A beautiful Airbnb home in front of an orange sunset. Airbnb is the ultimate house hack.
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Airbnb – The Ultimate House Hack

House hacking is a term for decreasing your housing expense by renting out part of the property where you live. One way to house hack is to buy a duplex, live in one half and rent the other. Another method is to rent a bedroom to a long-term tenant.

These methods are extremely popular, but if you’re looking to house hack, I recommend trying Airbnb first.

If you find this article helpful and decide to try hosting on Airbnb, please show your support and use the following link to start your listing. Thank you! – Become a Host

Airbnb is the ULTIMATE house hack. Why?

Easy to get Started

Think the process to start utilizing Airbnb is complicated? Think again! You can list your Airbnb Rental by simply creating an account, filling out a few simple forms about your living space and location, uploading photos, and providing an accurate description of your room. During this process, you’ll also choose pricing options along with availability.

FI didn’t set a timer as we listed our room for rent, but I believe it took about an hour. I was shocked at the simplicity.

A clean white Airbnb bedroom with a plant and coffee on a nightstand.

Easy to Stop

For those of you considering Airbnb, this should actually be the biggest selling point. As I said in the last step, you can get signed up to host very quickly. You can also pause or stop your Airbnb listing in seconds with the click of a button. In my opinion, this is where Airbnb crushes renting a room to a stranger for the first time.

If you try Airbnb and decide that you don’t like having someone living with you, you’re able to turn it off right away. If you have a tenant on a year-long lease, you’ll have to either suck it up for a year or go through a difficult process to remove the tenant, that may even include paying them to leave. Even if you would prefer a long-term tenant, it may be wise to use Airbnb first to ensure you’re comfortable living with someone.

High Earnings

In many cases, Airbnb earns more money than renting a room long-term. One easy way to understand this is to think of a 12 pack of soda. If you buy one can, you’ll likely pay around $.50. If you buy a 12 pack, you’ll pay around $3.00, which is equal to $0.25 per can. While you may not double your earnings, you can certainly earn more money by renting by the night rather than by the month.

It’s also important to understand that even if you only book 15 nights per month and earn less than you would with a long-term tenant, there is a value to having no one living in your house for half of the month. Would you rather have $1,000 per month with someone there every single day or $800 and have someone living with you for 15 days? Either answer would be acceptable here, but many people would enjoy having the 15 days of privacy.

Flexibility

You may think this was covered in the “Easy to Get Started” and “Easy to Stop” section, but there’s more to it. On Airbnb you can block specific dates on your calendar. Do you want to be sure that your in-laws can stay with you when they come to town? Block it off on the Airbnb calendar. Want to make sure your in-laws can’t stay with you when they come to town? Book it!

Seriously, with Airbnb you can enjoy the holidays with your family and go back to house hacking whenever you’re ready.

Access to Living Space Between Guest Stays

Would you wonder what it’s like to not see the inside of one of your bedrooms for a year or more with a long-term tenant? With Airbnb that’s not a problem. You will at least have access to the room for a few hours after one guest leaves and before another arrives. Not enough? Block one day between each tenant to give yourself ample time to vacuum, dust, and change the sheets (this is what Gina and I do).

Reviews Reviews Reviews

How nice would it be if you knew your tenant had stayed rented 10 different properties over the past few years and all of the landlords gave him/her raving reviews? How bout being able to decline a tenant because their landlords gave them negative feedback? This is possible with Airbnb (also possible with long-term tenants, but you may receive less feedback). You have the option to decline or cancel when someone books your room (one or the other, depending on your settings).

If you allow guests to book your room instantly, you are able to cancel for any reason without negative consequences. If you require your approval in advance for each guest, you have the option to decline anyone. This is a fantastic feature as you can look over each guest’s reviews and decide whether or not you want to allow them into your home.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a way to cut back on your expenses or increase your income, look no further. Airbnb is the ULTIMATE house hack or side hustle. I’m convinced that Airbnb is one of the most passive methods for boosting your timeline for Financial Independence.

Become an Airbnb Host
Become an Airbnb Guest

PS: If you haven’t already, check Four Walls out on Instagram @FourWallsofFIRE and become an email subscriber on the right (if on computer) or at the bottom (on cell phones)


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