Airbnb is a homeowners goldmine or a potential disaster : The Saturday Weekend Review #119

The Saturday Weekend Review logo- AirbnbA VACATION HOME RENTAL HAVEN


You’re probably wondering what Airbnb is unless you’ve heard of it or used the service which is growing popular world-wide.

I had never looked into what Airbnb was because the word ‘vacation’ has not been on our radar for years.

When I lived in the UK and travelled I typically would stay at a hotel so I could mingle with the locals rather than on a resort.

Now that I’ve learned about Airbnb I may have used this service back then although it wasn’t available at the time.

I’ve seen Airbnb all over the internet when other personal finance bloggers have written about the service but I never had a need….until yesterday.

Unfortunately the reason I went searching was due to a news article horror story I read where an Airbnb rental house was trashed by the renters.

There are pros and cons to this service although I don’t think this story will deter people from hosting or renting in the future.


Airbnb Hosting


If you’ve got extra space in your house you could easily become an Airbnb host. If you don’t mind having people in your home or you travel and are hardly home this may be a great option to earn spare cash.

Essentially you list your space for rent with photos, price and other listing specifics. Potential renters can search by city and request to rent your space via the Airbnb website.

How much will the Airbnb  service cost you as a host?

Airbnb will charge you a 3% service fee when you confirm a reservation. That’s not too bad since they cover eligible hosts up to 1 million dollars with their Airbnb guarantee.

In the horrifying rental case below which I am going to talk about today this guarantee has come in very handy for the homeowners. Airbnb is also available 24/7 which is great if you need support from them.

When you become a host, Airbnb has all sorts of recommendations from house safety to learning how to write the best ad to taking top-notch photos of your rental space.

Judging by some of the rental costs I’m betting many rental hosts can make a FORTUNE with this service. It certainly is lucrative but it also comes with uncertainty when you have strangers in your home.

On the plus side as a renter you can also read reviews if available under each accommodation to learn about the owner of the rental and how well others who stayed liked it. The downside for the owner is they don’t get to learn too much about the renter.

What I would suggest though is if you are renting out the home you actually live in then get rid of all personal items that you can’t replace.

I’d keep nice stuff that wouldn’t break my heart if it was broken or went missing. I certainly wouldn’t want people going through my wife’s underwear drawer.

Most of the host ads I read who rented out a home had the owners living on the lower level and the owner rented the middle or upper level. This is smart because you can pay down the mortgage or earn extra cash if the mortgage is paid while you live on the premises.

So what is Airbnb really all about for the renter?

I had to look into this more.


Airbnb Rentals


What is Airbnb for the renter?

So you want to go somewhere on holiday but you don’t want to stay in a boring hotel Airbnb is a great option that will get you out of the commercial frenzy of vacationing. If you want to live like the locals for a day, two days or even a month. Airbnb is the place to check out.

I had no idea it was such a wide-spread service with Airbnb vacation rentals in over 90+ countries. If you want to visit a country and need a vacation home to stay in Airbnb is your place to search.

I did a quick search for Airbnb Toronto and was amazed at how many people offered to rent a private room in their house, condo or apartment or the entire house.

Some of the prices range anywhere from $24 a night up to $1000’s a month depending on the area and the accommodation. If you plan to stay in a mansion be prepared to pay the big bucks for a luxury vacation home rental.

It also depends on how many people will be staying in the rental. It looks like some Airbnb hosts ask for a security deposit as well as offer cleaning services. Some started at a mere $12 an hour up to $150+ to clean the full space.

Airbnb which started in 2008 out of San Fransisco, California is a trusted community where people list their space. This is also called hosting.

Whether an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 34,000 cities and 190 countries. And with world-class customer service and a growing community of users, Airbnb is the easiest way for people to monetize their extra space and showcase it to an audience of millions

There is also an Airbnb iTunes app which makes searching easy if you live on your smartphone like half the population does. If you search the web you may even find Airbnb coupon codes which will help save you a few dollars.

As for scoring Airbnb free accommodations…I doubt you will find that unless there is a very lonely person willing to pay to have you stay with them.


An Airbnb Disaster


The reason for my interest in Airbnb yesterday was because I read an article on Yahoo about this service that simply blew me away.

What happened was this couple rented out their home via Airbnb in Calgary to 4 people who said they were going to a wedding.

It was only because of text messages from neighbours that the rental owner who was staying in town was alerted to a party bus with over 100 people that showed up at their residence. It clearly didn’t take too long for the damage to be done.

You only have to watch the walk-through video to see just how much damage was done and how disgusting the renters left this beautiful home.

According to the Yahoo article “their house is full of biohazardous material and could take months to repair.”

Damage to the Calgary home is estimated at $50,000-$75,000 by inspectors. Police called what happened in the house a “drug-induced orgy“.

I have never seen anything like this in my life. Since we are hoping to go on vacation in June or July to the UK and Spain I thought I’d read more about what Airbnb is all about even after this homeowners nightmare.

This is probably more of an isolated incident so I would take it seriously from a homeowners perspective but on the other hand this is a reputable company.

