November 10, 2018

Thinking of hosting a short-term rental? There’s no place like (your) home.

Paul and I recently ran into former clients who shared wonderful news about their youngest child’s acceptance to a top university in California. While a little saddened about their soon-to-be title of “empty nesters”, the couple was very excited about the prospect of turning their third floor into a short-term rental. As enthusiastic residents of the Central West End, the couple had no trouble listing a multitude of reasons why a stay in their historic home would be a perfect choice for St. Louis bound travelers. In addition to everything our neighborhood has to offer, their home’s proximity to hospitals and universities makes it an attractive choice for the existing stream of visitors.

Thanks to sites like Airbnb, VBRO, and HomeAway, homeowners like our friends have the opportunity to profit from space that might otherwise go unoccupied. In fact, we’ve had many clients tell us how they’ve turned a spare room or unused floor into extra income—with the added perk of meeting interesting people from around the world. No matter the reason, more and more homeowners are joining the growing “peer economy” and becoming ambassadors of St. Louis’ best neighborhood.

But is it really that simple? It can be—as long as you follow the rules. Most, if not all, private streets have regulations about leasing carriage houses, and third floors. Typically it’s not allowed except in the case of related people or caretakers of the property (living rent free in exchange for service.) The majority of condominium complexes also have rules and regulations forbidding short-term rentals. However, there are plenty of CWE streets and residences where short-term rentals can thrive.

Depending on the dates, there are close to 100 Airbnb locations available to rent in/near the CWE. Potential guests can choose the budget-friendly option of a room for one in a shared apartment all the way up to a spacious residence that can accommodate a group of 12. The average price for comfortable accommodations for 2 is around $90. A family or slightly larger group can expect to pay $150 or more for one of the more stylish options within the neighborhood’s borders. While these prices may not rival larger metropolitan areas, they do skew higher than other areas of the city. But that’s no surprise—the CWE offers visitors an extraordinary way to experience St. Louis. It’s truly special place to call home, even if it’s only for a night or two.