No Down Payment? No Worries … As Long As You Host Airbnb Guests For At Least A Year

By Kate Martin
The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.)

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Seattle entrepreneur Yifan Zhang and her company, “Loftium” will help make your down payment, up to $50,000. But there’s a catch. You have to agree to be an Airbnb host for at least a year and split the income.

The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.)

Want to buy a home but can’t afford a down payment? It’s a conundrum many younger adults face as they continue to make student loan and car payments.

Seattle entrepreneur Yifan Zhang is here to help. Her company, Loftium, will help make your down payment, up to $50,000. But there’s a catch.

You have to agree to be an Airbnb host for at least a year and split the income with Loftium. Most home owners select a split of 80 percent to Loftium, Zhang said.

The company launched late last year, focusing on homes in Seattle. On Feb. 1, Loftium is expanding its reach to include all of Pierce, Snohomish and King counties.

“I think Tacoma is going to be a great market for us,” said Zhang, the company’s CEO and co-founder. “A lot of people don’t know Tacoma, but it has great Airbnb income.”

In 2016, Tacoma Airbnb hosts earned $2 million and hosted 15,500 guests, according to Airbnb. Homeowners with a spare room or a separate unit can rent out that space to people looking for a place to stay. The practice is legal in Tacoma as long as guests stay fewer than 30 days and property owners get a business license.

For Loftium user Kacie Washington, the offer she spied on social media site Instagram sounded “too good to be true.” She recruited her husband to sleuth out the details, and soon they were signing a contract with Loftium on a south Seattle home for a little over $500,000.

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