To Airbnb or not to bnb…that is the question!

by Hometown Realty on August 8, 2011

in Latest News

There’s a lot of talk out there about Airbnb. Have you heard about them?

Airbnb is a San Francisco based company based on a simple idea. Airbnb provides a platform for people to connect and rent out extra space they have – whether for short-term, vacation, long-term….you name it. You can rent everything from space on someone’s couch to a full house. Heck, back in April it was announced you could rent the entire country of Liechtenstein! You pay a small fee back to Airbnb when you rent out your space and Voila! Everyone’s happy, right?

This concept of short term / vacation rentals is still fairly new for us in the United States. House-swapping has been a concept that has definitely grown in recent years thanks to the Internet. After all, what better way to experience another country than living like a local?  Still, it seems to be a concept we’re somewhat slow to adopt. (Hey, fair enough…we’re always a bit protective of our property & certainly fearful of legal any complications).

Still, it appears that Airbnb might be breaking down some of those walls.  It will be interesting to watch…and all eyes are on them – especially these last few months because:

1) They recently raised over $100 million in funding based on a $1B valuation. (Hey, that’s worth watching!)

2) And, they’ve gotten some bad press lately because of how they handled a case where a customer’s home was ransacked by a guest.

3) Lastly, this whole business model brings up lots of interesting legal concerns. New York City Governor David Paterson recently signed a bill outlawing the use of private dwellings as makeshift hotel and several other cities have limited temporary rentals.

Which raises the question….

After all, we live in a beautiful area and plenty of people would love to stay in our homes, if even for a night. And, there are certainly plenty of homeowners who would love to find ways to put a little extra money into their coffers. When we recently searched Airbnb listings, we discovered plenty of rooms, homes, etc. listed in the Carlsbad, Encinitas area. Even local area resorts have listings on the site.

So what do you think? Would you rent out your home to strangers? Good idea? Bad idea? If you’ve done it – how did it work out for you?


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