Why We Bought An Airbnb


Have you stayed at an airbnb before?

Paul and I recently moved to Portland and our plan was to buy a one bedroom condo in the Pearl District, live in it for at least two years and then decide if we were going to stay in the city or rent the condo out to travel.

Well that plan didn’t work.

First off, there was a lack of supply of units that we liked and what worked in our price range. Finally, when we did find the perfect combination of the two – we ended up in a bidding war with two other parties and lost out to an offer that waived an inspection and bank appraisal.

I was over it.

bella beach

Frustrated, I started researching to see if there was another way to finally get back into the real estate market without overpaying or getting into a bidding war. If you’re a millennial and you already own something – you are #winning. If you’re young and trying to buy now, you probably feel a little screwed and you’re going to have to look at moving further away from the city, into a less desirable neighbourhood or into a smaller space.

We really like being in the city. We love being able to walk everywhere and not have to drive our car anywhere and we wanted to stay in the Pearl District for this reason. So we decided to keep renting and to use the downpayment we had saved up to buy THIS airbnb on the Oregon coast.

It cost $66,000 LESS than the offer we put in on a 750 square foot condo with one bedroom, one bath. Instead, we got a three bedroom, four bathroom home a five-minute walk to the ocean that could rent out and pretty much pay for itself in about 3-4 months of fully booked airbnb rentals.

Portland Pearl District

So this is our plan for now. Continue renting in the city in a location that we love and run an airbnb on the coast that we can use during the week and in the off-season. Paul and I both work remote, so as long as there’s internet – we are good.

We may consider downsizing into an even smaller studio apartment in Portland to save $500/month off our rent if we start spending a lot of time on the coast. We’re lucky to have a lot of options and flexibility with our jobs.

I know this isn’t the conventional way to do things but we do move around a lot – so the idea of buying a ‘forever home’ isn’t on our to-do list right now. We’re also not planning to have kids, so school districts don’t factor into this plan. Additionally, if the economy crashes again (and no one rents our beach house) – we could move into this house on the coast if we really had to.

So this is our long-term plan for now for our nomadic lifestyle. I’ll let you know soon how running an airbnb goes! Here’s how it’s coming along so far in terms of decorating.

  • Plans never work out the way we intend, do they?! But it’s awesome you are flexible and made the best out of your situation. I adore the Oregon coast, and we travel to Lincoln City regularly, so I may just end up renting your place!

    • Definitely going to do a blogger friends discount in the off-season to get some airbnb reviews up there! Will keep you posted for sure 🙂

  • Olivia Beach is one of my favorite spots on earth! We’ve been going there for many years and always rent the same house. I hope things go well with your beach house! So exciting!!

    • Yes! I read your post when I was googling for more info about the area. Olivia Beach is just awesome and done right. It’s perfect for families and I love that there’s a pool and playground too.

  • Erin Lynch

    This totally makes sense. Congratulations on the new beach house Lisa. It’s going to be AMAZING!!! We absolutely love having our place in Pacific City as a relaxing retreat that’s not too far from home. Can’t wait to see the house progress along the way!

  • Mary Cressler

    Smart plan! We did the exact same thing a few years ago, but with Hood River. We bought a property that was already being used as a vacation rental property and instead of buying an empty place, we bought it “as is” and rented it out when we weren’t using it. During the busy summer months it was rented pretty much 100% of the time, which pretty much paid for the full year of the mortgage. Win win!!

    • Great idea! We were considering a place in Hood River too, but this place just came up and we jumped on it. So glad to hear you’ve had such success with getting rentals.

  • michele

    Happy to hear you got creative during this crazy real estate market! It sounds like a great choice for you and a home at the beach seems like a smart investment to me.