It was just last week that I was at a friend's wedding. It was a great time to celebrate with them, and as it turns out, it was my first time at a bed and breakfast. For the first time, I got a close-up view of what it takes to run a bed and breakfast. One of my dreams has always been to have a vacation home that pays for itself. I figure that if I can rent it out during most of the summer (and maybe winter), it could pay the mortgage. This past week at the bed and breakfast got me thinking about the possible passive income with a bed and breakfast.
Why a Bed and Breakfast Would be Appealing
In case it may not be obvious, I think a bed and breakfast could be a great way to earn a little extra income. The bed and breakfast that we stayed at had four bedrooms in addition to the common spaces, beautiful yard, and pool area. Each room costs anywhere from $70-$90 a night. Upon talking with the owners about business, it appears to me that it is quite common for them to have at least a couple of guests for a majority of the summer and occasional times throughout the other seasons.That means that in a given weekend, they can earn anywhere around $1000.
Making this little extra money from the comfort of your home, while also enjoying the larger home to yourself when you don't have guests, sounds great. In the area of the country that they live in, where the cost of living is low, I can see it as a way to pay the bills and even be a nice retirement income. I also discovered, in talking with the owners, that they are the type of people that enjoy hosting others. They enjoy meeting all sorts of people, whether it be biker gangs or a wedding party.
Why a Bed and Breakfast is Far from Passive
While I enjoyed our stay at the bed and breakfast, I realized that I would never want to run one myself. It takes a lot of hard work to keep it running. More importantly, it is all of the chores that I have come to hate. Dishes. Laundry. Cleaning. Yard Work. Extra money may sound appealing at first glance, but now it just seems like a lot of work.
That's exactly what it is. Maintaining a bed and breakfast is like owning a small hotel while maintaining a cozy, comfortable, and personal feel to it. You want your guests to enjoy their stay and that means more work. It seems as if my wife and I can barely keep our 1 bedroom apartment clean, so I hesitate to think how we would manage a larger home. More importantly, what seems like just a little extra work, is actually more like a full-time job. While it sure would be nice to bring in an extra $3,000-$4,000 per month in the summer (if not more), I would much rather enjoy my free time and learn to live on less.
Shawn Manaher is a former financial advisor, has founded 5 online businesses, and is a coach, speaker, podcast host, and author. He's been featured on Forbes, The Consults Corner on TAE Radio, The Writing Biz, What's Your Story, and more.