Quantcast

What made you pick YOUR place

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
What was the thing (or things) that made you say "Yep, it's what I WANT"? Location? Layout? Price? Personality? History?
 

gillumhouse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
15,520
Reaction score
84
The City (pop 2500) was clean, no run-down shacks at either end of town, a business district even though there was a WallyWorld within 10 miles of ech end of town (yes, one north and one south - now a Super-Wally), more churches than bars, friendly people, within 7 miles of the Interstate.
The people we met - had stopped in the City several times over the months going to our friend's place of business - were very friendly
The house - I walked in and it said "stop looking, I am yours". Wonderful woodwork, 7 fireplaces (all now decorative), room flow perfect for B & B (it was a future plan achieved sooner than expected). They took our offer, no questions asked - no counter, just yes.
I could not have made a better choice of location for ME. I was able to get involved so it is my home, not just the city I live in for now. Welcomed with open arms? No but I worked my way into acceptance and being part of the city almost as if I "came from here". We will always be "aliens" but have become aliens who belong if you can make sense of that. It is a "who's yer grandpaw?" thing.
 

Morticia

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
17,281
Reaction score
146
Location (actual physical site of the inn as well as geographic location-ocean), convenience to amenities for ourselves, history.
 

YellowSocks

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
2,179
Reaction score
13
1) narrowed down our location to 1-2 hours from Cleveland.
1a) my sister lives 5 m. east of here.
2) we were looking for a university town with at least a little tourism. After visiting my sister for Thanksgiving we were like, duh, here's Ashland! Town-wise, it's exactly what we're looking for, and I lived here long ago... I still had some acquaintances and a membership at our church.
3) of the 8-12 houses we looked at, this one was the largest one in our target budget (i.e., cheap), but more importantly, it was one of the closest to the university. As my sister said, if we were serious about doing a B&B (not just renting a room now and then) then this was the house. There was one closer... a college rental, too small. There was a colonial I really liked, but the zoning would never have worked (plus the street was less well traveled).
So: first location, also budget, and size. As far as personality, I think we got lucky (or blessed)... this one is actually perfect for us, but when we put the bid on it I could barely remember what it was like inside or what all it contained. We toured it once on a day we saw 8 houses with twin 2-yo's in tow. I didn't even realize it had a laundry chute until we moved in, although I remembered the patio...
=)
Kk.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
3,893
Reaction score
0
I am bad, sorry...but you know me by now. We also went very heavily on what we did NOT want. That was a big portion in our decision making.
After looking at many inns you can easily pick the ones that simply will not work, simply do not fit your needs from the get go. MOST OF THEM.
#1 being price. Altho I am sure most paid more than they orig anticipated, just like building from scratch always costs more than anticipated.
Location was not key for us as we looked all over the United States. We were first looking at the INN itself over the location (altho once again, bad weather locations were eliminated, we came close to NH and glad we didn't move there).
Mainly for us having two kids, was layout. BIG TIME. Layout HAD to work or be re-workable, which it is now after some remodelling.
Curb appeal was very important, I was not going to be in a place that was not lovely. I wanted it to be like all great B&B's - you drive up and KNOW it is a B&B. There are those homes - in fact some in this town which people assume are a B&B as the landscaping is gorgeous and the layout looks so appealing, to me that screams B&B. It is more than the guest rooms that make a B&B, it is the whole package. Guests feel this.
Workable B&B - couldn't have one with too little private owner space - couldn't be where we were in rooms near guest rooms or climbing an attic to live (many B&B layouts we saw were this way). Had to be separate private space that we can run around all we want and not have to go into guest areas. Our own entrances/exits.
History had zilch to do with it. There are a gazillion houses with history. Personality had zilch to do with it. It would become totally different with each innkeeper, so it had to be up to par - in other words, sicne we were buying "-so-called" turn key, renovations had to be in place and upgrades to operate efficiently as a B&B. No one wants to fork over big bucks and then have to double it in reno's and upgrades. By nature we do, of course, as innkeepers always wanting improvements.
Lastly, is it basically appealing? Is this an appealing home, an appealing B&B and an appealing business? Can we survive here? Can we live here day in and day out and be happy? We would not sell our house we built on acreage to a home that is not lovely. It was idiotic and crazy that we sold what we sold, a beautiful custom home down to the cabinets hand built, on acreage with high paying jobs, to move here in the first place - but we would never change it. The experience has been very worthwhile. It is like connect the dots in our life.
Those were the final questions we asked as we got excited that we had found "the right one" finally.
 

