Peak Behind the Curtain on Short-term Rentals

I’ve recently been asked by a number of people if I thought it was a good idea to rent their home through a national website to earn some additional cash.  After all, what could possibly go wrong?

Aside from your house being trashed while you’re away, here are three things to keep in mind if you are considering renting out your house on a short-term basis.

1. Legality

The rise in popularity of Airbnb and other sites hasn’t been without its controversy. There are concerns that short-term rentals threaten the jobs of hotel workers, and that a short-term rental doesn’t have to pass the same certifications and inspections of regular hotels. Finally, many investors are buying properties with the intent of renting them out, which takes housing off the market in areas with already limited inventory (check out this article from The Los Angeles Times to learn more).

Some cities have enacted restrictions against short-term rentals. You may need to register and get a permit or a license – or you may not be able to host at all. Check with your local government to make sure you understand the laws. Continue reading

A lot happened in the Lancaster County business world this year that will help shape its future for decades to come.  Real estate made a huge comeback with residential housing leading the way.  More consolidation in the banking industry and new entrants into the market vying for customers’ attention.  Lots of approved expansions in local health care facilities.  And on top of all that, you can now buy your favorite adult beverage at local grocery and convenience stores.

Read the Top 10 business stories of the year here as published by Lancaster Online.

All the best!

 

How Much Money Do I Need to Buy a Home?

Of all the questions agents get from consumers, this is the one that tops the list.  It’s also the one that’s botched by more agents than any other question.  Here are some answers that I’ve heard over the years:

“You’ll need about 6% of the sales price.”  (Translation:  I would prefer to give you a round number because I don’t want to spend time with you and find out about your financial position and circumstances.  Oh yeah – – – I also really hate math.)

“That’s really tough to say.”  (Translation:  I really don’t understand the costs myself so I’ll just tread water and hope you don’t ask again.)

“Let me hook you up with a lender.”  (Translation:  See previous translation.)

“Let’s plug some numbers into the computer and see what it says.”  (Translation:  The computer god knows all.  Did I mention that I really hate math?)    Continue reading