So after our experience with the broken glass windows at the Air BnB rental, we decided to turn one of our rental properties in Oklahoma into an Air BnB rental. Here are my thoughts on this.
So we purchased a vacation rental in Oklahoma and decided to turn it into an Air BnB. The property was a small farm just outside of Edmond, Oklahoma, and it had one of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen. We bought it because my husband is an avid hunter and loves to go four wheeling, and Oklahoma has some fantastic off-road trails for him to drive around on.
This started as a summer property we were going to spend time at during the summer months. We quickly realized that there was potential to turn this thing into a rental during our off months. The rental property business is booming, and people are making a full-time living buying and renting a property through Air BnB.
We talked about this as an option to supplement income and decided it was the right route to take. We cleaned the place up, made an Ikea run in Houston (while visiting a friend), and had all the furniture delivered to the property the following week. Within two weeks, we had our first client renting and sleeping in our vacation home. It was a bittersweet experience. I did take out all the personal belongings, pictures of the family, and anything of value I couldn’t replace. It was still weird though, some strangers were staying in our vacation home, and I was not too fond of it at first.
Ok, time passed, and the money we started making made me get over the fact that complete strangers were staying in our little vacation home. So far, so good. The only issue with owning property out of state is managing it. If it’s rural enough, you don’t need to worry about homeowners association dues, landscaping, and other upkeep that’s expected in neighborhoods. If you buy a cabin in the woods, keeping up the landscape isn’t necessary, but there are other things to be considered like security. We installed video surveillance cameras and an alarm, and so far, we have yet to experience any problems with people tampering with our home.
Now that we don’t have to worry about those things, we just needed to find someone in Oklahoma to manage the property for us. After an Air BnB renter completes their stay, a cleaning crew needs to come in and change sheets, sweep, and mop the property. On top of that, we need someone that can manage the people coming in and out, change the combination of the door lock each time a renter checks out, and check on the property monthly for vandalism and general care. We ended up hiring a property management company in OKC to monitor the property and manage the Air BnB tenants for us.
It’s strange having people you don’t know stay in your vacation home; however, I do feel a bit of relief knowing that a great group of people is managing the property. They met us on the property, walked us through the process, and the fees were reasonable. Between the property management fees and the Air BnB fees, we are still able to make a few extra dollars each month to cover general expenses like water, electricity, Oklahoma property taxes, and repairs. Considering it’s a vacation home that we had intended to pay on ourselves, it’s nice having this side income to help pay for these extra expenses.
I’m not sure how people buy and rent homes as a full-time hustle? We thought about doing that locally here in Arizona, but housing prices here are going through the roof. It makes more sense to invest in rural properties in states like Oklahoma, where they are affordable, then to purchase and rent properties in places like Phoenix, Tempe, or Scottsdale. Another option we have considered is investing in multiple vacation homes in Oklahoma, Arizona, Colorado, and California. Having them spread out like that would allow us to vacation in different states, but would require a little more effort to manage. If we find property management companies in each of those states, it could work for us.
Well, investing in Realestate is rather new to us, as we continue to navigate through all the ups and downs that come with it, I will make an effort to blog more regularly and share my experiences so that you can learn from our (my husbands) mistakes. Haha!!