YellowSocks

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
2,179
Reaction score
13
I am bad, sorry...but you know me by now. We also went very heavily on what we did NOT want. That was a big portion in our decision making.
After looking at many inns you can easily pick the ones that simply will not work, simply do not fit your needs from the get go. MOST OF THEM.
#1 being price. Altho I am sure most paid more than they orig anticipated, just like building from scratch always costs more than anticipated.
Location was not key for us as we looked all over the United States. We were first looking at the INN itself over the location (altho once again, bad weather locations were eliminated, we came close to NH and glad we didn't move there).
Mainly for us having two kids, was layout. BIG TIME. Layout HAD to work or be re-workable, which it is now after some remodelling.
Curb appeal was very important, I was not going to be in a place that was not lovely. I wanted it to be like all great B&B's - you drive up and KNOW it is a B&B. There are those homes - in fact some in this town which people assume are a B&B as the landscaping is gorgeous and the layout looks so appealing, to me that screams B&B. It is more than the guest rooms that make a B&B, it is the whole package. Guests feel this.
Workable B&B - couldn't have one with too little private owner space - couldn't be where we were in rooms near guest rooms or climbing an attic to live (many B&B layouts we saw were this way). Had to be separate private space that we can run around all we want and not have to go into guest areas. Our own entrances/exits.
History had zilch to do with it. There are a gazillion houses with history. Personality had zilch to do with it. It would become totally different with each innkeeper, so it had to be up to par - in other words, sicne we were buying "-so-called" turn key, renovations had to be in place and upgrades to operate efficiently as a B&B. No one wants to fork over big bucks and then have to double it in reno's and upgrades. By nature we do, of course, as innkeepers always wanting improvements.
Lastly, is it basically appealing? Is this an appealing home, an appealing B&B and an appealing business? Can we survive here? Can we live here day in and day out and be happy? We would not sell our house we built on acreage to a home that is not lovely. It was idiotic and crazy that we sold what we sold, a beautiful custom home down to the cabinets hand built, on acreage with high paying jobs, to move here in the first place - but we would never change it. The experience has been very worthwhile. It is like connect the dots in our life.
Those were the final questions we asked as we got excited that we had found "the right one" finally..
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
We also went very heavily on what we did NOT want. That was a big portion in our decision making.
After looking at many inns you can easily pick the ones that simply will not work, simply do not fit your needs from the get go. MOST OF THEM.
Yes, it really came down to that. Once we figured out the town, there were only so many houses that would work, really only three. One Victorian directly next door to another B&B, in need of lots of repair, and difficult to add bathrooms. Another up the street, beautiful and with separate quarters for us (it was a duplex), but realistically only three guest rooms. Then ours, easily four guest rooms and lots of space for us. (Not as nice as yours, but the space is here.) Plus ours has the best location, closest to the seminary and university... and I get calls asking if we're walking distance, so I know it matters a lot.
The Victorian is still for sale (three years later), and the beautiful one has been completely renovated and restored (no longer a duplex)... a real asset to our town. Ours, too, I guess.
=)
Kk.
 

Penelope

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
1,716
Reaction score
0
In my mind, I am sort of leaning in the "what won't work" way when it comes to looking. I don't know exactly what I want, but I certainly know what I DON'T want. Unfortunately, location does play a big factor in our search. We want 4 seasons. 4 distinct seasons. I don't want to live somewhere where spring and summer blend into October and winter. I don't want all evergreen trees and no hardwood trees.
Thanks for your input. I value each of your opinions!
 

EmptyNest

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
8,741
Reaction score
1
In my mind, I am sort of leaning in the "what won't work" way when it comes to looking. I don't know exactly what I want, but I certainly know what I DON'T want. Unfortunately, location does play a big factor in our search. We want 4 seasons. 4 distinct seasons. I don't want to live somewhere where spring and summer blend into October and winter. I don't want all evergreen trees and no hardwood trees.
Thanks for your input. I value each of your opinions!.
we too knew what we DID NOT WANT. We had a list of criteria: price first, location, size, a place where we would have our own private space, certain building requirements..ie: brick not wood. And we knew the approximate area we wanted to be. then we started searching.
It took 2 year but we found it! ANd...surprisingly...nothing has ever come up even close to what we wanted / got again:)
 

