Budget for all start up costs?

in
Portland, OR
Level 2
856 Views

Hi, brand new to hosting here! We need to furnish our 1-bedroom/1 bath 891 sq ft fully finished basement entirely (bed, mattress, couch, dining table, decorations, etc.) & get supplies for it (cleaning supplies, towels, linens, pillows, soap, etc). It has a full sized kitchen that already has appliances (fridge, oven) but needs to be stocked (silverware, pots/pans, etc).  

What’s the total amount you ended up spending to fully furnish and stock your Airbnb with necessary supplies initially? 
(Not including rent/mortgage/ security deposit!)


I’ve heard in general you should aim for a budget of about 3-4k for a studio/1-bedroom for all the supplies above combined. & that for each bedroom you add about 2k to the budget. Does that sound about right? What did you end up spending when all was said & done? 

I just need a roundabout budget to aim for, otherwise I’ll end up overspending. We are looking at buying furniture now & I’m trying to get a handle on overall budget to estimate my furniture budget. I know it will also vary depending on preference/style, available cash, area, but I just want to know if I’m way off or in the ballpark. For reference, my place is in a trendy area in Portland, OR.

21 Replies

Re: Budget for all start up costs?

in
NY, NY
Level 10

Those numbers sound spot on, @Kristine229.  Decor can be added gradually over time, though starting with something big enough to make an impact that's also inexpensive, like travel or airline posters, is a good idea for the listing photos.  You might even be able to set up a pro account at Wayfair to get some furniture discounts.  And don't forget places like Apartment Therapy Marketplace and Chairish, where you can make offers on listed items.

Re: Budget for all start up costs?

in
Portland, OR
Level 2

@Ann72 I hadn’t heard of Chairish or Apartment Therapy Marketplace before, thanks for the suggestions & feedback! 

Re: Budget for all start up costs?

in
Takoma Park, MD
Level 10

@Kristine229  To weigh in, I did a LOT of Craig's Listing and thrift store shopping to furnish my AirBnB. It all depends on how much effort you want to put in. It's not all about saving money; if you have a decorative theme or style that skews towards vintage or eclectic, what you want may not be available on Amazon or Wayfair, or it may be but is of "made in China" quality rather than a good solid original. You can find well made older stuff in abundance at thrift stores. 

 

I did use Amazon and Wayfair to purchase most of my baseline furnishings, like mattresses, curtains, sheets, blankets, towels,  flatware, etc. 

 

The thrift store was good for dishes and many of my kitchen items, as well as artwork for the walls, and side tables -things like that. 

I bought an Ikea couch, mostly because the cover is removable and washable, and also because I could transport it in my car, vs. renting a truck. 

Lots to think about, but I know I spent WAY less than the budget you've mentioned. Good luck with your new AirBnB!  Kia

Re: Budget for all start up costs?

in
Portland, OR
Level 2

I’ve been looking into thrift stores, estate sales & Craigslist since I read this & there is definitely some good stuff out there. Thanks for the advice! If you don’t mind me asking, how much did you spend for all those items on your Airbnb? 

I’ve scoured blogs, these community center pages, & articles & ive only found a handful of ones mentioning actual numbers. & some have varied drastically so it’s hard to get a good read on the average amount people invest. 

Re: Budget for all start up costs?

in
Takoma Park, MD
Level 10

@Kristine229  I'm guessing maybe $2,200 total, for a one bedroom/loft cabin. The most expensive item was the Ikea couch at +/- $800? I do love that because it's so easy to wash the pillow covers, which was especially important during the enhanced Covid cleaning. I also made a point of buying throw pillows that had removable washable covers. 

 

I remember many of the key items and what they cost. The next most expensive things would have been mattresses for the queen bed and loft. I bought those on Prime day and spent between $4-500 for both. I bought a whole set of kitchen cabinets (nice ones!) for $200 on Craig's List. I got a fantastic farm style cast iron kitchen sink for free on Craig's List. 

 

I used some things I already had that I knew would fit perfectly in the cabin, so the décor in my personal home suffered greatly, but the cabin looked great. That was the main living room rug, a small couch, and a really cool rustic shelf I had gotten at a building material repurpose place. 

 

Kitchen table, chairs, side tables, book cases, wall hooks, comfy bedroom and living room chairs, lamps, coffee table/trunk were all Craig's List or Facebook Marketplace or thrift store. 

 

I will warn you that there really has been no end to the spending. I got it basically furnished and decorated, and thought I was done. It was certainly more than acceptable for guests. But every time I looked I thought I could improve something, and I would end up buying something that I thought matched the décor better, or that I thought was an improvement over what I had. 

 

I also focused on natural fibers, because I HATE polyester bedding. So I purchased cotton sheets, blankets, and comforters, which definitely cost more. I also ended up realizing that I needed winter weight and summer weight bedspreads, as well as different color towels for up to 4 guests. It's definitely cheaper to buy a bunch of towels in the same color, but I knew guests wouldn't be able to tell their towels apart. I think little things like that make a big difference, but they cost more. 

