I have gotten this question over and over again. “Was hosting worth it?”
As of last month, we completed our hosting with Airbnb because we are moving and our new home won’t have a place for paying guests, but here are the facts:
How much money?
We had 21 people in our home over the course of about 4 months, but of those 4 months we blocked out lots of dates that would be inconvenient for us to host.
Arranging the calendar to match our schedule turned out to be VERY important.
We blocked out dates for several different weeks, including New Years b/c we didn’t want to deal with drunk partiers :)
After we paid the fees for our listing, we took home about $2500.
Our longest stay was 30 days, but we had several 1 nighters as well.
The expenses we incurred:
We averaged about $20-40 increase per month in our utility bills during that time.
I purchased instant oatmeal, granola bars, bottled water, coffee with fixins and popcorn to stock the little kitchenette, probably $50 over the course of 4 months.
Because we don’t have cable I purchased a separate Hulu account for our guests to use, $7 a month.
Because of all the tax deductions that were incurred from running a part-time rental out of our home, the tax burden was very low.
“Would we do it again?”
We had high maintenance guests, and guests we never even saw.
We were very picky about the guests that stayed with us. And we did not accept reservations without a 48 hours notice, even though we received quite a few requests with less notice.
Groups with more than two people seemed to be problematic. More mess, more noise, more cars to deal with.
If we did it again I would require either a 2 night minimum or a much higher nightly rate. Cleaning the apartment multiple times a week got old quickly.
While I know that hosts do have people into their homes without having a separate living space, I would not feel comfortable having people in my home that way, especially if I had young children. Having a separate space that locked kept us feeling safe in our own home. :)
Overall it was a great experience, and we would do it again.
And if you are interested in how I dealt with guests arrival/departure here is the document each received before their arrival.