Business at the R Bar in Los Angeles, which Arnold co-owns, sank during the 2008 financial crisis and is still far below its peak. That coincided with a huge jump in her mortgage payments.
Arnold took a variety of part-time jobs, eventually stringing together waitress stints and other gigs that stretched from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.
“I was working all the time,” Arnold says. “You can only put your head down and deny that you’re tired for so long.”
That changed when a friend told her about Airbnb a year ago. Arnold already had a long-term renter occupying her main house, and then started renting out the bedroom of the back guest cottage for less than $100 a night.
“This is a cute little woodsy bungalow in the hills of L.A., not the Beverly Hills Hotel,” Arnold wrote on Airbnb. “If you want clean lines and perfect cleanliness, this is not the place.”
Arnold concedes it’s “strange to rent part of your own house out.” But, she adds, “if you can wrap your head around it, it can literally save your home or feed your children.”
©2013 Los Angeles Times
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