Budget for all start up costs?

Kristine229
Level 2
Portland, OR

Budget for all start up costs?

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.

23 Replies 23
Marg11
Level 10
Warwick, Australia

Wow, our Airbnb flat has evolved from other purposes but is furnished with a 'good' mattress, cotton linen; cutlery, crockery, glassware and other furnishings from various sources plus local quality shampoo, conditioner, toilet paper, tissues, hand sanitiser, handtowels, cereal and bread, milk.

In addition to prints of my cousin's art, we have just added a framed artist's sketch of dancers for tax purposes although as retirees and part pensioners we pay no tax. At $50 AU for 2 per night, it is good value plus $7 a night for extras to cover costs. We recently added a cleaning fee of $50 per stay but are having trouble finding a cleaner.

At over 95% occupancy as Super hosts, we enjoy meeting wonderful guests and providing them with a relaxing stay. We also enjoy spending our 'flat money' on family, treats, art and conveniences like a lawn mowing service as we are not dependant on our Airbnb income.

Linda3345
Level 10
Corning, NY

I have basically furnished our 3-bedroom, 2-bath AirBnb home from what we had, from Facebook Marketplace (a godsend),  all new bedding and towels and seemingly endless packages from Amazon, Home Goods, small appliances from WalMart, and was gifted some dishes by a friend. Artwork is what we had: some paintings are from our adult children. Definitely unique and homey, even if not high-art.  Not everything is the perfect colors I might have wanted, but it is sturdy and comfy. I am still adding more rugs, since we have all hardwood and hard surfaces for floors.  

Edited to add: Our biggest expenditure was for brand-new composite Adirondack chairs for our fire-pit area. These have a lifetime warranty, look like wood. Definitely worth the cost for our setting. Cost: $900 for 6 chairs, and that was a substantial sale on the normal price. 

Soon, I will figure out an on-going budget for upgrading; I can see that being a never-ending process for me. I also enjoy refinishing wood furniture, and have several projects (end tables and such) waiting for me. 

In this photo, we have a quilt made by my sister-in-law, end table handed down by family, and a headboard made by me from the ends of our children's baby crib. Also in the room is a small desk-table I refinished, and an old wooden desk chair I got on Marketplace. 

What I am still needing, and has been difficult to find on  FB Marketplace, are appropriate lighting options, particularly floor lamps. Few and far-between in my area, so I will probably need to buy new. Any favorite sources for lamps? 

20210911 Corner Bedroom Best Angle.jpg

Brian2036
Level 10
Arkansas, United States

@Kristine229 

 

We were at an estate auction this weekend and that is how we furnished and improve our rental property.

 

You don’t have to spend much money.

 

Charbroil BBQ grill and two full propane tanks: $70.

 

Outdoor tile table plus canopy and 4 comfortable chairs: $130.

 

Leather couch and loveseat in good condition: $260.

 

Handmade quilts: $20 each.

 

 The list is endless, but you and your partner can have fun and furnish your rental economically at the same time.

 

 I only have to convince Dora to stop bidding against me…

Charlene225
Level 2
Dashwood, Canada

I agree, I already had beds for my 2 bedroom listing, as we just divided part of our home for the bnb. My husband who is handy, put a door in the hall to separate the spaces. So I bought all the other furniture, tables, side tables, lamps etc from marketplace, yard sales and thrift stores. I used Ikea, Costco for bedding and towels. Other small things from Dollar Store. My kitchen utensils etc from thrift stores, or I just purged my extensive personal collection and put them in the bnb.  We painted some of the dressers, and dining table to make them more modern as the original were quite dated.   So with the minor renovations, paint, and furnishings I spent in the neighbourhood of $2,000.  Bedding and curtains, linens being the lion's share. 

 

I will break even by end of June, 8 months later. My issue is pricing. I have had many people comment they would pay more, considering all the amenities I provide.  So next summer season, which is the busiest, there will be a price increase. 

