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Check Out Erica Magdalein’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erica Magdalein.

Hi Erica, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I own a modest three-bedroom home in Arlington. I bought the home 8 years ago because I fell in love with the waterfront backyard and nearly acre of land it sits on. It’s an urban home that feels like you have stepped into a rural retreat.

The house has a large garage that was never fully utilized since I’m a minimalist. It was a lot of space sitting empty with the constant temptation to fill it with stuff/junk that I didn’t need. After some thought, I decided the best use of the space was to expand the house and make extra income.

Last summer, I did a garage build-out on half of it. It’s a cozy 400 sq modern minimalist loft space. One bedroom with a kitchen, living room, and bathroom. I decided to list it on Airbnb to recoup the cost of the build-out. It did so well that I’m still renting it out almost a year later!

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The hardest part was overcoming my all of doubts and fears about renting out a portion of my house. The apartment has its own private entrance and space but inviting strangers into my personal oasis was scary.

The only shared space is the yard. What type of people would they be? Would they respect me and my property? I’m not the type of person to let fear stop me for long so after pondering and finding an Airbnb mentor.

I closed my eyes and jumped! I closed my eyes and listed! I have never regretted it. Everyone has been accommodating and respectful and I’ve even gotten to know some of the guests quite well.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Thank you! I’m known for being a kick-ass homeschool mom who also has an Airbnb side hustle. As a single mom, this is my main source of income that allows me to work from home and set my own hours.

It’s fun and rewarding, plus, I can involve my kids. They recently designed and created their own postcards that they allow the guests to purchase and we post them for you. Part of the proceeds goes to the JACKSONVILLE Humane Society.

What are your plans for the future?
I am currently building a kitchen addition that will be Florida-ish, complete with flamingo wallpaper.

It will make the place more livable and feel like a home away from home. I’m hoping to optimize the space to get more bookings plus attract long-term renters.

With the extra income, I hope to travel more. Besides scuba diving, traveling is my passion, and if I can incorporate the two… even better!


  • The room lists for $125/night.

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