They also have up to a million dollars of insurance that will cover damages from renters like the above. Airbnb is working to sort this situation out and get this home back to the way it was.

When police catch the guy who rented the house via Airbnb they will charge him with mischief over $5,000. I really do hope he is found and they give him the maximum for doing this to a lovely homeowner who opened their home.

Would you become an Airbnb host? If you have share your story in the comments. What are your thoughts about renting a space from a host?


CBB Week At A Glance


Hey everyone! Thanks for dropping by this week again.

Thankfully the Income Tax deadline has been extended to May 5, 2015 because I haven’t finished my taxes yet. I know… bad Mr.CBB. I’ve had them in the works for weeks now but no time to finish them.

The good news is I’m done my second job for a few months which will free up some time for me and I will get our taxes done along with many other chores I’ve put aside.

I have so much work to get done around this house including finishing the bathroom renos, outside landscape lighting, deck refinishing, new fence (I’m not doing this on my own), gardening, garage door opener, planting seeds for herbs… that’s just some of the stuff.

You’ll be happy to know I finally fertilized the lawn so at least that is out-of-the-way, for now.

On the blog…

I have decided though that I will no longer blog on Monday. I just don’t have the time right now. If I do that means I have the time but if not I’m not worried at the moment. The blog is doing so well and I’m sure some of you could do with a break from me. Insert silly grin here.

The good news is Katrina will be doing some writing for CBB  this summer which I’m thrilled about. She’s been so busy with her new job I’m just happy to get her back on board with the CBB crew, we’ve missed her!

Other than that the blog was a bit wonky with my new mobile site which seems to have worked itself out. I’m still monitoring it. If you notice that the blog looks different on your cell phone it’s because I’ve had to go mobile to keep up to date with Google.

I like the new look and I hope you do too. You can toggle between mobile and desktop on your smartphone. At the bottom of each blog post there is the option. What you will see is the ability to read my blog without or having to scroll in to read.

That was my week…

How was your week?


Published This Week


Just in case you’ve missed any of my blog posts this week I will share them all below.

If you have a question that you would like to ask Mr.CBB fill out the Contact Mr.CBB form on the Home Page and send in your questions.

If you want to share a story please ensure that there is minimum 500-1000 words and details… we love details!

Mr.CBB (that’s me) will look in his mailbag weekly and pick a question to answer on the blog.

This week on Canadian Budget Binder:


Budget Brags


Submit your Deal or Brag:

Saving money while grocery shopping is essential in the CBB family and that’s why we share our grocery shops every week in The Grocery Game Challenge 2015.

What I love the most is when my fans share their amazing shops with me whether it be groceries or other deals they find at a garage sale, online or freebies!!!

If you have a brag that you want me to share email me at canadianbudgetbinder (@) [yahoo] [.ca] or fill out my contact form by Friday each week to have your brag considered for the Saturday post.

This week CBB fan Colleen shares some deals she was able to get.

Colleen deals May 2015

Hi Mr.CBB and Fans,

The photos above are the deals I was able to get this week.

None of this was from a garage sale….I have some amazing people in my life. The friend that sent the $200 blender I haven’t seen since Jr High School.

The honey is regular price $10.47 a kg and I paid $3.00 a kg with a savings of $44.82. The kitten heel flip-flops were regular$14.99 a pair where I paid 25 cents a pair on clearance with a savings of $59.26.

-Colleen K.


Making A Difference (MAD)


Note: If you are a personal finance blogger (anywhere around the world) and would like your blog to be MAD featured simply drop me an email and I’ll explain the process to you.

This is my way of giving back to the personal finance community through networking and sharing knowledge with my fans. Today I’d like to welcome Ryan!

5i Research Canada(1)

Hi there CBB and readers,

My name is Ryan Modesto from the 5i Research blog. Over at 5i Research we are providing a more niche topic coverage within the personal finance universe: Investing in Canada.

We have felt like the stock and investing category in the Canadian blogosphere is being underserved compared to the amount of content out there in the US.

We are trying to create more awareness on current events within Canada and how it is affecting the investment landscape as well as educating our readers on why things are happening and how to invest.

Saving is very important but if you are not investing, you are losing out to inflation so it is an equally important piece of the retirement puzzle.

Don’t worry, we are not trying to pitch you stocks. We are instead performing investment research on topics of interest, sometimes company specific and other times more related to a broad market and often, we are simply trying to provide our readers with the tools and knowledge to perform this research themselves.

Regular readers tend to enjoy our monthly stock filter, our bi-weekly Financial Post column, and our weekly top-five investment related readings. The best part of our blog you ask? We are truly conflict-free.

We own no Canadian stocks (ETFs excluded), so if we are writing about a company or event in Canada, you can be sure that there is no ‘back-room dealings’ that are going on where we would benefit from talking about a specific topic.


Top Recipe


Salted Oreo Icebox Cake(1)Food  and grocery shopping is a BIG part of CBB because food is a large part of the budget which people struggle the most with.

If you are someone who would rather buy convenience meals or products consider cooking homemade meals or baking from scratch.

