on renting your house out

Since I was wee I have wanted to be the propitiator of  a bed and breakfast.

All through my 20's when I rode the ferry to my in-laws, I would immediately go upstairs and straight to the real estate catalogues where I tore out all the listings with acreage, more that 6 bedrooms and of course all the victorian houses.

Alas I could not figure out how to get the million dollars required to buy such a place and get it up and running. So I sort of moved on in my 30's and started getting more serious about my 507 other jobs because maybe one of them would provide me with a huge bonus or a jaunty investor.

No million dollars appeared. So I found myself at 40, in the starter house we bought 12 years ago (you know that house that you're like I could live here for 5 years then sell for a better place) thinking about how to do an AirBnB here.

Side note: I specifically thought of AirBnB because that is who I travel to new places through now. I try never to stay at a hotel and I am always sad when there are no AirBnB spaces free in the city I want to travel too.

So I start dreaming about how to create this AirBnB space here, but we could not figure out how to divide up the house. I could not figure out how to give guest access to the kitchen, and I did't want to give up my entire upstairs, and I couldn't just rent out the basement as there is no bathing facility down there so I hemmed and hawed and generally procrastinated. I looked at my friend who just rents out a room and shares her space with people, but I am an introvert and don't necessarily want to bump into my host when I travel. Anyways, we stalled for like a year.

Then fate stepped in and then she stepped on my toes and took away a steady source of income and forced me figure it out quickly.  Actually my brilliant husband figured out the dividing lines giving me  the kitchen and dining room upstairs and the AirBnB people the living room, bathroom and 2 bedrooms. Because when you are traveling do you really need more that 600sq feet of space? Also do you really need a kitchen? I mean part of why I love to travel is to NOT cook. To eat all the new foods in all the new places.

So I moved furniture around. I hired a guy to put in a door and fix the broken fan. I took some lame pictures. I wrote some descriptions and then I posted it. And then I freaked out because it was July and within 10 minutes I had literally 3 inquiries. I was fighting off people who all wanted the space RIGHT NOW.

I am still trying to catch up with the crazy of the first 6 weeks.

Now it is October and I have time to touch up some paint, re-caulk the bathtub, buy a real second bed and maybe take some decent photographs. Hopefully  this month I will create a book of places to see, things to eat and reasons why Seattle is brilliant.

Stories: there are some. Mainly it's been a weird sort of boring. Sort of like this is how the house has always been.

What do I notice? There are always more freaking things to buy, I think I am done I decide to make the space a tiny bit better with real second bed, duvet covers, more sheets so I don't have to worry about not having the space ready for the next guest. And now as darkness depends lights, lamps, path lighting, path widening and so on so people can get from the driveway to the front door and NOT fall down also how can I control the lights if they forget to turn on the porch light. Oh yeah and the furnace controls are in their space... hmmm that might get interesting.

Other people take way longer showers than I do. Also I have no shower anymore and when I have guest I go to the gym to bathe, which is handy because since I am there I usually do a few laps in the pool or walk on the elliptical.

Our floors are really, really creaky. Now part of that might be the remains of summer drying them out to extremes but I think I learned a secret way to walk through the house and never stepped on half those spots. Like the floors are so creaky sometimes I have to wear earplugs to sleep downstairs.

Laundry and dirty dishes never cease.

Mostly I never realized how freaking complicated our garbage rules are until I had to literally get gloves on after every person leaves and resort their trash. Because my garbage is the size of a milk crate so I have to make sure they put compost in the compost and recycled everything recyclable so I can actually fit my garbage in the bin too.

Long story short if you need a staycation in Seattle or a place to put visiting relatives or if you are coming to Seattle consider coming to West Seattle and hang out. Tell me you are coming and I'll figure out how to give you a discount on your booking!