What is our next step?

INNspiring.com | Innkeeper Forum & Innkeeping Resources

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

Mom2Eight

Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2012
Messages
19
Reaction score
0
My husband and I have talked and dreamed about owning a B&B for many years. There is one for sale within an hour from our current home. We went and stayed a night, and really liked the property. What is our next step? Contact the owner? We are looking at a B&B Team weekend for aspiring innkeepers. We are reading as much as possible. Would love any advice we could get. What did you do? Thanks for your advice and wisdom!
 

Madeleine

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2011
Messages
7,990
Reaction score
0
Is the property listed with a broker or FSBO? If it's with a broker, call them. Be prepared to show you can afford to buy and maintain the property. Taking the B&B Team weekend class is an excellent idea because you will then get what goes on behind the scenes, not just the pretty side the guests see.
 

gillumhouse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
15,633
Reaction score
259
Maddie said it all.
 

agoodman

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 18, 2008
Messages
818
Reaction score
0
Taking the course is a good start, start talking to banks. How is your credit? Remember you probably will have to get a commercial loan, and may need a large down pay. Most sellers will want o know you are prequal before discussing their numbers with you.
Buy some books about to start reading,
And i have to ask.. How many of the eight are still at home? I don't know many innkeepers that would even think of running an inn with half that number....
 

JBloggs

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Messages
17,743
Reaction score
0
Did the owners know you were there to get the feel of the property? I like it. I like that you were there as a guest first. I wish everyone did this. As an innkeeper it would make me nervous later on, but we have had those who show up without even staying and demand total time right in the middle of a busy time.
If you are truly interested, if it were me, I would send the inn a small thank you card from your stay and let them know you may want to get more information about the for-sale side of the business. I think that would please them, and they would be happy to answer your questions and provide data from there...
All the best! It is fun to look and dream, and more fun to think it may become a reality!
 

Mom2Eight

Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2012
Messages
19
Reaction score
0
Taking the course is a good start, start talking to banks. How is your credit? Remember you probably will have to get a commercial loan, and may need a large down pay. Most sellers will want o know you are prequal before discussing their numbers with you.
Buy some books about to start reading,
And i have to ask.. How many of the eight are still at home? I don't know many innkeepers that would even think of running an inn with half that number.....
We are pretty much down to the last two. They are both really excited about the idea. I have been a home educator for the last 24 years so am very used to feeding the masses three times a day! We have already been reading quite a bit. We also have an excellent credit rating. I have only worked part time as a Weight Watcher Leader, and am currently teaching classes at a local culinary center (we live near a fairly large city). My husband would be able to keep his job as it is in driving range, and the income would most likely be needed. Thank you all so much for the input. This is such a specialized business, it is nice to be able to gather info from people who are living this life day to day.
 

gillumhouse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
15,633
Reaction score
259
Taking the course is a good start, start talking to banks. How is your credit? Remember you probably will have to get a commercial loan, and may need a large down pay. Most sellers will want o know you are prequal before discussing their numbers with you.
Buy some books about to start reading,
And i have to ask.. How many of the eight are still at home? I don't know many innkeepers that would even think of running an inn with half that number.....
We are pretty much down to the last two. They are both really excited about the idea. I have been a home educator for the last 24 years so am very used to feeding the masses three times a day! We have already been reading quite a bit. We also have an excellent credit rating. I have only worked part time as a Weight Watcher Leader, and am currently teaching classes at a local culinary center (we live near a fairly large city). My husband would be able to keep his job as it is in driving range, and the income would most likely be needed. Thank you all so much for the input. This is such a specialized business, it is nice to be able to gather info from people who are living this life day to day.
.
Welcome aboard and if the stars are in alignment, and you kiss the right pig, and Murphy breaks his leg - all will work out and you will be able to go from aspiring to innkeeper. We are certainly here as a cheering section - as we rip those rose colored glasses off your nose. Although as the Mother of 6 I know that the Mother of 8 can handle almost anything - we know that each one can twist our tail in a different way and can sort out a 5-way "he touched me" with a look.
 

Mom2Eight

Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2012
Messages
19
Reaction score
0
Is the property listed with a broker or FSBO? If it's with a broker, call them. Be prepared to show you can afford to buy and maintain the property. Taking the B&B Team weekend class is an excellent idea because you will then get what goes on behind the scenes, not just the pretty side the guests see..
I believe it is FSBO as the contact email belongs to the husband.
 

