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Friday, July 18, 2014

Short Term Apartment Rental Costs vs Long Term


TIME TO RANT!!!   (UH OH)

Those of us who provide SHORT term (ie; a week, 2 weeks, a month) rental housing to vacationers/travelers occasionally get flack from those who think we're overcharging.  They accuse us of gouging.  The problem is, they think we should charge no more than a long term rental!!!  Think again.  Read the following and tell me you still think this.  When I set up my short-term rentals (I have 5 now), I have a purchase list of over 200 items to outfit the apartment which has averaged about $6,000 per unit.  Then, there's on-going costs.  It would take me 1 year to recoup my costs at $500 a month rent!


I've had people complain about paying $30 - $50 a night. One person replied stating he was hoping for an "Ecuador price".  It is!!  I realize some people think they can get things here for pennies, but a basic hotel room with bath will cost $30 a night (for 1 person).  Long-term rentals are a completely different animal price-model-wise.  Short term rentals (ie; 2 weeks, a month) are almost the same price model as a hotel. That's because of things such as:

 
-  Arrival pickup (at bus station, van service, airport, etc)
-  Dates/gaps where the unit is empty
-  All large appliances provided (cooktop/oven, refrigerator, microwave)
-  Small appliances provided (toaster, coffeemaker, blender, toaster/oven, hot water kettle, hair dryers, iron/ironing board, etc)
-  Furniture (living room, dining room, bedroom, lamps)
-  Laundry (some provide a washer and dryer, some provide laundry service)
-  In cases where w/d are provided….soap, bleach, softener, stain remover
-  Bedding (sheets/blankets/pillows which have to be replaced regularly) Plus extra sets
      -  I’ve had two separate guests ruin $70 Costco sheets
-  Towels (which have to be replaced regularly), plus extra sets (again, a guest who was a bleach-aholic ruined some towels).
-  Cooking oil, spices, coffee, salt/pepper, Splenda, sugar, tea, honey, baggies, foil, mustard/mayo/catsup, etc etc
-  Dishes, glasses, coffee cups, bowls, silverware, dishwashing rack, and storage containers
-  Cooking utensils, baking sheets, cheese grater, can opener, wine opener, whisks, spatulas, knives, cutting board, etc etc
-  Pots/pans/skillets (which need to be replaced regularly)
-  Paper towels/Toilet paper
-  Soap (bath, hand, dish)
-  Wastebaskets
-  Entertainment (TV, DVD player, etc)
-  Cable/Dish service
-  DVD library
-  Wear and tear on all of the above
-  Decorations (wall art, plants, knickknacks, flower vases, candles, etc)
-  Clocks (wall and bedside alarm)
-  Curtains/blinds (windows/shower)
-  Repairs/maintenance (paint, light bulbs, clogged drains)
-  Some provide local cell phones for their guests to use (like me)
-  Brochures, maps, information (where to go, what to see, restaurants, tours, etc)
-  Pens, pencils, notepads, guest keys
-  Cost of website that hosts the listing
-  Booking/reservation fees
-  Internet included
-  Gas included
-  Water included
-  Electricity included
-  Managing inquiries, booking requests, payments, deposits, cancellations
-  Time giving advice, communications, time/costs related to travel
-  Cleaning supplies, vacuum cleaner, garbage bags, mop, broom, toilet brush, toilet plunger
-  Cleaning in-between guests
-  Mortgage, or in some cases rent (ie; sublet)
…and the risk of our business being damaged by a negative review(s)….many of which are unfounded or unrealistic expectations are that of a Ritz Carlton.
 
These are just some of the examples of why the cost of short-term rentals are more aligned with pricing of a hotel room. . ..albeit it ends up being cheaper than a hotel (with an apt having more square footage and amenities than a hotel) because you don't have to eat out for every meal.
 
Yes, long-term rentals are more along the line of $400 - $500 a month depending on size and location.  But, obviously, that's because they are LONNNNNG term (ie; a lease), guaranteed income, and don't provide (or involve) the vast majority of the services, amenities, or products listed above, or incur the operational costs.
 
After all this, if you still think we're overcharging, then pick a city (any city) in the world on websites like AirBnb, FlipKey, TripAdvisor, and/or VRBO and take a gander at their short term rates (for whole apt...not shared rooms in a house).  In some cities where hotels are in the $200 - $300 range per night (let's say...Seattle), short term rentals are easily over $100.   I recently paid $100 a night for a Motel 6 in the outskirts of Miami!!  MOTEL 6!!!!    Now, do a search for Cuenca (Ecuador... not Spain) and you'll easily see all of the competing properties here.  We're pretty much all in line with each other as it relates to cost versus what is offered.
 
It's your choice.  $30-$50 a night for a hotel room and eat out for every meal, or a fully outfitted apartment where you need nothing more than put food in the fridge.
 
So, build a bridge and get over yourselves and cut us some slack!
 
I rest my case, no further questions Your Honor!!!
 
 Dano

The following photos have absolutely NOTHING to do with the subject matter of this post.  I just need to get rid of them...they're piling up in my pending file!!!


A church I've never been able to get into.  But, this day it was opened, so I pulled over, grabbed my camera, and entered.



Chip (left) and Marcelo (right)

My wittle girl....Gracie.

Candied apples (duh) and chocolate dipped strawberries on a stick.







I live at the foot of them thar hills.

A typical treatment of the skylights above a colonial courtyard.

Really Gracie???
TWICE in one blog??
Just gotta show off your (1 of 3) squeekers??
 Ok...you have 3 seconds.  1-2-3
Now, GET OUTA MY BLOG!!!



