Finished Basement turned Air BnB??

7 Replies

I have a duplex right now that has a huge walkingout basement with great potential to be finished. I want to avoid making it a full 3rd unit because of zoning and other headaches that come with it. I figure I can finish it and add everything except a stove and rent out for air bnb. It's near very close to shopping, public transportation, an airport, etc. Anyone have advice on whether that's a good idea? Anyone have experience with this??

First is this allowed in your area? Is house permitted for this use?

I'd check with your zoning and permit office before going  further.

I don't think a vacationing person would want to stay in a basement, regardless of how nice the basement is.  Now a traveling worker, that's another story.  They want something better than a motel room.  Cooking and doing laundry are their main priorities.

Is your stove gas or electric?  Running black pipe is pretty easy, so is running Romex but it costs more per foot.

Hey @Tyeisha Thomas, that is an interesting challenge. First, @John Underwood has your first steps right on the money. You need to decide if it will make a good short term rental. Do you have many others in your immediate vicinity? What do their calendars look like for bookings?

Also, finishing out a basement for use by the homeowner and finishing it out for rental are two very different things. You need to make sure you meet all the codes for habitation by a renter.

I think a stove is a must for anyone staying more than a couple of days.

How bad are the hurdles for a long term rental? That seems like the better bet overall.

@Paul Sandhu yeah I suppose you're right. I have electric and gas already running to the area where I'd make the living space. I was only looking to avoid adding a stove to avoid making it technically an additional unit.

@John Underwood It's already zoned for multifamily use. I've heard horror stories about getting into zoning a 3rd unit, so I was looking to avoid that altogether by renovating as a finished basement (hence not placing a stove down there).

@Tyeisha Thomas Could you put a little folding table in there with an electric skillet, toaster oven and a microwave?  You can also put in a dorm sized fridge.  All those things can run off your existing normal 110 wall outlets.  No need to add a 2-pole circuit.

Originally posted by @Tyeisha Thomas:

@John Underwood It's already zoned for multifamily use. I've heard horror stories about getting into zoning a 3rd unit, so I was looking to avoid that altogether by renovating as a finished basement (hence not placing a stove down there).

I get the zoning for multifamily. In my area you have to have a business license and be be zoned commercial except in certain specific areas. You might want to check this specifically for STR. Multifamily lets you rent Long term but may or may not include a STR.