Mom2Eight

Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2012
Messages
19
Reaction score
0
Taking the course is a good start, start talking to banks. How is your credit? Remember you probably will have to get a commercial loan, and may need a large down pay. Most sellers will want o know you are prequal before discussing their numbers with you.
Buy some books about to start reading,
And i have to ask.. How many of the eight are still at home? I don't know many innkeepers that would even think of running an inn with half that number.....
We are pretty much down to the last two. They are both really excited about the idea. I have been a home educator for the last 24 years so am very used to feeding the masses three times a day! We have already been reading quite a bit. We also have an excellent credit rating. I have only worked part time as a Weight Watcher Leader, and am currently teaching classes at a local culinary center (we live near a fairly large city). My husband would be able to keep his job as it is in driving range, and the income would most likely be needed. Thank you all so much for the input. This is such a specialized business, it is nice to be able to gather info from people who are living this life day to day.
.
Welcome aboard and if the stars are in alignment, and you kiss the right pig, and Murphy breaks his leg - all will work out and you will be able to go from aspiring to innkeeper. We are certainly here as a cheering section - as we rip those rose colored glasses off your nose. Although as the Mother of 6 I know that the Mother of 8 can handle almost anything - we know that each one can twist our tail in a different way and can sort out a 5-way "he touched me" with a look.
.
Thanks for the the warm welcome. You made me smile with your comments about being a mother. It definately has given me many skills over the years. I often tell my 4 year old granddaughter that there is nothing she can try to get away with that her Mimo has not already seen from her mother or aunts and uncles!
 

Joey Camb

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Messages
4,793
Reaction score
0
also I would be prepared to sign confidentiality agreements - we have discussed this from the innkeepers side before now so from your point of view to the seller to suggest it shows you are serious and understand that they are showing you private financial info and will protect it accordingly.
 

Aussie Innkeeper

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2010
Messages
751
Reaction score
1
Welcome to you!

In addition to what's already been discussed, I would add a couple of things. There's a guy who does inn financing, Rick Newman, I'd contact him, too. Unless you're independently wealthy, you're going to need some $$ and banks are really reluctant (read: refuse) to loan money for B&B's. Rick knows who's got the $$ and is willing to lend at good rates.
Also, and this was something that we didn't really have the advantage of when we purchased 5 years ago, read all the on-line reviews about the place. One of the aspects of what you're purchasing is 'good will'. These reviews go a long way to give you insight to what you're getting. Yes, you can have most of them removed if you want ( I believe TA will do that when ownership changes), BUT you're still buying the reputation of the business and it will follow you for a while till you can make it your own.
You still have kids at home, will you still home-school? If not, what are the public schools like in the area where you want to purchase? Also, what is it in the area that will bring tourists? Even if the B&B has a good current 'repeat' business, some of those folks will no longer come because of a change in ownership. Others will anyway.
Best of luck to you! Please feel free to e-mail me any time if you have questions or need a bit of a pep-talk! I can talk you into it, or out of it, depending on the day.
 

Madeleine

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2011
Messages
7,990
Reaction score
0
Is the property listed with a broker or FSBO? If it's with a broker, call them. Be prepared to show you can afford to buy and maintain the property. Taking the B&B Team weekend class is an excellent idea because you will then get what goes on behind the scenes, not just the pretty side the guests see..
I believe it is FSBO as the contact email belongs to the husband.
.
Mom2Eight said:
I believe it is FSBO as the contact email belongs to the husband.
Then you need to go to the classes. You'll need to know what to look for and what to look out for. Doing this on your own, unless the property is inexpensive, can become very expensive very fast. It's not like buying a house. Just because the people who own the place now are running it the way they are does not mean you will be able to continue to do that once you are the owners.
Ask yourself how you are going to run the operation on your own. With 2 kids at home. It sounds like you are home schooling so where does the time come from to do everything? Just ask yourself.
Make a list of everything you need to accomplish in a day right now. Then make a list of everything you need to do for the inn (how many rooms?). Now see where these overlap (the kids at home can help you) and where they crash (who comes first- the paying guests or the kids?)
 

