In my last house update post, I spoke about my plans for renting out the two additional bedrooms in my house. I treated January as an experimental month and listed my furnished room on Airbnb while I searched for full-time renters for February.
Let’s see January’s results and the next steps for February regarding my house hack.
At the beginning of the year, I quickly made a listing for our furnished spare room at the front of the house. I didn’t want to invest too much extra money into the room until we booked some guests and got their feedback. So I listed what I had set up already.
Mainly, I listed a room with a full-size bed, mini fridge, closet, nightstand and access to a private bathroom with a shower. I installed a front door keypad so I didn’t need to worry about keys and can delete their code once their stay is over. I thought was good enough to get started with Airbnb.
Here is my listing in case your interested: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/30747315?s=51
I only listed the room as available for about half the month. I didn’t list the room the full month because we were out of town most weekends and wanted to be available and at home when a guest came. In the future, I will be more willing to let people stay over when I’m out of town once I have a little more experience under my belt.
My results are less than stellar, but I expected this while I am just starting.
I had four people initially book stays in January. However, one person canceled and I had to decline one because they tried to book their stay at 8 pm on the same night they were looking for a room.
So a total of 2 people came in January – which netted me a whopping $54.13 in earnings.
Overall with my limited experience, I was pretty happy with how things went with the guests. I enjoyed meeting them and chatting about their travels. They both stayed one night each, and I barely noticed they were there. It felt like something I can do long term for sure.
The only issue is that I am pretty far away from meeting my house hacking goals with Airbnb right now. My house is a little north of Austin in the suburbs, and this causes me to lower my prices to where I would need to book out ~20 days of the month to get closer to my house hacking goals.
For now, I am going to keep the room listed on Airbnb when I don’t have a full-time roommate. I am focusing on improving the experience and trying to make the room available during big events in Austin like SXSW, Formula One, and ACL music festival.
Now some more exciting news. I got both spare rooms rented in my house starting on February 2nd!
That’s right, the renters signed the lease and paid first months rent/security deposit. I am using cozy.co to facility the rental agreement and payments.
The renter is my fiancee’s co-worker and her boyfriend. They are paying $1000 a month for both rooms plus utilities. I usually am charging $600 a room, but since they are getting both rooms, I gave a slight discount.
So my house hack situation is the following:
Mortgage (with PITI): $1738
Fiancee and I split: $738 ($369 per person)
Renting our spare rooms is a tremendous help in reducing my largest expense (housing). In January my fiancee paid $600, and I spent $1138 on our first mortgage payment. Now my fiancee decreased her housing costs by 38.5%, and I reduced my housing costs by 68%. The savings will help beef up my house emergency fund and help me increase my savings rate. The reduction of the expenses for my fiancee will help her make additional student loan payments (Debt Free Climb 2.0 coming when we get married next year).
We are hopeful that our roommate experience will be a positive one. So far the renters have been great in communicating, they are pretty minimalist, and have alternate schedules than us so they will be home more during the day and then come back later at night.
One thing to note is that their lease is a month to month lease and we are only expecting them here for a short period (less than three months). We knew this going in but thought it would be worth it short term. Once they give me their notice in writing, I will market the rooms back out. I am going to first list out the rooms on Travel Nurse Facebook groups and some other local Facebook groups I am a member of. If I don’t get any bites on quality renters than I will expand the search from there.
Before I accept anyone random into my house, I will conduct a credit and background check and thoroughly vet them beforehand. I feel fully prepared after taking the House Hacking Course.
Stay tuned for the next update!
- Debtfreeclimb 2020 Update - October 23, 2020
- DebtFreeClimb v2- Our Debt Freedom Progress Report - June 17, 2020
- Trip Report: Our Honeymoon (not on a budget) - February 7, 2020
It’s great to hear about your experimenting with house hacking! That’s awesome you reduced your housing costs by so much. I look forward to hearing how things go.
Thanks, Amber! Its been a fun experience so far.