Hi, I have a new 2 bedroom house with a beautiful view in a country area that is frequented by tourists on weekends. I am interested in perhaps hosting the whole house on weekends and staying in my daughter's house ( which is actually on the same rural property) while guests are there. What concerns me is how difficult is that to manage with all your day to day living things in the house. Do I need to move most of my stuff out? What do I do with say clothes in the wardrobes, my things in cupboards, my freezer & cupboards in the house which have my food in them? How do people deal with this or do they only rent out dedicated spaces that they have none of their personal belongings in?
the decision to host can be daunting as like you have found most of it is about your personal space no longer being personal.
I’ve been hosting for just over two years now. My place started out with one room which soon spiralled to three rooms owing to popularity.
what you decide to do is largely driven by your own comfort level.
if you are happy to list an entire place, just make notes along the advert that you live in the property while it is not rented out and therefore guests should expect and respect personal belongings.
things like the freezer/fridge you can’t mark as off limits unless you are supplying a guest fridge - which would be a crazy fix.
that said, the only one room I never rented out was my own bedroom which has a lock and key.
my house is my home so like yours is littered with possessions, however I keep anything personal like documents and paperwork in my room and away from guest reach. That may not be as easy for you since you want to rent the whole place. Perhaps consider a lockable filing cabinet?
clothes, tv, food etc don’t worry about - it’s all replaceable stuff if anything were to happen, it’s more your identity that is harder to protect or salvage when something goes wrong.
maybe start with one room, get over the initial butterflies, learn a little and go from there? That’s how I started out...
@Diane578 If you are seriously considering this, I suggest you spend some time every day reading through posts on the Hosting Section of this forum. That will give you some insights into the challenges hosts face, hosting in many different situations.
There have been some horror reports from people doing what you would like to. So you have to be armed with knowledge about how to thoroughly vet guests, how to check their reviews before accepting their booking, decide whether you are going to want to use Instant Book (I wouldn't suggest that one if you are hosting your own home and many of us with shared home listings don't use it either). One host who rented out her apartment while she was on vacation said she broke down and cried when she opened the door at how the guests had left it.
That doesn't mean it's not an okay idea, you just have to know everything about how Airbnb works for hosts, how to handle various situations, etc.
One thing you definitely don't want to do is leave anything irreplacable or of sentimental value where guests can get at it. It's nice to think all guests will be respectful ,and most will be, but all you need is one bad one to ruin it for you.
As you have a country property, maybe you have a lockable shed, or maybe your garage, where you could put another fridge you could transfer your food to? It's one thing to have the house full of your personal possessions, but sometimes other people's food is off-putting, since you don't know how long it's been there. Plus, a lot of them will just eat it all. I'd leave an empty, clean fridge for guests when renting out the entire place. Same with the bathroom- personal products cleared away.
Maybe if you have an extra bedroom, you could start out by just hosting a room in your home while you learn the ropes. Then you can move to the entire house listing when you feel confident.
And you need to be aware that Airbnb doesn't take a real security deposit- if a guest damages your home, you have to go on a big song and dance to make a cleaim. Also their million dollar host guarantee is a joke. So you need to have your own home insurance that will cover you for rentals, which is easier said than done.
Hi Sarah, thanks for taking the time to reply. That is very helpful. It was my daughter's suggestion to earn some more income. To be honest, I am a bit concerned about it. Food for thought.