A Seattle startup is offering prospective home buyers up to $50,000 for a down payment if they agree to rent out one room on Airbnb for one to three years and share most of the income with the company, The New York Times reported Monday.
Loftium, founded by entrepreneurs Yifan Zhang and Adam Stelle, is offering 50 down payments in Seattle this fall and hopes to expand to other major cities in the coming years. Homeowners would not need to pay Loftium back for the down payment, and would just have to list their room on Airbnb for the length of the contract. They would have to make the room available for at least 359 days of the year.
"It's for the people who don't have the parents to help, or the high income to save while paying rent," said Zhang, who owns a townhouse in Seattle and uses her spare bedroom to generate extra income on Airbnb. "They are just stuck trying to save for a decade or more before they give up."
The default split of the profit would be 70/30 in favor of Loftium, a percentage that can be adjusted if the buyer needs a higher down payment or monthly help, and a portion of the down payment would need to be repaid if someone wants to stop Airbnb-ing.
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