If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
Please enter your email and we will send your username and password to you.
Owners Lee and Lena McCarthy recently opened Little Nashville VRBO (vacation rental by owner) at 8621 Pudges Road. It is a two-bedroom house with a queen bed in each bedroom and a full bathroom. Lena said she wanted to call it Little Grace of Nashville, but threw this out there so fast because it was so late in the season.
Lena said the intention is that this is something that is used by the community and they want to keep fair prices. She said they did this because the community and the people they talked to wanted this as part of Nashville.
“We are trying to be a part of the town and do things to improve the community. We want it to be more where your son is coming to town to visit mom,” she said. “We’re not trying to make rich off of this. We’re trying to do something for the community.”
Lena said they’re keeping the prices where they are so it’s affordable because they want the community to be able to use it. She said she does not want to increase prices, but if she does not get bookings, she has to.
“The prices are affordable. I’m trying to keep it like $110 on the weekends and like $90-$99 during the week. We run it through Airbnb and VRBO. I had a few people message me and that way I can not necessarily have all the extra fees and charges the two sites charge,” she said.
There is a Facebook page called Little Nashville VRBO for the business. Lena said on Facebook, she had over 300 shares the day she put it out there and she has been trying to tag local events to the Facebook page.
“Ideally I’d like to have a website. I’m not sure. That might be more towards the end of the year,” she said.
Lena said she is trying to keep the business local and by word of mouth, though they are not opposed to people coming from out of town to stay. She said they are open to anybody staying.
“If you’re wanting to go to the county fair and stay and have a good time, you can come down the street and stay versus going home. It’s easy to find. We’ve heard a lot of people stay in this area because they work in St. Louis. We’re open to anybody staying. Kids can stay. No pets though. We’re trying to keep the new floors new. We want to keep it nice for the next person,” she said.
Lena said it has almost been two years since they moved from New Baden and there seems to be a need from the people they’ve talked to about having something else besides the Best Western Hotel. She said there are not a lot of VRBOs around, other than one in Lebanon.
“With this, you get the whole house. It’s very quiet. We’ve used the place to have friends hang out because it’s cozy and very homey. The beds are very comfortable. We definitely try to buy the more expensive mattresses and sheets and do better. We want a good mattress and nice sheets and 15 blankets to be cozy with. The one in Lebanon has a pool and a hot tub. It’s a distance. It’s different because it is here and there’s nothing else here,” she said.
Lena said this is her venture and when they moved to Nashville, she wanted to open an Airbnb or bed and breakfast. She said she was initially looking more for the best and breakfast rather than VRBO, where it would be bringing in a lot of the local vendors and they could have things for sale in the shop or be able to come and have breakfast with their friends or play chess.
“We didn’t really find the right house and we didn’t really know if the bed and breakfast would be the best for the area. So this is dipping our toe in to see if there’s enough need for it,” she said.
Lena said the property has all the amenities for a short or long stay with a full functioning kitchen, soaking tub and fireplace. She said they’ve offered it up as a fully-furnished rental where people could rent it out full if they wanted to for a month at a time.
“If people are buying or selling their home and need to transition, this would be a great option. We’ve got the gravel where they can pull a trailer in or something like that. We’ve got motion sensor lights and security cameras, so we can see who is pulling in. It’s not technically handicap accessible because there are stairs in the front of the home, but if they’re able to accommodate that, then there are no other stairs in the house,” she said.
Lena said they closed on the home in October. She said it took two months to do what they needed to do because Lee was also working on another house at the time and they finished the week after Christmas with the remodel.
The house needed quite a bit of work. We took about two months to redo pretty much everything in the house to make it comfy and cozy for people to stay. The fireplace didn’t exist. There was nothing there. He built the fireplace and all new flooring. The kitchen has been completely redone. The bathroom was gutted and redone. We painted the bedrooms. There are all new light fixtures throughout the whole house. He moved the porch. The steps were on a concrete base. He redid the porch, so you’re coming in more from the front. Nobody was going to stay here the way it looked, so he had a list of things to correct,” she said.
Lena said her husband is very handy when it comes to remodeling and rehab and they have big goals down the road to do a hut tub and more of a garden and sitting area with a fire pit off the side.
“It’s almost a half an acre. We have plans and just need it to stop being so cold and one project at a time,” she said.
Lena said as February 1, they had one group stay at Little Nashville VRBO. She said they were coming from Texas and passing through. She said they stayed one night and gave a great review.
“We have a few bookings further along in the year. I’d definitely love to see a lot more bookings happening. We already have a lot of November and December booked out. This is definitely a slower season. We’re hoping to pick up for Easter and summer travel with sports or family vacations,” she said.
Lena said she and her husband also run the LLMH Properties business. February 4 is their four year anniversary with LLMH. She said they bought a house the first week of February and they started the business and did really well with the first house.
“We sold the first house and bought two houses and sold another one and rented one out. That’s what he’s been doing ever since. We bought this and we bought another property in town to be a rental, but it’s a whole project as well,” she said.
Lena said her husband’s primary job is LLMH Properties. She said before LLMH Properties, her husband was a pharmaceutical rep.
“We bought our first property and two weeks later, he was let go because of COVID,” she said.
Lena has four jobs. She is a real estate agent with Axis Agency. She works at a bank in Trenton. She manages the VRBO and cleans it and does all of the tenant things with the LLMH rental properties, she said.
“We have rental properties so we understand that aspect of things, but the VRBO in and out is very different. With rentals, they’re in and you don’t have to worry about them for a while. When we travel, we stay at VRBOs and AirBNBs. We’re more about small community helping the small business owner. We’ve stayed at places like this before, but being that we’re in the properties arena and I’m in real estate, this is something that has always interested us,” she said.