Buying B&Bs to Convert into Single-Family Homes

COVID-19’s impact on bed-and breakfasts has prompted some to close, with revenues in 2020 down 43.7% from 2019. But some are being purchased to use as personal homes.

NEW YORK – The COVID-19 pandemic is compelling some bed-and-breakfasts (B&Bs) to close. B&B revenue declined 43.7% nationwide in 2020 to roughly $1.3 billion compared with 2019, according to IBISWorld. The overall number of B&Bs has declined by roughly 1,400 to about 7,340.

Some homebuyers are opting to purchase B&Bs for use as personal homes.

Last year, Julia and Randall Hesse closed on a popular B&B near Boston, known as the Taylor House, for $1.85 million. They intend to move in this fall after a roughly $500,000 renovation to add central air and overhaul the kitchen, among other things. The Hesses said they combined several bedrooms to create a primary bedroom suite with closets, ending up with four bedrooms.

Selena Einwechter, who owns the Bed & Breakfast on Tiffany Hill near Asheville, North Carolina, is attracted by the idea of cashing out in a strong housing market. She purchased her roughly 6-acre property for $200,000 in 2008 and spent about $2.2 million over the years to build an approximately 4,700-square-foot house with five guest suites and a carriage house with two guest suites. Both properties are listed for $3.45 million, according to Zillow.

Einwechter said she’s marketing the main house as a single-family property because she’s not comfortable with the idea of selling a brand she worked hard to build. “When you sell a B&B, you are selling your guest list, your business…[and] your reputation,” along with every fork and knife in the place, she asserts.

Source: Wall Street Journal (09/01/21) Solomont, E.B.

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