egoodell

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 1, 2008
Messages
3,023
Reaction score
0
We had to have a destination location. Somewhere people are already traveling to, since we don't have any outside funds coming in. It also had to be a place that interested us.
We are in a university town that has two presidents' homes and a wine industry.
We built as we could not find anything to purchase in a great location.
RIki
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
3,893
Reaction score
0
Here is a funny story too - two people on this forum actually looked at purchasing our B&B before we did.
But when you are looking you look and look and look. For us, the right one meant NO QUESTION WHATSOEVER THIS IS IT! We were so excited, I cannot tell you.
When you are looking it wears you out - you see so many that will not work for you. Will they work for others? I am not even sure of that either.
I truly believe many 'starry eyed' aspiring innkeepers are willing to sacrifice to buy an Inn they want, then later regret it was not as functional as they had hoped. They were going to "make do" and make it work. They burn out quickly.
You cannot live in one room. Someone mentioned buying a large house and how lucky they were to have this large house. We don't, we have a large house and DO NOT USE the guest areas (per tax laws) so we can write those areas off, and we never intended on using them, that side is the business, not just a home. Another BIG reason is I cannot keep it all clean, once I get areas clean - nobody better put a grimy paw in there!
 

greyswan

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 3, 2008
Messages
625
Reaction score
0
After attending the aspiring innkeepers workshops we had a list of criteria of what we were looking for and it came down to:
1. In close proximity to family
2. 4 -5 guests rooms
3. turnkey operation
4. price
Once we had what we were looking for, we started our search. We looked at many places and finally found our place on the internet (historicproperties.com) DH drove down from Baltimore to southern VA one Saturday to look at it... driving thru town, he just knew it would be a good place to live... kind of a Mayberry town. He walked thru the house and it felt right. I came down the next weekend and confirmed that this looked like our home. Then we found out that there was a small conference center that spills over to the b&b plus 5 miles from a military base - so that would be our primary customer base. We made an offer - I believe there were 2 or 3 other offers on the place, but the owners took our offer because we were going to keep the business going - that was important to them. Our B&B consultant (B&B Team) helped us a great deal thru-out the process, too.
 

Morticia

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
17,281
Reaction score
146
Here is a funny story too - two people on this forum actually looked at purchasing our B&B before we did.
But when you are looking you look and look and look. For us, the right one meant NO QUESTION WHATSOEVER THIS IS IT! We were so excited, I cannot tell you.
When you are looking it wears you out - you see so many that will not work for you. Will they work for others? I am not even sure of that either.
I truly believe many 'starry eyed' aspiring innkeepers are willing to sacrifice to buy an Inn they want, then later regret it was not as functional as they had hoped. They were going to "make do" and make it work. They burn out quickly.
You cannot live in one room. Someone mentioned buying a large house and how lucky they were to have this large house. We don't, we have a large house and DO NOT USE the guest areas (per tax laws) so we can write those areas off, and we never intended on using them, that side is the business, not just a home. Another BIG reason is I cannot keep it all clean, once I get areas clean - nobody better put a grimy paw in there!.
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
Here is a funny story too - two people on this forum actually looked at purchasing our B&B before we did.
But when you are looking you look and look and look. For us, the right one meant NO QUESTION WHATSOEVER THIS IS IT! We were so excited, I cannot tell you.
When you are looking it wears you out - you see so many that will not work for you. Will they work for others? I am not even sure of that either.
I truly believe many 'starry eyed' aspiring innkeepers are willing to sacrifice to buy an Inn they want, then later regret it was not as functional as they had hoped. They were going to "make do" and make it work. They burn out quickly.
You cannot live in one room. Someone mentioned buying a large house and how lucky they were to have this large house. We don't, we have a large house and DO NOT USE the guest areas (per tax laws) so we can write those areas off, and we never intended on using them, that side is the business, not just a home. Another BIG reason is I cannot keep it all clean, once I get areas clean - nobody better put a grimy paw in there!
We have innkeepers here today who bought a place we looked at and decided it wouldn't work for us. They love it. They've made it over quite a bit from what we saw when we looked at it. Many places we looked at are still for sale, or off the market but owned by the same people.
We're really good friends with another couple who looked at our place (and we looked at theirs).
It is a matter of what fits.
 