EmptyNest

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
8,741
Reaction score
1
Welcome...
I will add in here. Make sure husband keeps his job especially if benefits are part of it. What is the size of the B & B? What kind of location? Why do people stay there? Why are they selling? Do you have a large downpayment? If not, don't count on bank financing and even then lending for a B & B is not a residential loan..it is commercial. You will have to prove the income will cover the mortgage and even then you may not get one. I have no clue who the fellow is mentioned in another post, but I would caution...be leary...every step of the way.
Can the B & B remain a b & b if it is sold? Critical question to ask. Not always the case. Check all zoning and health regulations. In other words...do your homework:) Which it sounds like you are.
Good luck!
 

Mom2Eight

Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2012
Messages
19
Reaction score
0
Welcome to you!

In addition to what's already been discussed, I would add a couple of things. There's a guy who does inn financing, Rick Newman, I'd contact him, too. Unless you're independently wealthy, you're going to need some $$ and banks are really reluctant (read: refuse) to loan money for B&B's. Rick knows who's got the $$ and is willing to lend at good rates.
Also, and this was something that we didn't really have the advantage of when we purchased 5 years ago, read all the on-line reviews about the place. One of the aspects of what you're purchasing is 'good will'. These reviews go a long way to give you insight to what you're getting. Yes, you can have most of them removed if you want ( I believe TA will do that when ownership changes), BUT you're still buying the reputation of the business and it will follow you for a while till you can make it your own.
You still have kids at home, will you still home-school? If not, what are the public schools like in the area where you want to purchase? Also, what is it in the area that will bring tourists? Even if the B&B has a good current 'repeat' business, some of those folks will no longer come because of a change in ownership. Others will anyway.
Best of luck to you! Please feel free to e-mail me any time if you have questions or need a bit of a pep-talk! I can talk you into it, or out of it, depending on the day.
.
Thank you so much for the info about Rick Newman. I have read that getting financing can be a challenge.
I have already done quite a bit of snooping online to get as much info as possible. I have not seen anything but very good reviews about the inn and the innkeepers.
I am planning on continue to home-school and have already thought about the schedule for our day. Kids up early with me, they eat and start their studies while I prep and serve breakfast. They can help flip rooms for a couple of hours, and then if needed finish school work in afternoon. All of our children have gotten jobs as soon as they could find them. What better place to work than the family business. We consider this to be part of their education. They all are gainfully employed as adults, and have never had a problem getting jobs.
The property is four blocks from one private university, and 15 minuted from one of our state universities (this has one of the top sports teams in the country and the inn list sporting event weekend as peak times for them on their website). There are some local attractions, but also very close to major city, and We are also putting our own business plan together that would include couples enrichment weekends to market to area churches for small groups. Weddings are also on our radar as the property has a lovely outdoor venue for weddings. We have alot of experiece doing weddings for our own children and friends over the years. I have worn every hat possible when it comes to weddings. Here is a link to one of our girls weddings http://blog.pitmanphotography.com/weddings/adam-and-abby I actually know the good, bad, and ugly of working with brides, but also the income potential is HUGE.
I think that answered most your questions. Again thank you for your advice and info. I will keep your offer in mind as the days go by and we continue to look into this adventure.
 

EmptyNest

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
8,741
Reaction score
1
Welcome to you!

In addition to what's already been discussed, I would add a couple of things. There's a guy who does inn financing, Rick Newman, I'd contact him, too. Unless you're independently wealthy, you're going to need some $$ and banks are really reluctant (read: refuse) to loan money for B&B's. Rick knows who's got the $$ and is willing to lend at good rates.
Also, and this was something that we didn't really have the advantage of when we purchased 5 years ago, read all the on-line reviews about the place. One of the aspects of what you're purchasing is 'good will'. These reviews go a long way to give you insight to what you're getting. Yes, you can have most of them removed if you want ( I believe TA will do that when ownership changes), BUT you're still buying the reputation of the business and it will follow you for a while till you can make it your own.
You still have kids at home, will you still home-school? If not, what are the public schools like in the area where you want to purchase? Also, what is it in the area that will bring tourists? Even if the B&B has a good current 'repeat' business, some of those folks will no longer come because of a change in ownership. Others will anyway.
Best of luck to you! Please feel free to e-mail me any time if you have questions or need a bit of a pep-talk! I can talk you into it, or out of it, depending on the day.
.
Thank you so much for the info about Rick Newman. I have read that getting financing can be a challenge.
I have already done quite a bit of snooping online to get as much info as possible. I have not seen anything but very good reviews about the inn and the innkeepers.
I am planning on continue to home-school and have already thought about the schedule for our day. Kids up early with me, they eat and start their studies while I prep and serve breakfast. They can help flip rooms for a couple of hours, and then if needed finish school work in afternoon. All of our children have gotten jobs as soon as they could find them. What better place to work than the family business. We consider this to be part of their education. They all are gainfully employed as adults, and have never had a problem getting jobs.
The property is four blocks from one private university, and 15 minuted from one of our state universities (this has one of the top sports teams in the country and the inn list sporting event weekend as peak times for them on their website). There are some local attractions, but also very close to major city, and We are also putting our own business plan together that would include couples enrichment weekends to market to area churches for small groups. Weddings are also on our radar as the property has a lovely outdoor venue for weddings. We have alot of experiece doing weddings for our own children and friends over the years. I have worn every hat possible when it comes to weddings. Here is a link to one of our girls weddings http://blog.pitmanphotography.com/weddings/adam-and-abby I actually know the good, bad, and ugly of working with brides, but also the income potential is HUGE.
I think that answered most your questions. Again thank you for your advice and info. I will keep your offer in mind as the days go by and we continue to look into this adventure.
.
Beautiful wedding shots! I am sure there are many stories to share about the wedding. There has to be some significance to her wedding dress and I bet every old button on it. Lovely.
 

