We Rented Our Home Out for a Weekend on HomeAway and Here's How it Went
THE FARMHOUSE If you follow us on Instagram, you already know that we rented out our Farmhouse on HomeAway for Memorial Day Weekend. We had plans to be away in Oregon for the long weekend, so when the last-minute booking came through, it felt like a win-win. But how did it turn out?
I should back up and mention that while this booking was last minute, we were already planning on renting out our home for a few weekends on Airbnb this summer (you can read why we like to rent out our primary residence here). But this booking came up the month before our first Airbnb booking, so our home was far from ready. Let me emphasis that: our home was super, duper, EXTREMELY far from being ready for guests. In fact, we're in our 'rental busy season' with our rentals in Seattle, so our life has been kinda crazy and the Farmhouse was a wee bit neglected.
Getting the House Ready
The Farmhouse is ~2900sf and has 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. So it's probably no surprise that it was a big job getting the home ready for our HomeAway guests. Every room needed tidied and a deep clean. Ugh. Thankfully Nana took the kids for the day, so Garrett and I could focus on cleaning (and packing for our vacation). In the end, it took Garrett and I about 9 hours to get the house ready, or 18 hours of scrubbing, organizing, and styling combined.
Admittedly, that is a TON of time to spend cleaning and tidying your home. But here's the deal: we were cleaning and tidying our home. It felt like every minute we scrubbed and vacuumed and put toys away was self-serving because we were going to get to enjoy our clean home after our guests went home too. That's definitely the number one thing I like about renting out our primary home vs. our rentals (that are 200 miles away in Seattle) - the time spent cleaning and maintaing the property is for our pleasure too. Plus it's much easier to work at a house that is 0 miles away. And now that we got this big clean out of the way, preparing for our Airbnb host weekends should take a fraction of the time. Phew!
Of course it was possible that the guests would be awful and leave our home messier than it was to begin with. But with only a 2-night stay, the odds were that the home would be in great shape when we returned. Honestly, we've found that most guests are respectful and leave the house relatively clean. After years of renting our Seattle properties out on Airbnb, we've had only a handful of messy guests. And even those guests could be cleaned up after in a few hours.
The Host Experience
So how was our host experience? The proof is really in the homecoming. Did they leave a wet load of laundry in the washing machine? Did they sacrifice a lamb in our living room? Did they take out the trash? Those were the questions that went through my mind when we were driving back home.
Well, I'm happy to report that there was no wet load of laundry, no dead lamb (thank goodness!), and the garbage was bagged and left in the trashcan by the road. And the house was almost as clean as we had left it. The guests' sheets were still on the beds, so those needed stripped and washed. And quite a few leaves had blown in one window in Daphne's bedroom. A couple sinks were in need of another clean too. But all in all, the house was much cleaner than my kids would have left it after 2 nights ;)
To get the home back ready for us, Garrett and I tag-teamed our homecoming. Garrett cooked a quick dinner with the kids while I ran around and tidied and cleaned. It took me about 1 hour to strip and make the beds, collect dirty towels, touch up the bathrooms, and vacuum the floors. And best of all...our home was the cleanest it's been in a very long time!
Would we do it Again?
In the end, Garrett and I were both happy with renting our home out for the weekend. Do we want to do it every weekend? No. But renting the house out once in a while - especially when we had plans to be out of town anyway - is a great way to earn extra income and keep our home cleaner.
This was our first time using HomeAway so I'm planning to do a comparison between hosting on Airbnb and HomeAway at some point. In the meantime, is there anything else you're wanting to know about renting your home out for a weekend? Or if you've done something similar, what was your experience like?
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