Help me with the duplex deal!

7 Replies

Hello Everyone!

I'm looking for a little feedback on an idea that i've been contemplating. I own about 40 acres of land in a growing community near a major military base. I am considering building a duplex at the front of my property for the purpose of short term rentals. Our land is located about 15 minutes from the base.

Ideally we would market to service members that are still looking for housing. The military pays families for 10-days of hotel stays as they search for housing. The military will pay up to $99/night.

We would also be able to market to people that are on temporary duty or to extended families that are visiting.

The advantage of staying in a duplex on our land include:

1) Full Kitchen

2) Ample parking for moving vans, trailers, boats, etc

3) Washer/dryer in unit

4) Pet Friendly

5) More space and privacy than a hotel

Potential Disadvantages:

1) Cost to build: I expect that the cost to build the duplex will be around $85/sq ft. If we do 1,000 sq ft/side - we will be around $170k

2) 15 minute drive to post

3) Our land is not in the city

4) Providing cable/internet would be expensive because we are not serviced by major cable companies.

I feel that $99/night would be a value, but there really isn't any similar options in the area to compare to. The closest thing to what we are offering are extended stay places.

Any advice is appreciated....

Maybe check other bases around the country . Dollar for dollar it's not a comparison but the statistics and demographic data should be similar. I know the few PCS moves I have made were problematic because of this TLA 10 day house hunting thing. It gets even more complicated when you incorporate pets. To maximize the value for the soldiers and families is such a needed thing. It gets overlooked. Personally I would think of it from this perspective. Highly transient housing option, value add for families and pet friendly and kid friendly, possible shuttle services (some people relocate without a car if the come from overseas and the government doesn't always cover a rental for the whole time). Just my thoughts from a customer perspective. Sounds like a great opportunity though. Good luck with it!

@John McConnell - I never thought about people PCSing from overseas - transportation is a good point. I see the benefit of additional up-front cost to build as being offset by the fact that we are building on our land and that we can generate more money by focusing on short term rentals. 

My wife thinks that people are fine just staying in hotels, but I am convinced that hotels are almost always a compromise - especially for families.....

Originally posted by @Justin Tahilramani:

@John McConnell - I never thought about people PCSing from overseas - transportation is a good point. I see the benefit of additional up-front cost to build as being offset by the fact that we are building on our land and that we can generate more money by focusing on short term rentals. 

My wife thinks that people are fine just staying in hotels, but I am convinced that hotels are almost always a compromise - especially for families.....

 I mean downside of additional up-front cost...not benefit

I like the duplex idea... I would even think about maybe a condo type unit maybe or at least with options of expanding or contracting as needed. I really like the idea of timeshare type units where you can lock off 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 bedrooms depending on what is needed. Incrementally increasing the price maybe 100 more for each additional bedroom. There are lots of creative ways to go but it all boils down to cost and roi. I would love to hear the progress on this. The other thing you may want to find out is if the base is scheduled for BRAC anytime in the future (5 - 10 years). When the reallign bases they will usually strip the base down and move everyone out so you may need to have that in your plan for exit or pivoting if and when that happens.

@John McConnell - I would typically be concerned about a future BRAC-like move by the government, but we live outside for Fort Bragg, NC. Anything is possible, but I really don't see them ever closing Bragg. After all, it's the home of the FORSCOM, SF, and Reserve Command. 

Oh at Bragg. You should be just fine. Tons of soldiers and civilians there. That's a great spot for military that's not moving anytime soon. Plus it's a huge tdy location. I have been there a number of times in the last couple years. Very nice.

Not sure about this idea. Duplexes typically do not fare well in the Fayetteville market.

As for your idea, short term rentals, there is a market for this here. Extended stay hotels are abundant @ 250/week. A house would be better for some people for sure, but not sure a duplex would give you good competition.

Also, @ 170k you are going to be WAY over market value for homes. There are set of 4plexes in town for nearly the same cost already built that have been on market a while, and others that come and go. (Ramsey area).

Good luck in whatever you decide to do!

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