A Short-Term Rental Experiment

Download PDF

Three years ago I moved to Seattle and bought a house. For someone accustomed to tiny New York City studios and one-bedroom apartments, it’s HUGE — three bedrooms plus a separate two-bedroom basement apartment. (By normal standards, it’s normal — your typical Seattle 1902 pre-craftsman.)

I immediately rented one of the bedrooms upstairs to a dear friend of mine from grad school, Roomie Pie, and the basement apartment to two 30-something students at a nearby university. Roomie Pie is still around (yay!) and the students just decided to move out after graduating at the end of August.

I appreciate having the extra income, but I also love having more people around — an entire house of any size is way too much for just one person! But, feeling like I could never be so lucky to find as great tenants again, I’ve decided to take a risk and try a new experiment: update the apartment, furnish it, and try renting it out as a short-term rental. I live near several hospitals so I’m hoping to appeal to travel nurses, residents, or other professionals who might be in town for a few months at a time. I might also try AirBnB, though I’m reluctant to take on the work involved in weekly laundry and cleaning … need to make sure I can keep my lazy habits lazy!

I’m in the process of fixing it up, including new paint, lighting, and carpet (which I had hoped to avoid but was unquestionably necessary, thanks to an initial poor quality install and various rips, snags, and stains). My budget for everything is $4,000 and I’m hoping I’ll be able to make that up in a year — worst case scenario, if it doesn’t work, I’ll go back to a long-term tenant and hope for the best. In the meantime, I’m scouring Craigslist and Goodwill to see what gems I might find, and nurturing my back that’s already sore from too much painting.

There are some serious design challenges — low ceilings and poor lighting are the most obvious — as well as some great aspects, like several closets and a huge kitchen. I’m excited to see how it turns out — stay tuned!

Some “before” pics:

P1070255 (1) P1070259P1070260

P1070258 (2)

 

© 2015, Cheddar Pie. All rights reserved.

Leave a Reply