Take a look inside Tennessee’s most popular Airbnb
I thought my days of staying somewhere other than a nice hotel were long behind me, but a recent experience in Nashville changed my mind.
In December, my partner realized that we had three Delta companion tickets to use before the end of January 2023. We certainly didn’t want to waste them, so we booked last minute weekends in Nashville, San Francisco and Chicago.
To make our trip to Nashville more special, I decided to look for an alternative experience and that’s how I found the Tiny house in Nashville.
It was about a 10 minute drive from downtown Nashville and seemed like the perfect place for my partner and I to have some quality time together.
When we arrived it became quite clear why the rental was named the most popular Airbnb in Tennessee in 2019.
After Rebecca, 33, and Jonathan Moody, 34, bought their home in 2012, they wanted a way to comfortably accommodate friends and family without them staying in the main house.
The couple told CNBC Make It that they originally thought about converting their basement into a guest suite, but didn’t want guests to be too close to the craziness of their daily lives. They are parents of three children under the age of 10.
That’s when Moody’s set its sights on a Canadian construction company summer woodwhich specializes in small cabanas, pool cabanas and cabanas.
“It’s a way for us to be able to accommodate people comfortably, but not in our very noisy house,” says Rebecca. “Instead of leaving it vacant when we don’t have friends and family visiting, renting it out on Airbnb made sense.”
The 300 square foot tiny house is located in Moody’s back yard. It features a kitchenette, raised queen bed, full bathroom with clawfoot tub, extendable daybed, projector with Roku, air conditioner, heater , a fan and three skylights.
The couple say the tiny house can comfortably sleep up to four people.
The Moody’s spent 11 months and about $40,000 to run the tiny house. They did most of the work themselves, but hired experts to handle things like plumbing, sewer, and drywall.
For the interior of the tiny house, the couple used reclaimed wood, repurposed vintage cabinetry, and drew inspiration from their backyard, a certified wildlife habitat, for a nature-inspired decor.
“We like to say it’s a guesthouse set in our woodland-inspired gardens in the heart of Nashville,” says Jonathan.
“We tried to design it as a space where the outside draws you in and the inside draws you in,” adds Rebecca. “There’s a good mix of different textures that draw the eye to different places and make the space feel bigger. I like to say it’s a mix of new and old vintage.”
The Moody’s rent the tiny house for between $80 and $250 a night. They estimate it costs around $500 per month to operate, and renting it on Airbnb brings in $5,000 to $7,000 per month.
This extra income enabled them to quit their full-time jobs as teachers.
Now Rebecca spends her free time writing a book while Jonathan pursues his dream of becoming a musician.
“We are able to devote our time and energy to doing the things that we love and that fulfill us,” says Jonathan.
“My favorite part is the accommodation aspect. We’ve had guests who got engaged in the tiny house and others who got pregnant and are now coming back with their children. We can watch time go by through the stories of our guests, and I love that people come in and use it as a retreat,” adds Rebecca.
In the six years the Moody’s have had the tiny house, they say the experience has been overwhelmingly positive. It even inspired them to start decorating their main house to mimic the rental space.
“The sense of calm I get when I’m in this space is palpable, so in our own home we slowly worked to make it feel more like the tiny house,” Rebecca says.
Besides wanting to try something different, my partner and I wanted to make our trip to Nashville a budget trip, so we turned to Airbnb which offered deals that were significantly cheaper than hotels in the area.
We were in the Tennessee town for three days, so we stayed two nights in a centrally located one bedroom apartment and one night in Moody’s Tiny House.
The apartment was spacious, had everything we needed, and was within walking distance of Broadway, a main street in downtown Nashville. But the little house made our trip something we will never forget.
Because we were forced to be together in a small room, my partner and I were able to relax and reconnect. The space was big enough that we didn’t feel cramped, but small enough to remind us that we were having an alternative experience.
I was initially wary of skylights as I like to sleep in total darkness, but it was actually quite amazing to wake up in the morning and see the sunrise.
And even though we were so close to downtown Nashville, the house was pretty secluded. It felt like we were truly in the middle of nowhere which was a welcome change.
After our night in the little house, we decided that for future tips we will explore other unique places to stay.