 

So, a long answer to a short question, but all of this hunting and gathering was essential for me. Renovating the cabin was a real stretch for me financially, and I had to save money wherever I could. I can't bear to think what it would have cost had I bought everything new. 

Good luck!!

Re: Budget for all start up costs?

in
Portland, OR
Level 2

@Kia272 forgot to tag you in my earlier comment 

Re: Budget for all start up costs?

in
Johnstown, CO
Level 4

I would purchase the best mattress you can afford, as well as, linens. Your guest want to have a good nights sleep. Most of our comments are in regards to how well the guest has slept. You can always add through thrift shops and garage sales. Don’t forget to use items you no longer use.

Re: Budget for all start up costs?

in
Portland, OR
Level 2

Definitely true! We were thinking of going with a hybrid mattress as it’s supposed to be a combo of both firm and soft. & since we won’t know what each guest prefers, we figured that’s the safest bet. What type/brand of mattress do you recommend?

Re: Budget for all start up costs?

in
Portland, OR
Level 2

Oops forgot to tag you in my earlier comment @Colleen28 

Re: Budget for all start up costs?

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 2

@Colleen38  I would definitely  agree about having a unique selling point from early on guests gae me great reviews on the beds as quiet location and this has continued.  Upgrading your lined frequently also helps .I had one guest who said he had an allergy to the sheets I gave him a new one and he's was happy always good to have a backup spare pillows,duvets  etc 

Re: Budget for all start up costs?

in
Point Pleasant, NJ
Level 1

Our motto is Begin with the end in mind then reverse engineer it. We knew we wanted theme, cozy, and different for our place after looking at top name sites it was cleat that it would cost 2-4k per room which was way out of our budget at the time. My thrifty wife introduced me and our search to Facebook market place, Big Lots, Goodwill, consignment shops, and Walmart. We spent about 1.8 to furnish the 2 Br, patio and yard. Some questions we had to ask ourselves, How much do you want to spend? How fast do we need to furnish? How long to break even? (based know the first 2 questions) How soon do we want/need to be profitable? The enemy of good is perfect.. It's possible to do it on a budget and possible to over do it.... either way, you'll get it done

Re: Budget for all start up costs?

in
Portland, OR
Level 2

@Vincent909 “the enemy of good is perfect” Yes you are very right, & these other questions definitely play a huge role. Great advice. I appreciate you posting what you originally thought your budget would be, & then what your actual budget ended up being. That is helpful to see the difference. That 1.8k didn’t include supplies correct? (Like soaps, shampoos, laundry detergents, hair dryer, etc.). 

Re: Budget for all start up costs?

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Kristine229 we had a shoe string for our cottage as we had multiple other properties at the time in various states of either being renovated or sold. I gave myself a hard stop budget of 5K for everything including things like plates, plants, coffee makers, etc. I made it. I splurged on a sofa (used Harrod's from a consignment shop for $800) and bought the best mattresses, sheets and towels in my budget. Everything else was good looking but inexpensive. Some of it has been upgraded over time, but in general that was my budget for a 2 bed 2 bath 1400 square foot house. It wasn't easy but it was definitely possible. 

 

 

We recently bought a 1 bedroom condo for ourselves in a grand old building in New Orleans. It won't be an ABB but it will be a space for friends and family to stay when we aren't using it. This is a thread on the kitchen re-do:

 

https://community.withairbnb.com/t5/Interests/Condo-renovation-love-to-decorate/td-p/1453829

 

We have spent about 5K on that place so far, as we have splurged on a bit more because its not open to the public. The chandeliers for example-- we replaced 4 blah light fixtures with appropriate bling. I just shipped an antique mirror there where the shipping cost more than the mirror itself 🙂 We are installing security cameras in multiple spots, Nest thermostats and smart locks as we are much farther away. Everything had to be shipped as we have had very little time to actually shop for items in New Orleans.  We plan to add pieces as we go, and will make it a bit fancier than the cottage. But the space itself leads some of the aesthetic and quality of choices.

Re: Budget for all start up costs?

in
Portland, OR
Level 2

@Laura2592  I agree I need to give myself a hard stop budget as well! My husband asked my I even cared & I had to explain I would over spend unless I made a budget that I couldn’t go over. But I needed to make sure it was achievable. & there was not a lot of information out there about what the average investment was. So I appreciate you posting, this helps. & you are right, different places will vary depending on the situations. 

Im curious when you updated furniture down the road, did you take new pictures to ensure your listing was up to date? I’ve heard pictures are SO important & it’s worth it to spring for professional pics. I’m all for getting cheaper stuff now & upgrading. But I don’t want to keep having to get new professional pics done too often either. Thoughts?

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