Location vs price/amenities

I’m looking for an apartment in the city I’ve just moved to. As can be expected, in the best areas it’s more expensive for a less nice place. I’ve found an apartment with a GREAT, I mean, almost the best possible location - but - it is quite likely to be in need of an update. No pics unfortunately (viewing later today) but a pic I found of another apartment in that building has some quasi-fugly tile job in the bathroom, and just old parquet (though hopefully restorable!). I’m down with putting some work in updating and scoring some cool decor but how much do people really value location vs a much nicer place? Especially if the space has new amenities, is slightly larger, maybe with outdoor space? And at a cheaper price for me (meaning I could lower price for guests)?

My theme would be to 100% thrift the apt, I don’t buy new things in real life unless you are talking food. Potentially a speakeasy/art deco/asian feel to reflect location near Chinatown (if I get this place) and the bar down the street recently voted one of top bars in the world. Hoping to attract convention center people, younger hip crowd, businesspeoples primarily.

I think you are jumping ahead of yourself here.

Is the landlord and HOA at the place you are looking at, happy for you to have STR’s? Most aren’t.


Don’t even think of putting it on Air without express written consent of your landlord. If this is SF you are talking about, I know that City has strict regulations. Anyone out of compliance can face huge fines.

Airbnb is easy to spot. Don’t think you can tell guests to be discrete or try to sneak it.

You could find yourself without a place.

I checked already and it’s ok to sublet…it’s not in SF…my city actually made it legal for AirBnB, couldn’t be easier- they just take the taxes out for you.

Check on minimum term of a sublet, most are 6 months plus.

I told them upfront that I want to use for AirBnB and they were ok with that, at least to the point of agreeing to show me the apt today.

Get it in writing to protect yourself!

Anyway- that’s not what I’m worried about. Can we get back to the original location? How much does location trump everything else? How much work is it worth putting into a place vs just getting a lesser/slightly cheaper location but much nicer pad?

Question, I mean. About the location. It’s on the brain haha

You need to learn this on your own. No one can give you easy answers. You’re not even telling us what city it is.

You should be worried about being legal, paying taxes, paying maintenance, paying insurance and all the other things that hosts have to do. I guess we have to take your word that your owner says Airbnb is okay but I find it hard to believe.

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What? You wanted an answer to a question? LOL. Welcome to the forum.

There are too many variables for us to have an answer to that question. Where is it, what kind of guests do you think you will attract, what are your goals? Are you going to rent the whole thing or just a room?

I, for example, invested a considerable amount to remodel my home to add a bathroom and separate entrance. I was able to triple my bookings year over year. The remodel will be paid for (in my mind) in another few months. I don’t depend on this income to live though. I had the savings to pay cash for the work. I expect and like lots of one night stays and that’s what I get. That might not work for you.


Yes, as KarmaCasa suggests, with some more information from you we may be able to better answer your question.
As one segment of your target-market is those wanting access to the convention centre, I imagine the place you are considering is close to it.
Is that so?
How far is the lesser/slightly cheaper area from the one you describe as:

How convenient is access to public transport to the " best possible location" and how reliable is the transport service itself?
Once you’ve actually seen the apartment in the great location, you’ll probably be able to more easily make your decision. Then I’d encourage you to go with your gut feelings blended with how much work would be required to make it just how you’d like it to be.
Keep us posted, and good luck.

Those are not necessarily compatible groups. “Younger hip crowds” don’t go where stodgy business people do, and convention center people is a really wide spectrum. You may be trying to appeal to too many segments at the same time – not a good idea.

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Location, location, location. First rule of real estate. You can make many changes, but you can’t move a house. (Easily)

the easiest thing to do is just look at the other AirBNBs in the area – search by map. You can compare rates between older and newer (and closer and further) units, etc. and see how full the calendars are.

No need for hypotheticals, just look at your specific market. Lower rent, older units seem to be more plentiful on AirBNB vs. VRBO.


I guess it doesn’t matter…got the apartment. The location is so good it will be great even if I only live there and suck at airbnb’ing it. Good spot for my other business as well if need be.

Funny thing by the way, I was waiting for the apartment manager to come (they never did…when I called the landlord I managed to get an extra $100 off/mo because of this and the fact that I spoke a lil Chinese, signed the lease on the spot when someone finally DID show me the apt)…anyway a guy comes up to the apartment. I asked how he liked living there. “Oh, I’m doing AirBnB”. Haha. Won’t be a problem here at all also was ok to sublet short term via the lease.

By the way by location being amazing I mean, 2 blocks from subway, 3 blocks from regional rail, 3 blocks from City Hall (Philly). Even tho the apt is small it’s just such an amazing location and it ended up being pretty clean (I was so relieved to see a completely white bathroom and not fugly tiles).

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Good call on putting location above all else. you can fix an outdated interior and compensate for lack of light or space - but location is a given.
however - just be aware that airbnb’s search function can be an achilles heel. our recent foray with a new apartment that had (theoretically) an awesome location isn’t panning out so well. because as it turned out, it’s in some kind of black hole where airbnb rankings are concerned.
our place is right between the huge and popular hubs of shibuya and shinjuku in tokyo. our location is in a rather obscure residential district, but quite convenient to both those hub areas. we pounced at the chance to start an airbnb when this property became available. however, much to our chagrin, airbnb doesn’t rank us high for people searching in “shinjuku” NOR “shibuya”.
the best location for airbnb, therefore, is where the densest concentration of pins appears when people type in keywords related to your city/region.
of course, our experience has only been with our own city, so your mileage may vary.

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