Not only will you save money but you will be proud of what you accomplished and you’ll see that from the smiles on those you feed.

If you don’t already know I have a second Facebook page called The Free Recipe Depot where I share recipes from other Food Bloggers from around the world.

I created this second Facebook page because I love food so much and I wanted to showcase only food 24/7 and this is where I do it.

I also share recipes on CBB once a week on Sundays either made by me or my in-house home blog cook Nicola Don!

This week our Top Recipe Pick goes to Jocelyn over at Inside Bru Crew Life where she shares this amazing Salted Caramel Oreo Icebox Cake.

Now if you have never had an icebox cake before might I suggest trying this recipe because it not only looks delicious but I’ve had many and they are so good.


Editor’s Pick


Every week I will pick a blog post of the week from around the web that I found interesting and want to share with you and an Editor’s top blog post pick.

Editor’s blog post this week goes to Squawkfox Blogger Kerry K. Taylor who also writes over at The Globe an Mail shares the inside scoop on House Hunting in Toronto.

If you thought a million dollars was lots of money to spend on a house just want until you see what it will buy you in T.O. Not much.


Google search terms


Every week I get thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog. Keep in mind any spelling errors below are because I share with you the exact way they typed their search engine query to land on my blog.

  • Is cooking for your woman sexy– My wife doesn’t seem to mind it.
  • Friend cashed 3 GST cheques that wasn’t hers– Well I hope it was worth it when she gets caught.
  • Should people still be stocking up on food and water just in case something happens in 2015– What? Did I miss a news flash?
  • If I forgot to pay at a store should I go back?– It’s on your conscious but you should.
  • Dumpsters full of good stuff- Oh, I bet it’s hard to walk away from that.

Thanks for reading The Saturday Weekend Review and Welcome to 2015 on Canadian Budget Binder!!


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  1. We have stayed all over the world thorugh airbnb and just love it. This summer, we are taking our vacation home and renting it through airbnb. I have a sell out summer and will gross over $17k if all goes well. Anytime you rent your home, have boarders etc, you need to be prepared for what could happen.
    I work in the industry, and have had several rental properties as well with traditional arrangements. I have seen the horrible messes left, and damages caused by irresponsible humans on both sides…owners and renters. Expect the best but prepare for the worst. We have met wonderful hosts everywhere we have stayed and many of our tenants are still in contact long after they have moved on. I have to believe most people are good, even in the face of the bad stuff you hear everyday. Airbnb can be a wonderful experience too!

    1. Hi,
      That’s what I was saying in the post. My parents own rentals in the UK as well and have had minimal damage although my wife’s parents used to own properties and they’ve seen it all. One spare room was used as a place for the dogs to do number 2 in because they were too lazy to walk them. It was pretty disgusting she said. I think every business has bad customers so we have to look at all the good that has come from Airbnb and go with it. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  2. The Airbnb house that got trashed is about 10 minutes away from my house. The police were there for days after. I feel bad for the homeowners, and I don’t think I would ever rent my place out for a couple hundred dollars given the risks involved

    1. WOW pretty close to home for you then. It’s amazing how some people turn out in life. It makes you wonder just where they went wrong and why.

  3. It’s for reasons like that video above (among others) that I would never rent out my house (or a room in my house) to strangers. I think most people renting on Airbnb are decent people (I rent on Airbnb, and I don’t destroy things!) but it just takes one insane posse of people to destroy your home… and, probably like most people, I don’t have 50k floating around to fix a completely destroyed house!

  4. I’ve seen a few stories where Airbnb rentals went bad. I guess the good thing is that Airbnb has insurance and supports the homeowner? Unfortunately I’ve also seen that some owners will only rent to people with positive feedback, which makes it difficult for new people to try Airbnb.

  5. I grew up in Stratford, home of the Shakespeare Festival and I worked with a woman that rented out rooms in her home to patrons of the festival. I remember her telling me all the hoops they had to jump through to be cleared to rent the rooms and all the stuff they were expected to do for the people that were there to see shows at the Festival or Avon Theaters.It would be similar to this but the home owners acted as hosts to the people using the home as a Bed and Breakfast. She never had any problems beyond the work load that I heard about. Wow… This is so far over the top what these people did to this house…… Clearly they rented the place with the intention of partying and didn’t care. I, too, hope they find the guy and throw the book at him.
    It will be nice to see Katrina back here again and I look forward to her posts!! Her boyfriend lives here so I have run into her around town a few times and she looks great!! Usually it’s the grocery store but once we saw each other at the Home Hardware.
    Colleen got some great deals!!! I read Kerry’s column the other day and it was a good read. Love her sense of humour!!
    That recipe looks so good!! Hope you have a great weekend!!

    1. Yes, We are thrilled to have Katrina writing a bit this summer. Oh I didn’t know you had met Katrina before. One of these days I should get around to meeting her and Jen… 😛 One day.
      Yes Kerry has a great sense of humour hence her large following. She says what’s on her mind and that’s it. That’s the way it should be. Thanks for popping around and oh if you make that icebox cake you will love it. We use icecream sandwiches as a layer in ours.

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