Mom2Eight

Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2012
Messages
19
Reaction score
0
Is the property listed with a broker or FSBO? If it's with a broker, call them. Be prepared to show you can afford to buy and maintain the property. Taking the B&B Team weekend class is an excellent idea because you will then get what goes on behind the scenes, not just the pretty side the guests see..
I believe it is FSBO as the contact email belongs to the husband.
.
Mom2Eight said:
I believe it is FSBO as the contact email belongs to the husband.
Then you need to go to the classes. You'll need to know what to look for and what to look out for. Doing this on your own, unless the property is inexpensive, can become very expensive very fast. It's not like buying a house. Just because the people who own the place now are running it the way they are does not mean you will be able to continue to do that once you are the owners.
Ask yourself how you are going to run the operation on your own. With 2 kids at home. It sounds like you are home schooling so where does the time come from to do everything? Just ask yourself.
Make a list of everything you need to accomplish in a day right now. Then make a list of everything you need to do for the inn (how many rooms?). Now see where these overlap (the kids at home can help you) and where they crash (who comes first- the paying guests or the kids?)
.
We are hopefully going to a weekend seminar next month. There are so many aspects of this whole thing that we really need help organizing and knowing where to direct our energies.
The kids are teen and pre-teen, so not quite as demanding as little ones. Coming from a big family, learning to be patient and not getting every thing you want when you want it is learned pretty fast. We would definately have to work out our days and schedule.
I love the idea of starting a list of all the task that need to be done. The inn has five guest rooms. Thanks for all the input. This is exactly why I started this thread. I want to be realistic about this and not just think about the "fun" parts.
 

Aussie Innkeeper

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2010
Messages
751
Reaction score
1
You might also get yourself a copy of Mary White's book, Innkeeping for Dummies. There are several other books out there on innkeeping, but this one is the most recent (relevant to today's issues).
 

Mom2Eight

Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2012
Messages
19
Reaction score
0
Welcome to you!

