Galveston Jamaica Beach STR Ground Level Living Area

3 Replies

I am building a short-term rental home in Galveston Jamaica Beach on a canal lot.  The home is 2-story with 4  bedrooms and 4 bathrooms and has 1895 sq. feet of living space.  It will sleep 16 people.  1st floor master has 1 king bed, 2nd bedroom on 1st floor has 2 queens. Upstairs master has 1 king bed, 2nd upstairs bedroom has 2 sets of queen bunkbed.  

I have seen on VRBO some of the complaints about Jamaica Beach homes are that many of them have converted the ground level garage or storage area into additional living space, but it is not connected to the actual home itself and renters feel separated.  I was thinking about putting a 5th bedroom and bathroom on the ground level, but having a set of interior stairs that connect this space to the actual home.  The 5th bedroom would allow me to sleep more guests (20-22).  What are your thoughts on the number of guests that entire home should sleep?  Should I keep it at 16 or add the extra 5th bedroom and bathroom to be able to sleep 20-22?

Also, the home will have a pool and boat house which can be a huge attraction for guests.  Thanks for your feedback.


While the idiom "heads in beds" is true to an extent, it is typically better to have a more comfortable amount of people for the house. When you try to put too many people into one space, things get cramped and there tends to be more wear to the property. 


You also have to look at your target demographic. How many groups are going to be looking for a place that sleeps 20 and better yet are you wanting groups of 20?! This can tend to push property from being a nice vacation home to being a party house which isn't fun for you or your neighbors.

The other consideration is insurance. Since flood insurance is based on the lowest "living" level, if the downstairs is deemed as living space your premium would jump substantially. While it may be nice to have a bar area or game space, you need to make sure as far as the insurance company is concerned, it is all storage/garage space with vented walls.

I'd say to make use of the space to add amenities for your guests! Create a better space to get higher premiums vs cramming people in.

Thank you Timothy.  Your response is greatly appreciated.  Even if I don't add more heads in beds, what are your thoughts on the set of rear interior stairs that connect the ground level to the 1st floor of the home?

There is also a set of traditional front exterior stairs that lead to the front door of the home which faces the canal.

The biggest thing is keeping it to where the downstairs isn't the lowest insured level. It would be best to discuss with an insurance agent to get the exact parameters. If you are able to do it without changing them, it definitely has some value add!

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