I guess, when it really comes down to it, I’m a libertarian at heart.
Not entirely, but I really REALLY don’t like the legislation that was handed down by the city on Airbnb properties.
So much so that my focus has turned to renovating the two cottages into rental properties, not Airbnb properties.
A recent Kansas City Star article details the new regulations and one of them stopped me dead in my tracks.
“Off-site owners must secure the consent of 55 percent of adjacent property owners.”
In both cases, our land borders half of each property. So there’s 50% of the vote. But the other 5%? Well, that belongs to someone else – and on one side it is a mentally unhinged neighbor who thinks that everyone is out to get him, the other, a neighbor who wanted Cottage East for themselves.
In neither case do I feel I should have to ask my neighbor’s permission to operate a business out of a property that I own. If I choose to rent the houses out, they don’t get a say, so why an Airbnb property? It’s complete horseshit.
Thankfully we had not put in some really cool things – like the floor in the bathroom made with real pennies, custom built-ins in the transition between the living room and kitchen, or a cute (and delicate) chandelier in the bathroom. These would have been perfect for an Airbnb guest who wanted a unique experience here in KC, but it would not serve us well when dealing with renters. At some point, we might decide to sell the big house and retire to one of the smaller houses. At that point, we could customize the smaller house to meet our needs and desires.
I understand that these regulations are probably due to the fact that some folks running Airbnb’s were doing so in a negligent manner. They allowed ridiculous parties and pissed off their neighbors. Thanks, guys, you screwed us all and I hope that you are NOT grandfathered in. Otherwise, the folks who are real problems are still there and none of these measures make any difference at all – except to trip up those of us who truly wanted to make a difference in our own lives. And do so in a manner that was responsible and respectful of our neighbors and ourselves because we live here too.
So the new Airbnb regulations, combined with the complete inability to get funding on most of these two projects, has given me some time to think. And we have come up with the following plan…
- Pay off current debt incurred through fixes to both cottages
- Get Cottage East current on taxes (we inherited THREE years of back taxes and will have the last remnant paid off by March 30th)
- No new debt (the exception to this would be siding which we would get under 0% financing and pay off before doing any other work)
- Stabilize Cottage East (install siding and replace windows)
- Finish Cottage West and rent out by August 2020
- Finish Cottage East and rent out by January 2022
Yep, two and a half more years, minimum.
Combined, we have about $80k in renovations for the properties. Which is about what they are worth. This is why we can’t get home renovation loans – they aren’t worth enough on paper and we don’t have enough equity.
But the good news is this – once the cottages are done, they will be complete without any debt. And that’s huge. Free and clear, no debt, ready to make money. Eventually, after we have completed the other projects, we will turn our focus to renovating the 1956 Flying Cloud Airstream for our own uses. It will make a fantastic travel vehicle and allow us to tour the United States without having to worry about hotel rooms. I’m really looking forward to that. It might be years down the road, but eventually, we will take glamping to a whole new level!
So we will NOT be in the Airbnb business after all. But we will be renovating and then renting out Cottage West and Cottage East. And considering that we will live right next to both of them, just as we would have done with Airbnb, we will be very picky about who we have living there.
What does this mean for the status of this particular blog?
Well, folks, I think the writing on the wall is clear. No additional business for Northeast, no encouragement of the tourist industry, we are out of the game.