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shindigger

Thinking Of Buying A B&b

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My great gig in the sky (London job) is winding up in the new year.

Have been thinking of doing this for a while.

Yes i know the UK weather is generally shyte.

Yes i know UK coastal towns have a worn image.

But it seems like a piece of piss to run one, and i can be a real lazy ******* when i put my mind to it.

Fry a few eggs, make a few beds etc.

Anyone want to put me off the idea?

Would be looking at taking over an existing place not a massive refit.

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Despite what may seem like a moneyspinner refurbs and renewals etc and a very seasonal trade eat into profits. Very few landlords make any money at all which is why they are giving 7 bedroom ones away for 40k freehold in Blackpool...........

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/commercial-property-for-sale/property-28144989.html

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My great gig in the sky (London job) is winding up in the new year.

Have been thinking of doing this for a while.

Yes i know the UK weather is generally shyte.

Yes i know UK coastal towns have a worn image.

But it seems like a piece of piss to run one, and i can be a real lazy ******* when i put my mind to it.

Fry a few eggs, make a few beds etc.

Anyone want to put me off the idea?

Would be looking at taking over an existing place not a massive refit.

Depends whether you mind being tied down to the place, not sure how profitable it would be if you didn't try and run it full time all year round.

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But it seems like a piece of piss to run one, and i can be a real lazy ******* when i put my mind to it.

Fry a few eggs, make a few beds etc.

Anyone want to put me off the idea?

Would be looking at taking over an existing place not a massive refit.

I wouldn't start up any self-employed business with the above attitude.

But I guess you are self-deprecating.

Like running a pub, you have to enjoy (cope with) people.

You must always be able to smile, and not through gritted teeth,

Be happy to not be away during the summer,

Be available for unsocial arrival times,

Give top quality service every minute or else Trip Advisor will haunt you I suspect

I like B&Bs, always choose one over a hotel if I'm not in a major city, and those that do them well, do them well.

Edited by LiveinHope

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I wouldn't start up any self-employed business with the above attitude.

But I guess you are self-deprecating.

Like running a pub, you have to enjoy (cope with) people.

You must always be able to smile, and not through gritted teeth,

Be happy to not be away during the summer,

Be available for unsocial arrival times,

Give top quality service every minute or else Trip Advisor will haunt you I suspect

I like B&Bs, always choose one over a hotel, and those that do them well, do them well.

I do B&Bs too and they are good value for the guest and poor value for the host. It is usually a side line for the owner or they have retirement income. It often meets the running costs of living in a large property, but is unlikely to provide much income on top of that.

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Yes i am being a tad OTT on the lazy bit.

I've actually grafted hard for 17 years in current career.

Including LOTS of schlepping from Dorset to London and early 5am starts.

And being an AV Tech i have had to grit my teeth, sometimes all day.

I'm looking at the south coast Dorset/Devon or Nth Devon Ilfracombe area.

Ilfracombe is a bit of a hole, but is on the doorstep of fantastic beaches etc.

Its one of those lifestyle/crisis moments i see bombing over the horizon.

Im certainly not keen on working for someone else again after so long self employed.

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I do B&Bs too and they are good value for the guest and poor value for the host. It is usually a side line for the owner or they have retirement income. It often meets the running costs of living in a large property, but is unlikely to provide much income on top of that.

Thas good to know, cheers.

The vendors always seem to cite "Family Reasons" for selling up.

I take it that the "family" is skint! :lol:

Edited by shindigger

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Do you currently have a spare room in your property? If so, you could test the water for a few months by renting it out on airbnb.com. That way you'd get a feel for the business without having to make major investment.

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Sorry OP. I'm always amazed when you see people who want to get away from it all by buying a pub or B&B. Hours are completely unsocial, lots of work to maintain and keep the place looking good, unforgiving customers (especially now with places like TripAdvisor). Have you ever tried doing a proper cooked breakfast for 10-15 people? It's actually quite difficult doing it well - lots of different things to cook and have ready at the same time. Every room and toilet has to be cleaned every day and laundry done. And just the sheer number of arseholes and weirdos you'd have to deal with. And you're never off duty - up at the crack of dawn to get breakfasts ready and late to bed. And then of course there are all the regulations and inspections to deal with. Good luck if you go for it though!

Edited by mikthe20

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Sorry OP. I'm always amazed when you see people who want to get away from it all by buying a pub or B&B. Hours are completely unsocial, lots of work to maintain and keep the place looking good, unforgiving customers (especially now with places like TripAdvisor). Have you ever tried doing a proper cooked breakfast for 10-15 people? It's actually quite difficult doing it well - lots of different things to cook and have ready at the same time. Every room and toilet has to be cleaned every day and laundry done. And just the sheer number of arseholes and weirdos you'd have to deal with. And you're never off duty - up at the crack of dawn to get breakfasts ready and late to bed. And then of course there are all the regulations and inspections to deal with. Good luck if you go for it though!

My aim is not to get away from it all per se.

But i take your point.

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Do you currently have a spare room in your property? If so, you could test the water for a few months by renting it out on airbnb.com. That way you'd get a feel for the business without having to make major investment.

Nice one will check this out.

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Thas good to know, cheers.

The vendors always seem to cite "Family Reasons" for selling up.