In addition to what's already been discussed, I would add a couple of things. There's a guy who does inn financing, Rick Newman, I'd contact him, too. Unless you're independently wealthy, you're going to need some $$ and banks are really reluctant (read: refuse) to loan money for B&B's. Rick knows who's got the $$ and is willing to lend at good rates.
Also, and this was something that we didn't really have the advantage of when we purchased 5 years ago, read all the on-line reviews about the place. One of the aspects of what you're purchasing is 'good will'. These reviews go a long way to give you insight to what you're getting. Yes, you can have most of them removed if you want ( I believe TA will do that when ownership changes), BUT you're still buying the reputation of the business and it will follow you for a while till you can make it your own.
You still have kids at home, will you still home-school? If not, what are the public schools like in the area where you want to purchase? Also, what is it in the area that will bring tourists? Even if the B&B has a good current 'repeat' business, some of those folks will no longer come because of a change in ownership. Others will anyway.
Best of luck to you! Please feel free to e-mail me any time if you have questions or need a bit of a pep-talk! I can talk you into it, or out of it, depending on the day.
.
Thank you so much for the info about Rick Newman. I have read that getting financing can be a challenge.
I have already done quite a bit of snooping online to get as much info as possible. I have not seen anything but very good reviews about the inn and the innkeepers.
I am planning on continue to home-school and have already thought about the schedule for our day. Kids up early with me, they eat and start their studies while I prep and serve breakfast. They can help flip rooms for a couple of hours, and then if needed finish school work in afternoon. All of our children have gotten jobs as soon as they could find them. What better place to work than the family business. We consider this to be part of their education. They all are gainfully employed as adults, and have never had a problem getting jobs.
The property is four blocks from one private university, and 15 minuted from one of our state universities (this has one of the top sports teams in the country and the inn list sporting event weekend as peak times for them on their website). There are some local attractions, but also very close to major city, and We are also putting our own business plan together that would include couples enrichment weekends to market to area churches for small groups. Weddings are also on our radar as the property has a lovely outdoor venue for weddings. We have alot of experiece doing weddings for our own children and friends over the years. I have worn every hat possible when it comes to weddings. Here is a link to one of our girls weddings http://blog.pitmanphotography.com/weddings/adam-and-abby I actually know the good, bad, and ugly of working with brides, but also the income potential is HUGE.
I think that answered most your questions. Again thank you for your advice and info. I will keep your offer in mind as the days go by and we continue to look into this adventure.
.
Beautiful wedding shots! I am sure there are many stories to share about the wedding. There has to be some significance to her wedding dress and I bet every old button on it. Lovely.
.
I sketched out the dress, and my oldest daughter made it. The buttons came from her beloved great grandmother. She passed the year before the kids got married. One of the biggest stories behind this wedding is it took place 7 weeks after her older sister got married! We did most of it in those 7 weeks as I could only do one at a time. Both of them had fairly short engagements...less then 8 months. The other wedding was very different, but equally lovely.
 

Madeleine

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2011
Messages
7,990
Reaction score
0
Is the property listed with a broker or FSBO? If it's with a broker, call them. Be prepared to show you can afford to buy and maintain the property. Taking the B&B Team weekend class is an excellent idea because you will then get what goes on behind the scenes, not just the pretty side the guests see..
I believe it is FSBO as the contact email belongs to the husband.
.
Mom2Eight said:
I believe it is FSBO as the contact email belongs to the husband.
Then you need to go to the classes. You'll need to know what to look for and what to look out for. Doing this on your own, unless the property is inexpensive, can become very expensive very fast. It's not like buying a house. Just because the people who own the place now are running it the way they are does not mean you will be able to continue to do that once you are the owners.
Ask yourself how you are going to run the operation on your own. With 2 kids at home. It sounds like you are home schooling so where does the time come from to do everything? Just ask yourself.
Make a list of everything you need to accomplish in a day right now. Then make a list of everything you need to do for the inn (how many rooms?). Now see where these overlap (the kids at home can help you) and where they crash (who comes first- the paying guests or the kids?)
.
We are hopefully going to a weekend seminar next month. There are so many aspects of this whole thing that we really need help organizing and knowing where to direct our energies.
The kids are teen and pre-teen, so not quite as demanding as little ones. Coming from a big family, learning to be patient and not getting every thing you want when you want it is learned pretty fast. We would definately have to work out our days and schedule.
I love the idea of starting a list of all the task that need to be done. The inn has five guest rooms. Thanks for all the input. This is exactly why I started this thread. I want to be realistic about this and not just think about the "fun" parts.
.
Because you have built in help this should be a little easier than trying to do 5 rooms on your own. Almost all the B&B owners I know have at least a 1/2 time job doing something else. So having your husband continue his job should be ok as well.
Things to consider (and you can then work these into your enrichment weekends):
  • Whose job comes first?
  • How will you schedule time for just the 2 of you?
  • Ditto scheduling family time when you may have bookings?
  • What happens when husband decides you are spending too much time on guests and not enough time on family?
  • What happens when husband gets the opportunity with his job to go away for 2 weeks and you can't go?
  • What happens when you are not making enough money to cover the expenses of the business?
  • Can you miss the 'events' in your kids' lives? The births, baptisms, school plays for the grandkids?
  • How much does husband want to contribute in time, money and effort to this project? (Will he do repairs after a long day at the office? Greet guests? Chat with guests? Is he going to want to never have a moment alone? Will YOU want that?)
Are you moving to this property? How will the family adjust to that? Does everyone know that mom and dad's 'house' is no longer a place they can just run into whenever they want?
 
Top