muirford

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
2,491
Reaction score
11
For us it was the town, the business, and the owner's quarters - probably in that order. As it turned out, we were given false information about the business, but we've made it work anyway (that's a whole 'nother story). We didn't figure out which town in advance but when we came to THIS town we knew we would like it. We also decided early on in the process to buy an existing business rather than build one from scratch - that's an important consideration and may depend on the job situation for one of the family.
We got info on JBJ's place when we were looking but never got there to make a visit. Several places we looked at have turned over at least one more time since we saw them - it seems like some places are perpetually for sale but I'm not sure why.
I always thought I'd have a Victorian B&B when we first considered doing this over 20 years ago. I don't - our place is Federal-style. I am much happier with this reality because I feel I have more flexibility in furnishings, and there aren't as many dust collecting drapes and knick-knacks to clean!
 

EmptyNest

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
8,741
Reaction score
1
Here is a funny story too - two people on this forum actually looked at purchasing our B&B before we did.
But when you are looking you look and look and look. For us, the right one meant NO QUESTION WHATSOEVER THIS IS IT! We were so excited, I cannot tell you.
When you are looking it wears you out - you see so many that will not work for you. Will they work for others? I am not even sure of that either.
I truly believe many 'starry eyed' aspiring innkeepers are willing to sacrifice to buy an Inn they want, then later regret it was not as functional as they had hoped. They were going to "make do" and make it work. They burn out quickly.
You cannot live in one room. Someone mentioned buying a large house and how lucky they were to have this large house. We don't, we have a large house and DO NOT USE the guest areas (per tax laws) so we can write those areas off, and we never intended on using them, that side is the business, not just a home. Another BIG reason is I cannot keep it all clean, once I get areas clean - nobody better put a grimy paw in there!.
Being "one" of the people who did consider your place. We were actually told by the owner that "young folks like you would not fit in this town! You would be bored to death."
In actuality, we ruled out your place because it was a wood structure which we knew we did not want, and at the time, I think she was right...there was nothing going on in that area that attracted us.
So glad it turned out to be the right place for you:)
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
3,893
Reaction score
0
I wonder if she perceived you as big city folk or something?
Because you didn't end up buying in a city but country.
 

hawley

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 2, 2008
Messages
383
Reaction score
0
We looked at other locations but decided in the end we weren't going to leave as our children and grandchildren are here. We had done alot of research and our research showed we needed 8 rooms here to be a full time job. My husband's department at the U closed and after 17 years he had no job. I had a good job and that allowed us to stay here.
Location in town was important as many places would fight a B&B, but in this oldest part of town, we are close to the U, downtown and in an area of larger homes but most importantly, the neighbors welcomed us. They signed a petition to the city council in our favor. We bought an apartment house that was originally built as 2 victorian town homes. It was 4 apartments in the 1930's. It had the room to make 8-10 rooms.
It was wood, so remodeling work would be easier. It has steel siding, so upkeep is good.
Porch was missing so we had to have approval for B&B and to put porch back on by historic commission, planning commission and city council. Once we had that approval, we bought the house and started work on it.
It has been a long process, but in retirement from my job, I hope to run it for many a year. It is also something that my grandchildren help with in small ways. It is good for them to learn to work and be paid for what they do.
 

EmptyNest

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
8,741
Reaction score
1
I wonder if she perceived you as big city folk or something?
Because you didn't end up buying in a city but country..
I don't think so. We of course were MUCH younger way back then....when we looked... so I think she just drew the conclusion we wouldn't like a small town.She also pushed that she did those weddings and town event kinds of things..which of course we had no interest in doing.
I would NEVER live in a big city...like to be close to them..but not IN them
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
3,893
Reaction score
0
I wonder if she perceived you as big city folk or something?
Because you didn't end up buying in a city but country..
I don't think so. We of course were MUCH younger way back then....when we looked... so I think she just drew the conclusion we wouldn't like a small town.She also pushed that she did those weddings and town event kinds of things..which of course we had no interest in doing.
I would NEVER live in a big city...like to be close to them..but not IN them
.
catlady said:
I don't think so. We of course were MUCH younger way back then....when we looked... so I think she just drew the conclusion we wouldn't like a small town.She also pushed that she did those weddings and town event kinds of things..which of course we had no interest in doing.
I would NEVER live in a big city...like to be close to them..but not IN them
I HEAR YA!
I believe that was where they made their bread and butter. Low occupancy but held functions. Those who you met - he was a wedding photog, and she baked cakes and catered so I think if you do whole package through the B&B you can make some $.
 

