor. We had to let it dry out for at least a week before scraping it off the floor and then sanding it. The kids had to go outside and around the house to get from their side of the upstairs to the kitchen, or they had to come through my bathroom and bedroom to come down. Anyway you look at it, it was not good.
Daughter came home from college when the house was torn apart. She was living in one side of it and we were living in the other. The middle was a disaster. To get to the bathroom she had to come downstairs, go outside, go down the driveway, come back inside and go back upstairs. She did this with a towel wrapped around her. The (male) neighbors loved her. She did not get why this was a problem as this is how they all lived in college!
 

JBloggs

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I would happily by operating business, my problem is finding one that is close enough to my desires. Land with operating b n b is hard to come by.
JB I would buy your place in a heart beat if it had 20 or 30 acres. There are others I have looked at that I love, and with great occupancy and ready to roll just hand over the keys, unfortunately they do not have the land I want.
I know that might sound odd to some of you, but if I am going to pour my heart and soul into it, it has to be what I want, where I want it, and at least has the potential for what I want it to become. It is tough finding those things when you have a pretty darn good idea what you want to do.
So if someone knows of an inn with good occupancy, or even ok occupancy, and there is land, a good amount of land, PLEASE tell me. I would rather walk into a place making money, and change things as need be.
Edited to add:
Contact not signed yet so I can change my mind, seriously if anyone has an operational B n B for sale with 20+ acres and it is south of the Mason Dixon Line, I might be seriously interested. No sense in reinventing the wheel..
Weaver, you have a specific vision and it's not your typical aspiring innkeeper vision, so I totally see why you are looking for your start-up. It makes sense.
Others out there tend to be folks that think they can just turn their house into a b&b. Or buy a cheap old house, add in bathrooms, do renovations, decorate it their way, etc. They think it will be cheaper. In this market you are dead wrong! Start up costs are astronomical. Just furnishing the place will cost $40,000-$50,000 and that's probably a conservative estimate. Licenses, fees, permits, websites, online directories, marketing, etc is big bucks. Oh yeah, and you will be operating in the red for at least 3 years. Where's your income for you to live on and pay all those bills we all have?
I deal with a lot of aspiring innkeepers. I truely do understand wanting to create your own vision. But 9 out of 10 of them who actually did start their own, after a few years under their belt wished they had bought instead of starting their own. The failure rate for a startup is much higher than for a turn-key. I have seen it happen over and over again. Again, where is the money going to come from to live on when you start up and nobody knows you exist? You have no reputation, and maybe the risk you took that tourists would want to come to your area didn't pan out?
Of course there are those that start from scratch and flourish. Ask them how tough it's been. We have those innkeepers on here too. It's not an easy life being an innkeeper. Rarely do I see posts on here from aspirings to those who have started up their own b&b. Get their input.
.
I have a perfect example right next door to me, yes a place that thought it could be a B&B, afterall we are over here raking in the dough, right. Well it is a guest house, they spent tons on renovations and it sits empty. Why? They have no clue.
They use it for functions from time to time and a thurs/fri restaurant downstairs. They have put in ad in the local newspaper (I mean local, 4 or 5 pages max is all it is), and have no website, I think they may be on home away now. so any free links they can get they put the generic home away link, not EVEN to their exact listing.
 

Weaver

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I would happily by operating business, my problem is finding one that is close enough to my desires. Land with operating b n b is hard to come by.
JB I would buy your place in a heart beat if it had 20 or 30 acres. There are others I have looked at that I love, and with great occupancy and ready to roll just hand over the keys, unfortunately they do not have the land I want.
I know that might sound odd to some of you, but if I am going to pour my heart and soul into it, it has to be what I want, where I want it, and at least has the potential for what I want it to become. It is tough finding those things when you have a pretty darn good idea what you want to do.
So if someone knows of an inn with good occupancy, or even ok occupancy, and there is land, a good amount of land, PLEASE tell me. I would rather walk into a place making money, and change things as need be.
Edited to add:
Contact not signed yet so I can change my mind, seriously if anyone has an operational B n B for sale with 20+ acres and it is south of the Mason Dixon Line, I might be seriously interested. No sense in reinventing the wheel..
Weaver, you have a specific vision and it's not your typical aspiring innkeeper vision, so I totally see why you are looking for your start-up. It makes sense.
Others out there tend to be folks that think they can just turn their house into a b&b. Or buy a cheap old house, add in bathrooms, do renovations, decorate it their way, etc. They think it will be cheaper. In this market you are dead wrong! Start up costs are astronomical. Just furnishing the place will cost $40,000-$50,000 and that's probably a conservative estimate. Licenses, fees, permits, websites, online directories, marketing, etc is big bucks. Oh yeah, and you will be operating in the red for at least 3 years. Where's your income for you to live on and pay all those bills we all have?
I deal with a lot of aspiring innkeepers. I truely do understand wanting to create your own vision. But 9 out of 10 of them who actually did start their own, after a few years under their belt wished they had bought instead of starting their own. The failure rate for a startup is much higher than for a turn-key. I have seen it happen over and over again. Again, where is the money going to come from to live on when you start up and nobody knows you exist? You have no reputation, and maybe the risk you took that tourists would want to come to your area didn't pan out?
Of course there are those that start from scratch and flourish. Ask them how tough it's been. We have those innkeepers on here too. It's not an easy life being an innkeeper. Rarely do I see posts on here from aspirings to those who have started up their own b&b. Get their input.
.
I have a perfect example right next door to me, yes a place that thought it could be a B&B, afterall we are over here raking in the dough, right. Well it is a guest house, they spent tons on renovations and it sits empty. Why? They have no clue.
They use it for functions from time to time and a thurs/fri restaurant downstairs. They have put in ad in the local newspaper (I mean local, 4 or 5 pages max is all it is), and have no website, I think they may be on home away now. so any free links they can get they put the generic home away link, not EVEN to their exact listing.
.
You have to pay to play. Lots of marketing is inexpensive, but none of it is really free.
How do they expect anyone to know they exist if no one outside their neighbors know they have rooms?
Sometimes you just gotta scratch your head and wonder.
 

toddburme

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The risk is much higher in a conversion. An existing business is a much better bet. You have established income etc.
I would imagine that you could get in with less down in a finished product also so your overall exposure might be less also.
Just some thoughts I had after revisiting this idea in the shower this morning. hahahahha
 

JBloggs

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The risk is much higher in a conversion. An existing business is a much better bet. You have established income etc.
I would imagine that you could get in with less down in a finished product also so your overall exposure might be less also.
Just some thoughts I had after revisiting this idea in the shower this morning. hahahahha.
toddburme said:
The risk is much higher in a conversion. An existing business is a much better bet. You have established income etc.
I would imagine that you could get in with less down in a finished product also so your overall exposure might be less also.
Right, a business with a proven financial record vs converting and hoping the licensing/ispections and permitting and such is all approved, and then hope after everything is said and DONE someone will want to stay with you.
If you build it they will come does not apply to B&B's...there is way so much more to it than that.
 
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