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Looking for Advice RE: Medium Term Rentals. <—- I Made That Up

My husband and I have been busting behind for the last 4 years renting two separate bedroom/bath suites in our owner occupied home. This has made it possible for us to purchase a condo unit a quarter mile away from our house as an investment property.

We won’t be “Airbnb-ing” it, as the association doesn’t allow STR. However, we can do 30 day rentals, and we’re trying to figure out what is going to net us the most profit with the least amount of hassle. Though we’re not opposed to some hassle if it means more moolah in the long run.

We have two options. We can do a traditional long term yearly lease, but we also live in an area where there are med school students and travel nurses looking for lodging for anywhere between 1 and 4 months, and we’re thinking that market might be more lucrative. My questions are for any fellow hosts/landlords that may have some experience and/or insight with both types of rentals.

I think that if we go long term, we will not furnish the apartment, but if we decide to go medium term we will. Can anyone give me an idea how long cheap-ish furniture from the likes of Big Lots will last? Should I plan on replacing it every 3 years? 5? 7?

Does anyone have any experience with what percentage I might be able to increase the rent if it was medium term and fully furnished? I understand some of this is location dependent (I’m in the US, New England, 20 minutes outside of the biggest city we have), but still thinking some of you might have some advice or insight, and thank you in advance for your time.

I did this in a smaller area before it became over saturated with other short term rentals. Also my area is not a high job growth area. I changed to LTR only.

I made great money with 30-90 day furnished rentals for corporate relocations.
I furnished my condo off Craig’s list and big lots and clearance sale items from wherever.

You can also list with

[https://www.furnishedfinder.com]

https://www.travelnursehousing.com

I always got an contract or lease agreement in addition to Airbnb because after 30 days it was considered long term.

I did 30-90 day rentals with STR fill-in gaps and my furniture lasted over 3 years. I moved several pieces into my home & sold the rest. Because I have 2 beach area STRs I was able to move smaller items (pots pans towels etc) when I made the change to 1 yr leases

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Just food for thought. How about you move to the condo and do Airbnb whole house STR on the home you currently live in? That might be more profitable.

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The Ashley Furniture brand that I got from Big Lots is protected by a $38 damage replacement policy. I knew we were going to be doing VR when we purchased, so felt it a good investment. You can charge a lot more for an executive rental on a month to month, so if you have to replace it after 2 years because it is so heavily used … that sounds like a good problem to have.

Edited to add, the only reason we are not trying to rent ours out as a month to month is we are not commuting distance to a major city. I would much prefer renting to professionals on work assignments.

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You can still list it on Airbnb but with a 30 minimum nights. Another thing to consider.

How long does the policy last?

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I had no problems finding month-to-month tenants simply by word of mouth for a couple of years before I listed on Airbnb, but we only wanted renters for 9 months out of the year, so we didn’t have a choice. You can get a significantly higher rate for month-to-month than you get for a 12-month lease, at least in some markets. When I was trying to determine how to price it, I checked the nearest apartments. They nearly doubled their rates for furnished month-to-month vs. unfurnished 1-year lease.

Strangely, the income from Airbnb is about the same as I made with the month-to-month rental of the same house, and I put in nicer furniture for Airbnb and I have to clean it after every guest.

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Unless you are adamant about getting all new furnishings check out your local habitat for humanity, thrift stores or discount stores for some of the basics such as beds frames/headboards, end tables etc. Of course, IMHO mattress’s/box springs should be purchased new. Couches are up in air, try them out to make sure they are comfortable and don’t smell etc.

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Run the numbers both ways. LTR can be nice as you can go months without having to do anything.

I also want to move into mid-term renting, because they keep tightening the rules in Denver for Airbnb. I did list it on Airbnb and vrbo for longer term rental, but I haven’t gotten any nibbles yet (only a few weeks). I have also looking into traveling nurses. It seems that their budgets are a bit low, and I need to at least cover my mortgage. However, Furnished Finder seems to be working for a lot of people. Also, on Facebook there are several groups dedicated to connecting traveling nurses and people with rooms or homes available. Check it out.
Also in a piggy back… what kind of lease do people sign for a mid-term rental for protection? I’m a bit nervous about using craigslist. How do people screen from that?

Heather

I believe it was 5 years.

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No, you get to clean it… And it stays maintained.

RR

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Exactly. One of my month-to-month renters turned off the irrigation to the lawn in the backyard for 9 months (including the entire Phoenix summer) to save himself about $2/month. The choice was clear after that.

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@Chloe - We do about 6 months Air, 6 months “MTR” here in Portland. We are easily renting the furnished units for 35-50% over our previous unfurnished rates.

We have furnished the two apartments with higher-end used furniture (like a $3800 sofa for $500) that we find on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. I think having somewhat nicer furnishings encourages guests/tenants to take better care of them. We have only had one issue of significant (accidental) damage after a year and a half - it was a MCM chair we inherited from family, and I was reimbursed by guest for about half of what it will cost to reupholster it for my living room, so I’m not complaining.

Happy to discuss in more detail if you’d like, PM me.

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Because I take Airbnb reservations while my medium term tenants are living in the apartment, I need to be certain that the property is going to be ready for guests at the end of the rental period. To do that, I make it a requirement in the lease agreement that I provide bi-weekly housekeeping (changing linens and towels, vacuuming carpets and mopping floors) so I can keep an eye on things.

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@Chloe another market you might consider for medium term rentals is what used to be called “geographic bachelors” in the military/gov’t. contractor field. My husband lives and works in Northern Virginia and rents a suite in a large home. Four of the other rooms in the home are rented by other men who are also government contractors in Northern Virginia. All of them go home to various other parts of Virginia on the weekends. All of them are mature gentleman who, like my husband, work late hours and keep to themselves. His contract is monthly and he’s very pleased with the arrangement. I found the room on militarybyowner.com. You don’t have to be military to list there or to have an account.

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There’s a large military base near me and I’m getting increasing numbers of soldiers renting my place. I had one guy ask about a rental from June until Feb and although I turned that down I did rent to him for 22 days in August. Unfortunately he had a dog that did some damage and that’s not a situation I want to repeat but monthly bookings occasionally might work well for me. I’m going to take a look at this site.

Gave that some thought @Ritz3. If we had a strong Airbnb market year round, it might be worth it, but our season is 4 months at most, and it would be difficult to find renters for 8 months, when we need them, in a house this big, for the price we’d need.

Plus, I kinda love my house and really don’t want to move out of it. :slight_smile:

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Good point @Militaryhorsegal!

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I don’t have anything constructive to add, sorry. I’m just going to point out that your post is classic stuff for the anti-airbnb/str lobby. It basically says

“We made so much money from doing airbnb at home that we bought another house! So now we’re looking to make even more moolah for ourselves by taking a possible LTR off the market. Any advice?”

Just saying. This site has been quoted before now.
Don’t shoot the messenger.

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