And now a word from our Sponsor....ME!!!!!

Need a place to stay while you visit Cuenca but want more space and be able to cook (not eat out for every meal)?   Moving here but need temporary digs while you find your 'permanent' home, but prefer not to be stuck in a hotel?

Check out my two NEW short-term rentals below (at a cost equal to or less than a Motel 6!!!):

http://www.flipkey.com/cuenca-condo-rentals/p774200/

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/3167329?s=WMyi

or....

My two short-term rentals I've had for narly 2 years!

http://www.flipkey.com/cuenca-condo-rentals/p448025/

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/720684

 



Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Shindig on the 5th of July

OMG....he's alive!   And, writing a blog!!   We thought he decided to stop writing!!!   Were you in rehab?  Ecuadorian prison?  Fell in love and couldn't think of anything else?

Yes, I'm still alive. 

No, I haven't decided to stop blogging. 

Yes, I should be in rehab.

Prison?  No, not yet.

Love?  BWWWAAAAHHAAAHHHAAAAA!!!!!    Ohhhhh....that hurt, but felt good to laugh!!!!

I've just been freakingly busy for the past several months.   I took on two more short-term rentals that kinda fell in my lap (more on that in a future blog) and I had to get them outfitted with everything from spoons to TP to furniture to towels to toaster to soap...you name it...times two.   And, painted.  Then, I went on a whirlwind trip to the US of A to see family and attend the wedding of one of my best friends.....B&C.

Once back, I learned of a THIRD apt in the same building that was vacated (for stupid reasons...more on that later, too) and the building owner wanted me to take that one as well.   But, it needs a LOT more work to bring it up to speed cosmetic-wise.  All new paint, floors leveled, tiles on the balcony, new flooring put down in the living area, hardwoods sanded and restained in the foyer, appliances and everything that was on my must-purchase list (nearly 200 items) to get it outfitted.  That's what I'm in the middle of right now.

So...BITE ME for not writing earlier.    Ahem...cough....cough.

Onward and upward.

Last weekend, I attended yet another fundraiser shepherded by expats who formed an organization called "Hearts of Gold Foundation".   See http://heartsofgoldfoundation.org/

Their vision statement says "Empowering communities in Ecuador to break the cycle of poverty and improve the health, education and welfare of children, youths and the elderly."

This particular event had a bit of 'good ol Ah-marh-e-can 4th of July hoedown slash BBQ' theme to it.   Unbeknownst to many, there's a phenomenal property slash resort just a smidgin outside central Cuenca, in the area near Banos, Cuenca.  It's hidden, tucked away, and shy to boast of itself.   Off the main road, a dirt road winds down into a small valley where, lo-n-behold lies this Oasis of Eden.

http://www.caballocampana.com/

Charming Spanish Colonial meets Santa Fe architecture on rolling, green, manicured (to a hilt) landscape.  Hibiscus, Cana, Calla Lillies, and (what I call) firecracker plants are everywhere.  Meandering brick walkways, vine-covered archways, brooks, a soccer field, children's playground, horse exhibition arena, and horse stables fill out the rest of the property.  And, there's the 'barn'.   Not exactly what I had envisioned when they said the event would be primarily hosted in the 'barn'.

Cost:  $25

School busses picked up folks who didn't have transport (the 'carless') in town and brought them to the site.  Folks who had cars had plenty of parking available.  The night included a large arts/crafts table for the kids to engross themselves, a magician who performed for the kid-lettes, live performance by a singer/vocalist, dinner of hamburger, hotdogs, and/or bbq pork, dessert, dancing (some to rock-n-roll, some to country with line dancing or two-step) and, of course, cocktails (separate cost).   They also had a 50/50 drawing where the winner would receive 50% of the proceeds of the 50/50 ticket sales.

I tried to count the number of tables and seats set up in the 'barn' and estimated it accommodated 500.  About 400 people attended.   And, I would say that the 'barn' was approximately 4,000 sqft plus (100 long by 40 wide).  It was BIG.

Enuf said.  I'm gonna let the photos do the rest of the 'splainin'.
The 'scoo' busses

Looking back across the property from the parking lot.






'The Barn'.   Not exactly what I am used to envisioning.

 
 
 

Folks beginning to arrive.



The soccer (Futbol) field.



The bar.






The restaurant serving the guests of the complex.


Awww...ain't it a romantic swing set for the lubbers?
















Looking back towards 'the barn' from the gazebo.

"Hello Wilbur, I'm Mr Ed"

View from the edge of the property across to the city of Cuenca.

More horse stall accommodations

Performance arena....ummm....for the HORSES!!!







Far works to end the night explosivelity








 Badaboom, Badabing.....THE END


Dano



 
And now a word from our Sponsor....ME!!!!!

Need a place to stay while you visit Cuenca but want more space and be able to cook (not eat out for every meal)?   Moving here but need temporary digs while you find your 'permanent' home, but prefer not to be stuck in a hotel?

Check out my two NEW short-term rentals below (at a cost equal to or less than a Motel 6!!!):

http://www.flipkey.com/cuenca-condo-rentals/p774200/

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/3167329?s=WMyi

or....

My two short-term rentals I've had for narly 2 years!

http://www.flipkey.com/cuenca-condo-rentals/p448025/

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/720684

About Me

My photo
Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador
This is all about my transition from an American lifestyle and culture to my newest adventure, life in Cuenca and greater Ecuador. I'll be recapping some of my day-to-day experiences (and mishaps) to highlight what it's like to live here.

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