Airbnb has become, in recent years, very familiar in the eyes of renters and travelers alike. It is a convenient service set up to allow homeowners to advertise their homes for temporary rental situations. It has created a new market for competition between hotels and private renters, as Airbnb allows for a good deal of flexibility for both the person renting out their property and the person who decides to rent it. The app makes it easy for those seeking somewhere to stay to find such within someone’s private home (via a shared living situation,) or by renting someone’s property as a whole. The convenience of Airbnb makes it attractive to travelers and those looking for short-term rentals.
Airbnb has contributed their success to providing a variety of options regarding price, availability, and by having properties all over the world. It gives homeowners the opportunity to rent out as much of their home as they choose to bring in extra income. Until recently, this extra income was purely for personal gain; but recently, companies such as Fannie Mae have partnered with Airbnb in an effort to allow borrowers to use Airbnb income towards refinancing their mortgages. Think about it – you live in Denver, which has seen a huge increase in tourism over the last 5 years and has become a “destination” spot for many travelers, and you have a room to spare in your house; maybe renting your extra room on the weekends will allow you to refinance your mortgage and save you money! Is this too good to be true?
According to CNBC’s market report, homeowners are now able to use rental income earned through Airbnb to refinance their mortgages. This pilot program launched in early 2018, and has seen some great success so far. Mortgage giant Fannie Mae designed the program with Airbnb in an effort to help more borrowers get better loans in today’s tight mortgage market. Since Airbnb already tracks the income data for individual homeowners, it will now provide documentation for a mortgage application. Fannie Mae allows borrowers to use rental income as part of the income qualification needed to refinance their home loans – this allows them either to get a better interest rate, or to take cash out for other expenses, like renovations or education.
The mortgage industry has started to recognize the income potential in companies like Airbnb, which allows homeowners to generate rental income on their own terms. Airbnb co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk wrote “Some of the nation’s largest financial institutions understand that Airbnb is an economic empowerment tool that can generate important income for families, and they are working to recognize this.”
This is big news for homeowners seeking both extra income and to refinance – Airbnb may be the answer! “Because of the sharing economy, the way people use their homes has changed … and now finally the mortgage industry has caught up. We are able to use that income in actually underwriting the value of your house, your ability to make a payment on that loan, and then qualify you for a lower rate.” said Vishal Garg, CEO of Better Mortgage.
Better Mortgage is one of three lenders partnering with Fannie Mae and Airbnb in this program, along with Quicken Loans and Citizens Bank. Borrowers can use Airbnb income to apply for refinances through one of the lenders. In order to qualify for the program, the home must be the borrower’s primary residence, and they are required to have 12 months history of Airbnb earnings. The program is not for investors using multiple homes only as rental properties, but shows definite potential for those looking for options when it comes to refinancing in a tough market!