I take it that the "family" is skint! :lol:

I guess until the Universal Credit kills unprofitable business' the working tax credit is still keeping some of these alive, because as a matter of course you will do the required 30 hours. Making the minimum wage for 30 hours to qualify for the new universal credit might be a bigger ask.

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Thas good to know, cheers.

The vendors always seem to cite "Family Reasons" for selling up.

I take it that the "family" is skint! :lol:

I suspect that it's all about Location, Location, Location and then Quality, Quality, Quality.

I also think Crashmonitor is right. There are plenty that could not afford to run a B&B on borrowed money. Many, in out of the way places, the type I seek out, are renting out a few rooms in their home after the property is fully paid off. People who have retired early and just want a few £k until they collect their pension. Some realise this lifestyle choice still requires hard work, others think it's just frying a few eggs.

However, in tourist hot spots, you can clearly run a profitable business - property prices will be higher however, as will competition.

In the old days you could even be crap in hotspots and do OK as you would get first timers - although no repeat custom. Now, in the days of Trip Advisor I would imagine that has changed.

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Thats ******ing horrible.

Any person considering purchasing in Blackpool needs to do their homework get it marked off, consult and seek opinions and then do it all again and then again for good measure.

There is money to be made but only by the brightest and the best, people need to go into it mortgage free as well as banks will not lend on these properties in this climate.

The rightmove property linked in this thread is typical of all properties down this (lonsdale) road.

They are mega cheap for a reason.

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I do B&Bs too and they are good value for the guest and poor value for the host. It is usually a side line for the owner or they have retirement income. It often meets the running costs of living in a large property, but is unlikely to provide much income on top of that.

This. My mum used to run one (a decent sized, beautiful 12th century house with private fishing). But it was very much for something to do and a little bit of pin money. A full-blown B&B is something else, and I should imagine a surprisingly large amount of work is involved. (e.g. http://www.harwoodguesthouse.com/).

Also, as others mentioned, you have to be ready for some pretty weird and/or awkward customers... ("do you take a credit card? It's all I've got.", "we don't want to stay here - you never said the house was old").

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A 13 bed one as a going concern freehold at 80k. It claims a trading account of 15k, presumably that refers to gross profit as opposed to net?

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/commercial-property-for-sale/property-36924088.html

'Business: We are informed accounts will be made available showing turnover in the region of £15,000'

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Some great replies here.

I would be selling up and buying for cash.

Would be 100% mortgage free.

I think the whole Padstow vibe ******** might slip its way round the Devon headland to areas like Ilfracombe.

Would absolutely have to be an earner.

"Welfare Mothers B&B...How may i help".

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I think you've been watching to much TV

I've got to do something, this isn't some "ooh lets buy a small holding and kill pigs" crap.

I'm a country boy anyway.

Just been working in London for yonks.

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I stayed in one for a week last month and amongst the various chats to the owners I can give you the following guidance:

- The best B&B to have is one with an informal link to something like a local hospital or university or big local employer, so you get a steady stream of guests who are there for a good reason (and not to get drunk).

- Casual trade is harder to get these days as a lot goes through search sites like late rooms which take (wait for it...) 20%! They weren't on it and were suffering as a result but didn't want to take that hit.

- Having parking makes a big difference.

So from that I would say that whilst a seaside B&B may seem idyllic. reliance upon casual trade means losing 20% straight off, out-of-season bookings light, and risking people getting so drunk they become a real problem.

If you want to run a B&B then the best way would be taking over an established business in a central city location with parking. Though that does not give you the nice location for your own time off that you're after.

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As with anything you need a proper business plan and a great deal of motivation behind you.

I was made redundant in 2006 (didn't want to work for anyone else, mortgage was paid off ect, got a good redundancy deal) and spent a year looking for a suitable property. I and my partner must have looked at hundreds over that year until we found the one which made the most business sense (for us) and could provide the living accommodation we wanted. It also had to have a USP.

We purchased a 12 (lettings) bedroom place in 2007 just in time for the summer season and spent the first year learning the ropes. In the so called gap year I spent my time doing some web authoring courses and learning PPC advertising as I saw this as essential to the survival of the business.

First year we turned over around £35,000 but did no advertising as I said we were learning the ropes, as we are also by the seaside we have a 'discernible season' and as such do not trade from the end of October to Easter. It was hard graft but made easier in the knowledge that we get 5 Months off at the end of it.

The following year I had finished designing and SEO'ing our website and chucked a notional £1000 into PPC. That year we turned over £55,000. By doing this all myself saves a mint.

Each year has pretty much increased on the past. these days we turn over around £65,000 - £70,000 (always trailered to be below the VAT registration limit for the year) on a budget or around £2,000 - £2,500 advertising. Over the last 7 years we have also spent around £100,000 (all out of the business profit) on refurbishing the property which again is something that will be essential.

It provides a good living for us but has been pointed out is hard graft for the time we are open but there is that large downtime period over the winter when we take our holidays. This year it will be 3 weeks in the Caribbean over Xmas and another fortnight in Vegas New York in February/March.

I could of course take some temporary work over this 5 Months period to supplement our income but have never needed to. In the first couple of years we also qualified for working tax credit, free prescriptions but do not any longer, I know many around me do!!

I go to the local club and speak to a few other local hoteliers who do struggle as they cannot grasp or are unable to spend the required amounts embracing the internet as we do.Many are stuck in the 1960's where they still expect the trade to walk up the street and knock on the door as they did in UK seaside resorts back then.

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