Shampoo & Booze 37: Buying a Vacation Home for Personal Use AND Extra Income

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Rhobin and Billy live/work in Manhattan and wanted to buy a vacation spot in the Hudson Valley since it's an easy trip upstate for fun weekends. But why not also rent the house out on Airbnb when they can't enjoy the place themselves? Sounds easy, right?

In this conversation, Rhobin walks us through their process of buying a house that they loved, but that would also work well as a rental for guests. How do you design a space for your own life, but practical enough to fit any guests needs? Luckily Rhobin is a professional interior designer, so he was able to turn a tired suburban home into a fun, stylish get away.

Since they had never rented on Airbnb before, Rhobin also shares their learning curve remodeling, finding local help, and figuring out how they would rent when they live two hours away. Making local relationships was really key. They just got their first reservation this week! Hopefully we can revisit with Rhobin in six months and see how it all turned out.

You can checkout their photos for their rental called Bluestone Escape on Airbnb and Instagram. Also, we posted a few below (so swanky!).

Thinking of becoming an Airbnb host or guest? Use our referral code and get $20 off your next stay or $80 credit if you become a host!


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you so much!! Thank you too Jay & Ryanne! Looking forward to connecting again.

  2. Hello Ryanne and Jay, this is Paul from FL (Paulo H Leocadio, I participate actively in the Scavenger Life Blog).
    If you have time, I wonder what is your take on running an AirBNB business "not locally".
    Imagine in my case. I live in SoFlo and have the opportunity to acquire a nice vacation house in NC for example.
    What would be the challenges and benefits, if any.

    Thank you in adance.

    1. Paulo! For us, we feel better investing locally so we can have more control over our rental. But I know some hosts own vacation homes and then rent them out when tehy arent using it.

      Listen our conversation with Anna who lives in Northern CA, but rents her ski condo in Colorado:

      The big issue I see if the extra costs of paying someone to manage it.

    2. Thank you Jay. You hit it on right on the head. Was trying to avoid that part of reality.
      I have a couple of outworldly opportunities. However, like you yourself mentioned in an old Scavenger Life post "if it seems to good to be true, maybe it is too good to be true".

    3. I think you live in Miami, right? I would think there would be great real estate opportunities near you if you have money to spend. This way you can have more control of the business.

    4. I need next County up, near Fort Lauderdale. Lot's of very expensive opportunities indeed 😉