Tips For Buying A House For Airbnb In Chicago

Thinking of buying a Chicago house for Airbnb? I can help. I’ve posted about how to buy a Chicago condo for Airbnb and here I explore the other half of the home-sharing economy: single-family homes. Let’s explore the key differences that can make or break you when renting a larger space.

Buying A House For Airbnb In Chicago

Tips For Buying A House For Airbnb In Chicago. Home location and layout are critical.

5 Best Tips For Buying A House For Airbnb In Chicago

The house you buy to market as a STR on Airbnb or other platforms should have these things nailed.

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Click my photo to contact me about Airbnb.

1. Easy Parking

Make sure the place you buy has a hassle-free parking situation. When you’re renting a condo, odds are it’s to a couple or smaller group. These groups often skew younger, are more mobile, and navigate commuting more easily. The groups attracted to a single family home will need a little more love and a lot more hand-holding.

As Chicagoans, we know the frustrating and confusing experience of circling for a parking spot, the thrill of finding one, the crushing defeat of seeing a fire hydrant, and the boiling rage of an over-priced ticket. Ask yourself: do you want someone feeling all that to write your review?

Be sure to carefully explain to your guests what streets they can park on, how to find them, and communicate how many cars they’ll bring. In many residential areas, 24 hour parking passes only cost $.50 each, and can be bought in packs of 45 at one time. Give your guests as many as they need, and be sure to fill their first one out as an example. Be generous with your passes or Chicago will be generous with its tickets.

2. Super Convenient Location

With condos, you’re already assuming certain accessibility to amenities (transportation, night life, attractions, etc).

However, with single-family homes are not always as accessible so it’s imperative to inform your guests as to what they’re getting.

Explore the various Chicago neighborhoods and find one you think will work the best for your guests.

“Posting a single-family STR means catering to a different demographic than condos- wedding parties, family reunions, work colleagues.”

It’s important you provide those groups with either easy access by virtue of location, or a detailed guide on how to get around.

Some examples include:

·      A laminated welcome sheet with wifi info & nearby CTA stops

·      A “Not For Tourists” guide to Chicago

·      CTA & Metra maps

·      A comprehensive online guide

·      Coupons for a great nearby breakfast place

Real Estate Search on Map of Chicago

Click the map and explore Chicago neighborhoods!

3. Easy To Maintain

A professionally cleaned house is critical. It’s that simple. Homes gather a lot more dust and critters than condos, and few things will knock off review stars faster than unwanted roommates of the multi-legged variety.

More than basic cleaning, however, you’ll want to have an eye for what I’ve come to call “practical presentation”: organization that serves a purpose and is pleasing to the eye. Some examples include:

·      A welcome basket or pack containing items from #4

·      Slightly different color tones for guest towels so they can tell theirs apart

·      Creative labeling of kitchen cabinets

·      Clever storage of spare toilet paper

·      Neatly presented bath items (hotel soaps and such are great)

·      Freshly cut grass and some light landscaping

4. Practical Floor Plan

When searching for a home, you’ll want to make sure you pay attention to certain layout details. Though it’s an obvious point to notice when buying a home for you, it’s amazing how often buyers overlook it when searching for an investment property.

When accommodating larger groups, basic things like number of bedrooms or spare rooms becomes a factor. To maximize your return, you’ll want to predict and provide as many possibilities as guests you’d like to host. Make sure you’re clear about what your home offers. If you’re buying a home for this purpose, visualize all the amenities you’d want for your own family and find a property that offers them right off the bat. Some questions to ask include:

·      How many people can fit comfortably in the house?

·      Do they have room to spread their belongings?

·      What’s the bathroom situation?

·      Is the house handicap-accessible?

·      Are the bathrooms handicap-accessible?

·      Any yard to grill or simply relax?

·      Are you okay with pets? What kind? How big?

·      Is the place child-friendly? Baby-friendly?

5. Good Neighbors

I think it’s safe to say we’ve all had an experience with a bad neighbor: noise complaints, poor upkeep, bad manners, etc. You already know to how to spot and avoid one. When leveraging Airbnb for an investment home, however, the golden rule is don’t be that neighbor.

Chicago is a unique town rich in history and built by tightknit communities. By purchasing a home anywhere within our city’s borders, you’re inserting yourself into an ever-expanding story. It’s up to you to preserve and add to it by vetting your guests carefully, caring for the property appropriately, and checking in with your neighbors occasionally. Here are some tips to keep your home safe while traveling.

When you’re banking on income from a system that ranks you according to reviews, you have to keep your eye on the big picture. Happy, welcoming neighbors will make a huge difference in your guests’ experience.

Looking for more tips for buying a house to Airbnb In Chicago?

Contact me for guidance.