Bed and breakfasts saw business decline tremendously during the coronavirus pandemic, and as they continue to struggle in the stop-start post-pandemic world, some buyers are taking advantage.
Individuals are increasingly snapping up spacious B&Bs and transforming them into large single-family homes, according to the Wall Street Journal. The demand is being driven by a shortage of homes for sale, combined with a desire for more space at home.
The report notes that B&B revenue fell to around $1.3 billion in 2020, down 43.7% from the year before, according to data from IBISWorld. The number of existing B&Bs in the U.S. also dropped by 1,400 to a total of 7,340.
Former B&B owners Rick and Suzanne Weichert told the Journal they bought the 4,800 square foot Jabberwock Inn in Monterey, California, for $2.38 million back in 2014. Business was good for many years, they said, only to collapse as the COVID-19 pandemic emerged last year. Four months after the start of the pandemic, the Weicherts shut up their inn for good. Now, they’re listing the property for sale as a single-family home with a $4.95 million price tag. The couple believes they may be able to attract buyers from the San Francisco Bay Area, where people have been looking to relocate thanks to their ability to work remotely.
“It was an insanely difficult year,” Suzanne Weichert told Journal about the decision to sell.
Another former B&B owner, Dave Elliott, who co-owns two properties called Taylor House B&B in Jamaica Plain in Boston, told the Journal that his business was barely profitable even before the pandemic. The B&B features 11 guest suites in two adjacent properties.
Elliott said he closed the inn after 24 years and has now listed the properties for sale with a combined $3.35 million price tag.
“They’re worth more money on the open market as a residence than as a business because they have pools and dock access,” said Paul Leys of Gustave White Sotheby’s International Realty, who has been tasked with selling the properties.