Zoning & Codes

Converting a Bed and Breakfast

Logo: Bed and Breakfast for SaleConverting a bed and breakfast to cohousing will provide instant living space for early joiners and land to add clusters of tiny houses or a new wing.



How do you find a Bed and Breakfast for sale? You can drive around town and see what’s out there or you can call your friends who travel a lot. Or you can go to BedandBreakfastForSale.com and find more information than you ever dreamed of having in one place. At least information about land and buildings that often don’t need re-zoning to house multiple households.

Near Jobs

Not all Bed and Breakfasts are located out in the hills or by a lake. Many are in town—remember those big old Victorians with a million bedrooms? With suites for extended family members? The ones that are useless in the age of single-family zoning? Too expensive for one income or even two incomes to maintain. Well, they are frequently close enough to college campuses, football stadiums, or even a NASCAR racing track to be centrally located—meaning near jobs. The proprietor of a Bed and Breakfast is interested in attractions that draw people who need a bed and bath for the weekend. And an affordable cohousing community needs to be near places that have jobs. Even jobs for teens.

Excellent synchronicity!


Bed and Breakfast for Sale has all the information you need to determine if this is a possibility worth pursuing. Each listing includes:

  • Property types: B&B, Inn
  • Number: guest rooms, baths
  • Restaurant (or not)
  • Separate owner’s quarters
  • Asking price
  • Occupancy rate
  • Average daily rate
  • Map of the property location
  • Descriptive property overview

You can search by country (US, Canada, Mexico), state, number of guest rooms, and price range. The search can be disappointing since there are not hundreds of properties available. Persist but realize that a search for Mexico in the $1,000,000 range may not have anything available.

An extra bonus is a cleanly designed mortgage calculator that won’t automatically add you to the contact list of every mortgage broker in the Western World. And refuse to give you the answer you need without signing up for one of them.

And the Innsider Blog. Designed to help owners manage inns of all kinds but it is also useful for information about larger-scale real estate than most of us are familiar with. Bed and Breakfast for Sale has been in business for 20 years. A lot of information and experience there.

And you can also register to keep track of your “good potential” listings and be sent notices of new listings fitting your requirements.

Buying a Bed and Breakfast to Convert to Cohousing

For example, the listing for an already sold property reads:

Own a local gem and prepare to fall in love with this beautiful romantic estate! Whether you want to operate a B&B, wedding venue, need multi-family living, or simply have room to breathe, this idyllic setting invites you in. This Rogue Valley jewel offers original ornamentation & distinctive décor, designer decorated guestrooms, 6 fireplaces, butler’s pantry, jetted and clawfoot tubs, library, and parlor. Kitchen features Vulcan range/oven, Subzero fridge, prep sink and original 1857 stove. Over 2 acres lushly landscaped with secret garden, BBQ nook, and Koi pond. Multiple outdoor seating areas.*

It has two acres of land, 7 guestrooms, 9 baths, owner’s quarters, and a fitted-out kitchen. It was listed at $1,135,000. It has a 90% occupancy rate so it has a large eat-in kitchen and/or an ample dining room. A comfortable lounging area—living room, library, television — is also standard in B&B’s. This could be perfect for the common house, at least until you add more units on those two acres.

Expensive? Yes and no. It is in move-in condition. No paying double housing costs while developing a new property. Already set up for group cooking and dining. Divided by 8, one person per bedroom would cost ~$145,000. Or these rooms could be connected to provide larger private units but they could also be kept to serve for the life of the community as living quarters for people who don’t need larger quarters.

In Maine, there are three properties listed with 6-8 rooms. One is seven rooms for $1,095,000 with an additional owner’s house in the back with 3 bedrooms. One near LL Bean and another in downtown Portland.

In these old houses, the bedrooms are often the size of a Tiny House or a converted school bus. With 7 bedrooms and 9 baths, each one has its own bath which means water is available in each room for a kitchenette.

Multiple Options

Financing could also be possible with 1 or 2 people purchasing the property to develop as cohousing and starting immediately with 7 renters. The possibilities are endless. Never underestimate the value of a property ready for immediate occupation over one that may take 3 years to pull together and build. Each property has a unique set of advantages that can be optimized, and disadvantages to be worked around.

Best to start looking and build ideas around a property that is available. There is no standard building style or size like a franchised motel and that has its advantages. It means creative use is built into the project.


If you figure out a way to find properties on Bed & Breakfasts for Sale that is less elegant, perhaps without koi ponds, 12-foot ceilings with meticulously restored anthemia medallions, and slipper-style jetted tubs, please let me know. Fixer-uppers can be money sinks but they can also just not have world-class architectural details or modern radiant floors.

Related Posts:

Converting a School Bus

Innovation & Construction

*Love it that the kitchen has both the Vulcan range and the original 1857 stove.

Categories: Zoning & Codes

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