Considering using Airbnb Instead of Renting an Apartment?

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Are you considering using Airbnb instead of renting? Big mistake. I'll share why the figures don't add up. I'll also go over how Airbnb is a great way to make money as a host, but not good on the wallet when considering it over traditional renting.

Since you’re here, you’re probably looking for ways to save money. And I get it — rent is probably your number 1 expense. There is no way around it, right?

Somehow you’re wondering if you can save money by using Airbnb instead of the traditional way of living such as renting an apartment or living space.

Let’s talk about it. Here are three reasons why it isn’t a good idea.

It’s Not Practical

For argument’s sake, if it really was a good money-saving hack — let’s figure out the facts.

For starters, most Airbnb do not allow for a long extended stay. If you had to move every two weeks, you must be able to travel light. I know most people would require a moving truck to move from place to place.

Moving every 2-3 weeks is not practical. It would have serious implications for your living stability, and probably have an inverse impact on your relationships and work.

But, if it saves you money… that’s all that matters?

Wrong. It doesn’t save you money…

It’s Not cheaper, Let’s Talk Figures

In my city of Arlington, VA, if I wanted to find the cheapest one-bedroom apartment in a decent area then I would be paying around $1,500 without utilities per month. So a one year lease for only rent would be $18,000, for example.

Let’s say I wanted to circumvent that and rent an Airbnb for the year to gain the system

airbnb instead of renting

The average cost per night is $111. Let’s say you hit a home run and find one for $80 that allows for an extended stay of 1 month. That’s $2,400 a month! 

So it’s actually $900 more expensive to stay at an Airbnb than renting a cheap apartment, at least in my area of Arlington, VA.

Keep in mind, mind you would still only be able to stay for a month or so, then you would have to find a new Airbnb. One that will allow you to stay for an extended period, and is cheap. This idea isn’t working out so well. You’re not saving anything, in fact, you’re spending more money and you are sacrificing your own privacy and stress levels.

The Airbnb Host Would Benefit Most

Finding an affordable living space in your city is key. The only winner in this idea would be the Airbnb host. Did you know how easy it is for them to list their spare space?

Becoming an Airbnb host allows you to earn extra income by converting your place into a guest room.

Travelers and regular backpackers alike can stay in your place for days, while you charge them accordingly. It’s like running your own mini hotel – and it is a great way to not just earn extra cash, but to gain newfound friends and connections as well.

How to Become an Airbnb Host?

First things first: head to airbnb.com and select signup option in the top right corner of the homepage. You’ll be directed to a form prompting you to fill in the most general criteria of your place.

airbnb hosting guide
Click here to get started for free!

Once you create your account or log in, you will be prompted through a series of basic questions such as:

Step 1: Basic Questions

  • Kind of place you have
  • How many guests your place can accommodate
  • How many beds/bathrooms
  • Location of your place
  • Amenities offered

Step 2: Set The Scene

  • Post Photos, short description, title

Step 3: Get Ready For Guests

  • Booking settings, calendar, price

That’s it.

The Bottom Line

Knowing all of this would make me want to become an Airbnb host instead of trying to find an affordable space.

This idea would be a good and lucrative one if you’re the host and not the renter.

But I know, it’s tough out there.

That’s why I have some resources for those who want to get rid of debt, make extra money, and start saving more money today.

Feel free to leave any comments if you have any questions! Good luck.

About the author

Brian Meiggs
Brian Meiggs is a personal finance expert, and the founder of My Millennial Guide, a personal finance site helping you put more money in your pocket. He helps millennials follow the smart money in order to increase their earning potential and start building wealth for the future. He regularly writes about side hustles, investing, and general personal finance topics aimed to help anyone earn more, pay off debt, and reach financial freedom. He has been quoted as a top personal finance blogger in major publications including Yahoo! Finance, NASDAQ, Discover, MSN Money and more.
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2 COMMENTS

  1. This is a poorly researched article and is simply inaccurate. There are many Airbnb hosts who specialize in long term rentals. I just finished a 105 day stay. I got a 51% discount through the app. A 1 bedroom apartment in this area is around $950 plus all utilities, cable, and wifi. My Airbnb was $1005 per month, all fees and taxes included. It saved me money, kept me from having to cough up a deposit, and kept me from having to sign a long term lease. If you play your cards right, you can do Airbnb until you are ready to buy a place with little to no downside.

  2. This is horribly inaccurate. I travel for a living and AirBnBs are a big part of where I stay on the road. Way cheaper than renting or buying by far. Not sure why you think it would be standard rates for months at a time but that’s way off.

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