With the onset of 2020 and the outbreak of COVID-19, our world was thrown upside down in all regards. The real estate industry was particularly effected as a part of the "great reshuffle". Many home owners took this opportunity to travel the world or at least the country, staying at Airbnb's or other short-term rental properties while simultaneously renting out their own homes in a similar fashion.
As the long-term effects of the global pandemic begin to settle, we've continued to see benefits within the short-term rental market. However it must be taken with a grain of salt and is not necessarily a guaranteed slam dunk.
Below I'll outline some of our findings from the past year of hosting via Airbnb and VRBO as a simple Pro & Con list in comparison to more traditional long-term lease properties.
Short-Term Rentals (aka Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway)
As you can see, there are positives and negatives to either rental option. We manage a variety of options to allow diversification in our own rental portfolio, and recommend this as a great option for most other real estate investors. However, you own personal time and aptitude for risk will play a big part in which option to pick from. We are always available to discuss these specifics to find the investment option best for your lifestyle and property.
We purchased a home in West Boise in 2021 that needed a full renovation.
One of the key decisions that added to this home, was to finish off a previously converted portion of the garage by raising the subfloor to match the height of the rest of the house. Adding a large closet and a door to the hallway converted this bonus area into a potential bedroom. Making a large space even more useful for future tenants.
The first step to this project was to close off the awkward openings in the wall connected to the garage. This gave a completed look to the room and extended the open space for parking in the garage.
Then we built up the floor to match the same level as the rest of the house, creating a seamless floorplan from room to room.
Then we added a door to this space so that it could be closed off as a bedroom or private extra living space when needed.
Finally, a large closet was framed out and drywalled to give more storage to the home and give this room the flexibility to become an additional bedroom if needed.
Once the flooring, trim and paint were finished this room flowed well with the rest of the floorplan and became almost impossible to a difference between the original floorplan.
Let us know if you've made any similar decisions to change up an existing floorplan!
As part of a full kitchen renovation in our Kuna property, Ryan and I wanted to try out making our own cast-in-place concrete countertops. We loved the modern aesthetic and the low-price investment of this option and so after Ryan did a lot of research we got to work.
Here are the rough steps we followed to put these countertops in the kitchen and two bathrooms:
1. Installed cabinets or vanities (based on room) and laid down protective tarps over the new LVP flooring.
2. Installed snap-off countertop forms along entire edge of counters.
3. Mixed countertop concrete and poured into the in-place forms. Smooth out with mudding tools for a flat and consistent surface. Then let dry completely.
4. Snap off forms and begin wet-sanding down the concrete to get a polished finish. This step included several different levels of polishing grit pads to get the final smooth look that we were seeking.
5. Apply top-coat sealant to the countertops to ensure the look remains unstained as long as possible.
6. An aggressive amount of clean-up. The one thing we didn't anticipate with this project was how messy the sanding and polishing process would be. Our perfectly completed renovation suddenly became covered in TONS of fine concrete mess. The walls, the floors, the cabinets...everything. I don't know that we would ever do concrete countertops again just due to the mess and amount of time it takes to get it perfectly polished.
Pros and Cons Post-Install:
Pro - Inexpensive countertops that seem really durable
Pro - Modern, sleek design
Con - VERY messy finish work
Con - Time consuming to get polished finish
Con - Difficult to polish/sand in the countertop corners, which left imperfections along those edges
All in all, it was a great project to try and one that we had wondered about for a long time. I'm glad we installed these and finished them ourselves so that we could truly appreciate the luxury of paying someone for solid surface countertops. If we are doing a project with a deadline, I doubt we will ever do concrete countertops again. BUT I could see us making countertops (not cast-in-place) for bathroom vanities or other small spaces if we are trying to get the modern and sleek look.
When renovating The Boise Treehouse, we wanted to make sure to retain as much character as possible with our updates. I love accents that really make a house a home.
One of the features I was determined to keep was the corner china cabinet. It was in great shape, looked cute, adding some dimension to the dining area and helped to add storage!
The only downside, it looked a little bland. I wanted it to pop out against the otherwise fairly simple light yellow wall and catch your eye as a decorative piece.
Here are the steps I took to update the china cabinet and bring beauty back to this forgotten cabinet:
Some of you may have balked at the fact that Ryan truly got started in this industry at the ripe age of 11 years old. However, if you’d met Ryan you would be more surprised that it hadn’t happened earlier. Ryan is definitely the type of person that can never sit still, and I can only imagine this was even more elevated when he was young.
Emily likes to credit how she and Ryan met to a term she coined: Dating for Dogs.
Ryan and Emily met in New York City. Emily was searching for a dog to date (#datingfordogs). Bailey's cute face attracted her from day one and the rest was history, except that Ryan made her hang out with him for 3 dates before introducing the Bailey. Turns out Ryan and Emily had a lot in common though, so she decided to not steal his dog away but keep them both.