Homestead cabins have become a cottage industry in the desert
By Hugo Martin
LA Times. Sep. 9, 2016
Anne Krieghoff thought her husband, Darryl, was out of his mind in 1991 when he suggested they buy a tiny, ramshackle homestead cabin in the Yucca Valley.
Like hundreds of other tiny desert shacks, the 660-square-foot house was the product of a 1930s-era government program to sell excess federal land at dirt-cheap prices.
By the 1990s, many of the homestead properties were so dilapidated that local government agencies targeted them for razing.
What Anne Krieghoff didn’t expect was that the sharing economy would turn these humble cabins into a cottage industry.
The two-bedroom home that the couple bought for $28,000 generated $14,000 in rent last year on Airbnb, the online short-term rental site. They rent it for $125 a night.
Airbnb lists more than 100 properties described as cabins in the Yucca Valley alone. Dozens more are listed in Twentynine Palms and other nearby communities.
They range in size from a shanty no bigger than a one-car garage to two-bedroom homes with outdoor hot tubs, fire pits and covered patios.
The cabins rent for $69 to $150 a night, depending on the size of the building and the time of year. The cabin owners say the homestead properties are a thriving income source thanks to online booking sites that draw travelers looking for offbeat accommodations and experiences not offered elsewhere . . .
Story on LA times .com
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