gillumhouse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
15,520
Reaction score
84
I am bad, sorry...but you know me by now. We also went very heavily on what we did NOT want. That was a big portion in our decision making.
After looking at many inns you can easily pick the ones that simply will not work, simply do not fit your needs from the get go. MOST OF THEM.
#1 being price. Altho I am sure most paid more than they orig anticipated, just like building from scratch always costs more than anticipated.
Location was not key for us as we looked all over the United States. We were first looking at the INN itself over the location (altho once again, bad weather locations were eliminated, we came close to NH and glad we didn't move there).
Mainly for us having two kids, was layout. BIG TIME. Layout HAD to work or be re-workable, which it is now after some remodelling.
Curb appeal was very important, I was not going to be in a place that was not lovely. I wanted it to be like all great B&B's - you drive up and KNOW it is a B&B. There are those homes - in fact some in this town which people assume are a B&B as the landscaping is gorgeous and the layout looks so appealing, to me that screams B&B. It is more than the guest rooms that make a B&B, it is the whole package. Guests feel this.
Workable B&B - couldn't have one with too little private owner space - couldn't be where we were in rooms near guest rooms or climbing an attic to live (many B&B layouts we saw were this way). Had to be separate private space that we can run around all we want and not have to go into guest areas. Our own entrances/exits.
History had zilch to do with it. There are a gazillion houses with history. Personality had zilch to do with it. It would become totally different with each innkeeper, so it had to be up to par - in other words, sicne we were buying "-so-called" turn key, renovations had to be in place and upgrades to operate efficiently as a B&B. No one wants to fork over big bucks and then have to double it in reno's and upgrades. By nature we do, of course, as innkeepers always wanting improvements.
Lastly, is it basically appealing? Is this an appealing home, an appealing B&B and an appealing business? Can we survive here? Can we live here day in and day out and be happy? We would not sell our house we built on acreage to a home that is not lovely. It was idiotic and crazy that we sold what we sold, a beautiful custom home down to the cabinets hand built, on acreage with high paying jobs, to move here in the first place - but we would never change it. The experience has been very worthwhile. It is like connect the dots in our life.
Those were the final questions we asked as we got excited that we had found "the right one" finally..
We spent a whole Spring tru Fall looking. We made 4 trips from Illinois to WV for "house-hunting". We were not looking for turn-key. In fact, we were looking for a house that we could install my aunt upstairs and us down that could be a B & B when she finally croaked. One hot July day I walked down the stairs in a lovely house in the town we looked VERY hard in saying, I am not looking for a house foe me, I am looking for a house for my
aunt! Thank goodness! That city (pop 2100) had it all for future B & B 0 we thought! It has a university, is just off a major 4-lane east-west route - as in THERE! - and one of the major rail-trails runs through it, one that gets a lot of articles written about it, and they have an historic attraction and also a big festival every year. Everything right? Wrong!.
Turns out the town and the university have a love/hate, there is a flood problem (something we knew and questioned with every house - but they do lie), there is a big water service problem that is in the process of being finally resolved now - 15 years later and is a couple years from solution. That city is just 23 miles from us (same county) but would never have been "right" for us. We were meant to come here.
 

Morticia

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
17,281
Reaction score
146
For us it was the town, the business, and the owner's quarters - probably in that order. As it turned out, we were given false information about the business, but we've made it work anyway (that's a whole 'nother story). We didn't figure out which town in advance but when we came to THIS town we knew we would like it. We also decided early on in the process to buy an existing business rather than build one from scratch - that's an important consideration and may depend on the job situation for one of the family.
We got info on JBJ's place when we were looking but never got there to make a visit. Several places we looked at have turned over at least one more time since we saw them - it seems like some places are perpetually for sale but I'm not sure why.
I always thought I'd have a Victorian B&B when we first considered doing this over 20 years ago. I don't - our place is Federal-style. I am much happier with this reality because I feel I have more flexibility in furnishings, and there aren't as many dust collecting drapes and knick-knacks to clean!.
Turnover...almost every place in my town has turned over at least once in the past 4 years. There are the die hards who took over mom and dad's business and are still in the 'family' business, but there are only 3 places like that.
 
Top