[Editors Note: this is an old posting, but the content seems valuable, so we decided to leave it in the blog]
I’m thinking about selling my current facility and relocating one block down the street to a Victorian mansion. The mansion has been on the market for several months. When it first came on the market, the asking price was $400,000. This price has dropped to $379,000. I am reasonably certain that I could acquire it for $325,000.
My B&B was sold by the 1st innkeeper/owner to the 2nd innkeeper/owner in 2000 for $300,000 as a fully furnished turn-key operation. The 2nd owner sold the facility to me in 2004 for roughly 1/3rd LESS than what she paid for it.
She also raided the inn and absconded with most of the furnishings.
The B&B has been refurbished with antiques and our occupancy has doubled and then tripled since I became the owner. I am reasonably certain that I could sell my B&B for $325,000.
The mansion in question is an 7 bedroom house. It has beautiful wooden drawing doors and some nice wooden paneling. The foyer is quite impressive and opens to a nice sized parlor. The parlor connects to a dining room and library (that could be converted to a dining room).
The library connects to a large office and bathroom.
The dining room connects to a spacious kitchen with a family dining area.
There are 5 bedrooms on the 2nd floor and 2 bedrooms on the 3rd. Most of these bedrooms are quite spacious and should easily accomodate a queen or king sized bed.
The floors are hardwood though the current owner has covered them under some rather tacky carpets. I do not know what condition the floors are in.
Sadly – only 1 bedroom on the 2nd floor has a private bathroom. There’s a huge clawfoot tub at the end of the 2nd floor hallway with a wrap around shower but I’d hate to have anyone share a bathroom. The rooms are certainly spacious enough to accomodate bathrooms – though the conversions are bound to be expensive.
The two bedrooms on the 3rd floor also share a bathroom. One of the bedrooms could actually be a small suite and if necessary, a door could be installed and the rest of the floor could be blocked off for the innkeeper’s quarters.
The mansion could become a country inn with an attached restaurant. If I acquired this property, I’d convert the kitchen into a commercial kitchen and the family dining area would become part of the kitchen.
The dining room and library would be furnished with small 2 person tables that could be pushed together for larger parties.
The office/bathroom would be converted into two 50 sq. ft. handicapped accessible bathrooms. (I actually have to measure this area to see if the sq. footage is adequate). The restaurant code requires a minimum of two 50 sq. ft. bathrooms.
As much as I would love to have a parlor, the parlor would most likely become a dining room.
I’d initally have one bedroom with an attached bathroom for rent.
If we could relocate the toilet in the shared bathroom, a doorway could be installed in the adjoining bedroom. I’d also install a doorway on the 3rd floor to block access to my private quarters. This would give me three bedrooms to start.
I’d launch this business as a country inn with a 30 person capacity fine dining restaurant and three bedrooms with private bathrooms. (One bedroom would be a small suite). Our primary income would be derived from the restaurant operation. (I envision fine dining in elegant surroundings … something on the order of French/exotic game).
If the restaurant was successful, income from the restaurant could be used to remodel the bedrooms.
The facility would eventually become a 5 bedroom country inn. (One of the bedrooms on the 2nd floor is really too small to accomodate a bathroom).
During the late spring, summer, and early fall, the wide porch on the back could become a bistro with outdoor seating for diners.
Given the size of these bedrooms, I’d be able to sell rooms with king sized beds for at least $125 compared to the $90 I charge now.
I plan to revisit this building next week with a contractor to discuss remodeling estimates.
If I choose to pursue this venture, I will most likely offer my current business for sale either as a single family dwelling or as a turnkey business.
It wouldn’t bother me to have competition down the street since the bread and butter of my new business would actually be the restaurant as opposed to lodging accomodations.
I would be happy to hear any thoughts, suggestions, advice, or concerns regarding the conversion of a Victorian mansion into a country inn.
Inn at Elizabethville