 

 

Helen427
Level 10
Auckland, New Zealand

@Kristine229welcome to ABB CC

 

Have you considered making things like curtains or soft furnishings like cushions yourself?

Maybe it's a good project to get your self into, if you have time and creative talents.

 

Paint test pots are useful if you are doing painting, maybe test them in a creative manner on canvas and use it as Artworks!

 

@Huma0  in the UK did much of her own decorating herself, have a look at her listing and posts here in CC.

 

It really also depends on what style/ theme you wish to pursue.

Do you have any ideas what you may like?

 

As others have suggested, thrift and charity shops are a Gold mine for all manner of items.

Often they are in excellent condition and at the same time you are helping places like Red Cross,  Hospice, Salvation Army, SPCA, City Homeless and others.

 

All the best from across the lands and oceans in Auckland, New Zealand

Debra300
Level 10
Gros Islet, Saint Lucia

@Kristine229,

We spent about $7.5K on our Atlanta apartment, and our initial was primarily on function and comfort.  Our spending included paint, soundproofing glue, drywall, light fixtures, furniture for a 2 bed/1 bath, patio furniture, 55" TV, kitchen and laundry appliances, kitchenware for cooking and dining, kitchen island and carts, bathroom double sink vanity and mirrors, linens and towels, curtains and rods, area rugs, and all tilling materials. We purchased most of the furnishings from Amazon, Warehouse Deals, Wayfair, Wayfair Outlet and Ikea.  We painted many of the wood furniture pieces and repurposed some things we already.  Wall decor was added over time.

Kristine229
Level 2
Portland, OR

Oops forgot to tag you below @Debra300 

Kristine229
Level 2
Portland, OR

Thank you for posting with your numbers and the details of what went into that budget! It really helps me understand some of the differences in budget prices people are saying. Because things like drywall, tile and bathroom sinks definitely add up. 

Laura2592
Level 10
Frederick, MD

@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.

Kristine229
Level 2
Portland, OR

@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?

Debra300
Level 10
Gros Islet, Saint Lucia

@Kristine229,

I would say that 90% of the items that were purchased were bought on clearance, at an outlet, eBay, Craigslist, or repurposed from existing furnishings.  I did buy some new things, and they came from Costco.  I upgraded the furnishing after the first year when I had a better idea of the type of accommodations that we should provide.  Fortunately, we were able to sell the year-old furnishings we had at a profit.  Again, the next round of furnishings were bought on clearance or at an outlet.  I purchased items over a period of time, and stored them in the basement of my Atlanta home until I was ready to send a shipment to St. Lucia.  For convenience, I purchased 13" hybrid bed-in-a-boxes, and my guests always given complements on the mattresses.  Most of our mattresses are the Linenspa brand.  I take new pictures every time we do a renovation that will impact the guest's experience during their stay with us.  For example, I changed the interior paint color and hung some wall art in our Atlanta apartment.  Those changes don't affect the functionality of the space, but we took new pictures, because it does impact a guest's aesthetic senses.  I have seen some fantastic photos of places, but we chose not to invest in professional photography, because personally it doesn't sway our decision one way or another when we are travelers looking on Airbnb for a play to stay.

Vincent909
Level 1
Point Pleasant, NJ

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

Kristine229
Level 2
Portland, OR

@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.). 

Colleen28
Level 4
Johnstown, CO

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.

Jude37
Level 2
London, United Kingdom

@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 

Kristine229
Level 2
Portland, OR

Oops forgot to tag you in my earlier comment @Colleen28 

Kristine229
Level 2
Portland, OR

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?

Kia272
Level 10
Takoma Park, MD

@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

Kristine229
Level 2
Portland, OR

@Kia272 forgot to tag you in my earlier comment 

Kristine229
Level 2
Portland, OR

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. 

Explore Resource Center articles

Making your home ready for guests
Tips from Airbnb plus hosts: How to add thoughtful touches
Supporting guests during their stay