We Rented Out Our Home for 5 Weekends This Summer And Here’s How It Went (and What we Earned)

THE FARMHOUSE

This summer, we rented out our home for 5 weekend stays (plus one 6-day stay) on Airbnb and Homeaway. I shared why we were doing that here and our first experience with HomeAway here (and some tips for you to rent your own home out here), but I wanted to share a recap now that we’re wrapping up our summer rentals. Read on for pros and cons from our experience.


PROS

Earnings

Probably the best part about renting out our home for short stays are the earnings. This summer, we took home just shy of $6,000 at the Farmhouse and have another $2,500 in bookings coming our way later in the Fall. That’s $8,500 in total! I like to call these funds ‘fun money’ since it’s not part of our monthly budgeting, and we plan to use this haul for a family adventure in Europe later this year. And while we’re away, we’ll be booking more stays at the Farmhouse to subsidize even more travel or reno projects or paying down our mortgage or saving for college or…well you get the point. It’s a winning cycle!

Clean House

While the money is great, there’s nothing like walking into your insanely clean home after it’s been rented out for the weekend. Ahhhhhh. A clean home is good for the soul. Even if it takes our kids approximately 30 minutes to have stuff everywhere, the homecoming is worth it’s weight in gold!

It got us Out

I’m definitely a homebody (although my husband is much less so) and it’s easy for me to say ‘let’s just stay home this weekend’. But renting out our home ensured that I would plan camping trips and family visits throughout the summer. While this summer ended up being a little busier than I would have liked, none of us regretted the extra time spent with family and friends while camping, exploring, and making memories.

Sharing with Others

In a world that can often feel isolated, it was nice to share our home with others. Many of our guests left us notes detailing what they loved about our home and their stay. And it was immensely satisfying to read about our home through other people’s memorable experiences. Sharing can just feel good, you know?


CONS

Scheduling

My biggest con to renting out our primary residence was scheduling. With our Seattle Airbnb’s in full swing this summer, the extra bookings at our Farmhouse had my head swimming with the buzz of it all. There was always a house to clean, a message to send, and a special request to coordinate. We’ll be making some adjustments to our rental work load in the future (in fact, we’re gearing up to sell one of our rentals right now!), but not at the Farmhouse. We plan to continue renting out our Farmhouse a bit every year, at least for the forceable future (you can read why that is here).

Cleaning

While coming home to a clean home is one of my biggest PROs for renting out our primary residence, it’s also one of the biggest CONs. Our home is 2800sf and takes a looong time to tiddy and clean. The first time it took us forever and every time after that it’s taken us a little less time, but still forever. Quite honestly, we would never clean that extensively just for ourselves.

Sources

Room sources available here

Similar posts

3 Reasons to rent out your home for a weekend // How to prepare your home for a weekend rental // Our first experience using HomeAway

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17 Comments

Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this! We were inspired to rent our home out after your first post and it’s been going so well. Every renter we’ve had has been great and so respectful of us and our home. I was worried people would be put off by the fact that this is our primary residence, but they seem to appreciate how well-stocked our kitchen is. We’ve made pretty good money and enjoyed a 100% rental rate (every weekend we’ve made available is booked, even weekends for next summer!). Thanks for giving us this idea, it’s changed our lives for the better!

  2. Thank you for sharing this post!! We are also considering renting our home out, but often wonder if anyone even would as we are in a rural part of town and there’s not much around us. It really spoke to me the home body party, as my husband and I are very guilty of that. we love to be home but know we need to get out more for the sake of our two small kiddos. I love what you guys do and you’re forever an inspiration to me!

  3. I’d love to know more about insurance for vacation rentals. Could you share some wisdom on that?

  4. I’m so tempted to rent out my home – you’re an inspiration! – but it still scares me. I’m looking into renting it out for photo shoots and film sets instead, because I can be around to manage it and feel a little more in control. We’ll see how it goes!

    • I love this idea Ashley! Do you have any avenues for that? We’ve actually had a handful of photo shoots at the Dexter House (for interior books, family photos, product shoots, etc) with people who have approached us through Airbnb. But I’d love to do more of that!

  5. Every time you post about this, I just read the whole thing while shaking my head and saying “nope, nope, nope, not my house, not ever.” That said, I’m super interested in all this super cleaning you keep talking about and would love to see a post thoroughly breaking down everything you do to make your home ready for live-in guests: )

    • Yeah, it’s definitely not for everyone! We’ve become a bit less precious of our homes and stuff over the years (not really sure why) so a natural fit for us.

  6. I do house cleaning and have helped one person get ready for his air bnb stays recently, he’s not a natural “cleaner.” You might consider having some help yourself there because with three children, multiple houses and a need to occasionally get some shut eye, asking for four hours of help is worth it.

    • We’re working on that. It’s been hard to get someone that keeps it as clean as we do, and our rating usually goes down. But we’ve had a reliable family member start helping, so that’s great!

  7. When you say coming home to a clean house is one of your biggest pros, is that because you’ve always had respectful guests who have left it clean the way you prepared it for them? Have you always had good luck with clean and respectful guests or do you think it’s because of he inherent nature of Homeaway or Airbnb that keeps guests accountable for their cleanliness?

    As a side note, I rent my whole Vancouver home on Airbnb when I travel too (about 14 days this summer) and am always nervous to see the state the home has been left in upon return.. So far I’ve been pleasantly surprised and it’s been really clean (except for garbage and linens of course), so it’s great to hear that this seems to be the case with you too. It’s always a risk having strangers stay in our homes, but I think people are usually inherently nicer and more respectful than we assume. That’s what I like to believe anyway 🙂

    • So glad to hear that! We’ve had a handful or two of messy and/or rude guests in 3 years of renting properties on Airbnb. When it happens it’s such a bummer, but rarely does. So far, all of the guests at our Farmhouse have been really respectful.

  8. I was fascinated to read about how you fared renting out your primary residence…we have a Florida vacation house that we rent for monthly rentals…recently, after one year of not going to the house, we stayed for a week…I was appalled and defeated when I saw the condition of our linens and furniture…huge dark stains and dingy. The white couch – I know…white in a rental(!) was so badly stained that the cleaning people threw a comforter over it. We spent 3 solid days of a 6-day vacation to do all the cleaning and laundry and purging of chipped/broken things. But it is a vacation home, not our primary residence. Interesting. But perhaps I’m not ready for taking the plunge on the “real” house. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

    • Ugh, that’s so frustrating. We’ve definitely noticed that doing the turns ourselves on our short-term rentals has helped us keep the property “deep-clean” level higher!

  9. This was all great information – I would never have expected that much earnings on a home rental! Just curious – for all of those weekends and the one week stay, what kind of costs did you have to incur to be gone? Meaning hotels, campsite rentals, food budgets (eating out more?), etc. Might be worthwhile to mention since those would technically offset your rental income.

  10. Shannon Y. says:

    Thanks for sharing so openly! We recently bought a 1925 house that has been a LOT more work than we bargained for (read: black mold and replacing both HVAC systems). I’m thinking that earning some extra income on the property to pay for these unexpected expenses would be worth it but my husband is a bit hesitant to go down that road, which I understand. Your honest assessment of the pros and cons throughout the process has been so helpful! We have holes to fill to get it up to snuff but I’m hopeful we’ll be in this periodic renting situation by spring.

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