Many home owners who live near the sites of the Democratic and Republican national conventions in Charlotte, N.C., and Tampa, Fla., are seeing the events as an opportunity to earn extra cash by offering up their homes as short-term rentals to attendees.
While some convention attendees may be lured to the roominess of a home over a cramped hotel room, some real estate professionals say that many home owners may be getting too greedy with their asking prices, particularly in places where hotels are plentiful.
On Craiglist, more than 900 short-term home rentals near the Republican convention site are listed in the Tampa Bay area, the Associated Press reports. The prices vary considerably, but a three-bedroom, luxury townhome is being offered for $20,000 for a one-week stay. A one-bedroom loft downtown loft is being offered at $1,250 per night while a home about 90 minutes from the convention site is being offered at $175 per night for a seven-night stay.
Additionally, a Charlotte home owner is offering his five-bedroom home for $50,000 for the entire month.
For Dustin Read, the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Charlotte seemed like a surefire way to make extra money. An estimated 35,000 people — from delegates and journalists to scores of protesters and police — will be flocking to North Carolina's largest city to attend the three-day convention in early September. He figures some of those visitors might want a bigger place to stay than a cramped hotel room with no backyard.
So a few months ago, Read listed his three-bedroom, two-bathroom house as a short-term rental. His price: $7,000 a week. "There are a lot of people coming to Charlotte and this was a good way to make money. Why not?" said Read, the director of real estate at the University of North Carolina Charlotte's Belk College of Business. "A lot of people felt the same way....But the closer you get to the convention, the more you see people looking for last minute bargains."
Charlotte and Tampa officials say they have enough hotel and motel rooms to handle the crowds. But some listed their homes just in case people wanted an alternative to hotels. They're banking on landing visitors who didn't plan ahead and need a place to stay and also targeting big groups with deep pockets, such as lobbyists who want more space to entertain.
As the conventions draw nearer, some home owners are lowering their prices trying to get more takers. The Republican National Convention is the last week of August in Tampa, and the Democratic National Convention will be held the first week of September in Charlotte.
Source: “Home Owners Try to Profit Off Conventions by Renting,” Associated Press