Change of Plans: From a Flip to Short Term Rental
Those of you who have followed our projects for a while may remember our house flip on Webster Avenue. Does the little white house with blue trim in St. Louis Park sound familiar? Well, we finished the renovations in just a couple months at the end of summer 2019, listed it for sale, and had it under contract 5 times, but thanks to COVID-19 and a few other random things, all our offers fell through. If we have learned anything from owning our own business, and doing real estate is you always have to have back up plans and options. Being flexible and able to pivot is essential to success.
Rather than keeping Webster for sale after all of the time and cancelled contracts, we decided it would be best to take it off the market for one year so that the "Days on Market" would reset because it was greatly hurting our selling price. During the year it's off market, we decided to lease it out as a short-term rental to traveling nurses or others interested in staying at least 30 days or more. This is a good rental middle ground where we don't have the maintenance of a nightly rental but also better taken care of and better flexibility of a long term rental. To make this transition possible, I (Bryndee) flew out to Minneapolis with my assistant, Hailey, in October to stage the entire home. Here's a quick sneak peek at our process for staging a home (on a budget):
With our Airbnb rentals, we buy everything new. But for this staging project, we were fine with using secondhand items that we found online as it is only temporarily a rental. As we waited in the airport on our way to Minneapolis, Hailey and I scavenged Facebook marketplace looking for bed frames, dressers, TV stands, or anything else that would have been a good fit for the house. One of our best finds was a gray headboard that someone was giving away for FREE!
Once we picked up the furniture we found on Facebook marketplace, we started running from store to store looking for items that we wanted to buy new: mattresses (of course!), a dining table, night stands, bedding, pillows, linens, rugs, and other decor. On larger items (like furniture and mattresses) where we had potential to save more money, we would compare prices at several stores before committing to a certain one. For smaller items we tried to get as much as possible from as few stores as possible. Buying from big box stores limits the running around because the offer a variety of items at affordable prices--Target and Walmart are our best friends for basic staging! Because we only had 3 days to stage the whole home start to finish that limited our options from buying anything online that had to ship, and limited our ability to bargain shop at every store. There is definitely opportunity to save more money if you have more time, but time is also money!
After all the shopping came the not-so-fun part of staging: assembly. Each new furniture piece required multiple-step assembly (another plus of facebook marketplace is it comes assmebled!), but once it was all put together, we were able to start the fun part of the process: STAGING and watching it all come together!
Below are a few photos of the staged home at the end of our trip. In the end it cost us about $3,500 to stage the home as a fully furnished 2 bedroom, 1 office home (including stocked kitchen). Not too shabby, especially considering our timeline and budget, don't you agree?