AirBnB; what's better, condo or house?

7 Replies

I am looking for my first property for AirBnB. I am thinking to go for location/view over space. Condos are cheaper than houses, and to my mind, a vacationer wouldn't care much about staying in a bigger place for their short stay, and would be more concerned with a good location and a nice view.


A condo is cheaper, but what about the HOA fees?
In any case, you need to make sure that the HOA will let you use it as a short term rental. Many have restrictions... even for long-term rentals!

As far as the users' preference of view over space... I'd have to guess that it varies from person to person. Depending on where the rental is, that might have an affect on what people are looking to stay in.

@Alex Bockey If you want to do STR's such as an Airbnb you will need to be very careful about condos. You will need to make sure the condo HOA will allow Airbnb and most condos don't. I bought a condo with the intentions of running an Airbnb and it was quickly shut down however I ended up turning it into a corporate rental. You can get the same Airbnb money with less work while running a corporate rental. To answer your question condos are better if they allow it but if you want to hop right in it with less risk I would go for a house or multi family deal. You will also need to check your local laws for any strict laws that may make running an Airbnb hard. I know in your city of Denver you can't host unless you live on the property but of course there are ways around that.

@Alex Bockey - Agreed with what the people above have said. AirBnb's are tricky with Condos, i would steer clear. 

A house is a totally different story. If this is your primary residence and you have an extra bedroom (or can make an extra bedroom), AirBnb can be very lucrative. 

Be sure that you are purchasing in a desirable location though. Vacancy is the biggest killer with AirBnb (or any) rentals.  

After a bit more research, I actually think renting a place will get me started faster and earn some experience doing Airbnb with a little less risk involved.

Obviously I still need to be concerned about not violating a lease agreement by doing so and I would likely live on the property and lot or all the time.

Ownership is still the ultimate goal, but this looks a faster party to self driven income.

"I actually think renting a place will get me started"

If you are talking about being a tenant yourself and operating a airbnb in your rental apartment don't hold your breath. Likely not allowed in the lease and if the landlord were to allow it they will partner with you and take a good chunk of the profits.

If a landlord wanted airbnb why would he not simply do it himself.

@Thomas S. Not necessarily the case. We successfully did an Airbnb sub-let this summer. I explained to the landlord what my business plan was, and paid him a set rent amount each month (though slightly higher than market rate rent). He was happy to allow me to rent out nightly because it actually helps keep his property in better shape than a long term renter (having a cleaner in there every turnover, short stay guests always let you know when something isn't working, etc) but didn't want to hassle with worrying about a percentage of income/management, etc. He was happy he was getting a good steady rent check and know his property was well taken care of, and I was happy I was able to Airbnb with less expenses than had we owned the place. 

Also, @Alex Bockey , we ONLY invest in condos for STRs. Part of this is regulations in my city, but after having done it this way, I wouldn't ever want to do it with a single family home. Reasons for this:

1. Expenses are lower. At least in my area, it's cheaper to own a condo with the HOA dues than it is to pay for all the utilities, snow removal, waste management, maintenance, etc, that goes along with an SFR. We own both here and it's definitely cheaper for us to pay the HOA dues.

2. LOVE offering my Airbnb guests amenities like a pool, spa, sauna, laundry, picnic area, etc; without having to personally maintain those items.

3. Our HOA/complex manager has saved my butt more than once when a guest has locked themselves out of the unit and I'm across town or whatever. It's so nice to have that safety net.

Home, for sure! 

  • More freedom to tailor your investment to the guests' needs.
  • More privacy for the guests
  • Security and keys can automated
  • More rooms for more quality pictures!
  • Potentially free parking for your guests.

Condos can work too, but there are more variables out of your control. Cheers!

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