Hotel de Sells

Have I ever told you that Jay and I have a dream of opening up a Bed and Breakfast someday when we retire? We do. We’ll find some hole in the wall that’s in desperate need of a reno and then once it’s all purty on the inside I’ll decorate it and Jay will cook. Ah, to have a dream, my friends.

Sometimes, your dreams creep up on you a bit sooner than you think though. Jay and I will essentially be starting this little expedition a bit earlier than anticipated by opening up our own home to all the fine creatures of the universe, with our first person actually staying TODAY! Say whhhhaaatt???

  How to List your House on Airbnb

Here is the thing. We’ve got some friends that decided to try something called airbnb. Every heard of it? It’s essentially an online service that allows you to rent out a room in your house for a night, or a few days, for those passing through your neck of the woods. They did so well, and had lots of people swing by their abode, that we started to think about doing it ourselves. I mean, why not? If we are planning on doing it for a living someday, why not try out our sea legs at it now to see if we like it, right?

So I listed it a few days ago, not even thinking twice about it, since in my head, no one would book it anyway … ya know. Yeah – first night up our email was exploding with people making reservations. Again, say whhhaaatt?


If you have laser vision – you can also see what we’ve booked the room for each night. Right now, our (4) booked visits will pocket us over $850. Where I come from, that is some serious cash. And the most amazing part? According to the good old IRS tax code, you can rent out your house (or a room in your house) up to 15 times annually and not owe any taxes on the income generated. I know – it’s crazy sauce. Or perhaps we can call it a loop hole for the common man. Hey, if the Wal-mart’s of the world can wheel and deal their way to a tax free return, I think I’ll take advantage of a few extra bucks to help fund our house renovations, too.

We have a few things working to our advantage:

  1. Since we are really close to the University of Michigan stadium, we have special events like graduation, sporting events, etc. We charge more on these nights.
  2. We live in a college town, so there is a decent amount of foot traffic coming through in need of a place to stay (parents, alums, etc.)

So in the interest of making this whole adventure a success, we decided that we had to class up our guest room a bit. Just to make it feel a bit more homey for all the people that would be coming through. This is what we had going down pre-spruce action. It worked, but was a bit bare. Basically the only thing we’d done is made the bed and bought some art for the room.

Dark Walnut on Red Oak

Which started a Homegoods shopping extravaganza, or so I initially intended. Our first weekend reservation was going to land us $125 in our pocket books – so in my mind, that was my straight and narrow budget. I tell you, harder than I first thought once I got to shopping.

After stopping by Macy’s, Homegoods and Target, I came back to the house with the following loot and had spent a grand total of around $150. Over my budget – poo. And it only included the linens!! Zeomergaud! Ca-razy!

Homegoods Sale

So needless to say, I wasn’t very happy about the over spending and I wasn’t even certain if I was digging everything. Freakity frack.

Here is the charcoal comforter I picked up at Homegoods. Is it just me – or does that read purple? Not your friendly dinosaur purple, but purple none the less.

Preparing House for Airbnb

So that scratched that option out and got me started on thinking about working with some of the things I already had, versus reinventing the wheel. The ONE thing I really liked (of all the things I had purchased new) was these sweet little pillows (made in the USA!) on clearance from HomeGoods.

Pillows Made in USA

So I decided to pop those bad boys into the mix, sans my other goodies.

And I liked it. Saucy.

Made in USA Products

Then I decided to tuck in the blanket around the edges and add a fitted bed skirt. Which meant… I had to find a bed skirt…. and this is where my shopping trip to Kiwanis came in for the major win. See this?

Cozy Guest Bedoom

$3 dollllaaaaasssss. Compared to THIRTY for the cheapo option at Tar-jay. Win – Win – Winning. Can you see why I’ve been permanently converted to buying things used? I’m telling you.

For some extra warmth to the space, we thought we’d add in a small basket along with some blankets. We do live in the nation’s mitten, so it’s a wee chilly.

Basket With Blankets

We also moved the dresser back into the space so that the guests could store their clothes as well. It takes away some space in the room, but I actually like how it makes everything a bit cozier in there.

Antique Dresser Oval Handles

Overall, we are pretty excited to try this whole airbnb thing out. Right now we’ve got (4) reservations, so it’s been a pretty steady interest. We’ll be sure to do a re-cap post in the next few months to let everyone know how it goes!

Tell me, what do you think, would you rent out a room in your house for some extra cash?

Psst … If you ever find yourself coming through Ann Arbor, here is the listing!

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