The Host With the Most

Sponsored Content Presented by Loftium

One young couple is looking in Portland for an affordable house – not an apartment – ​​for themselves and their newborn.

Another couple has nothing set aside for a down payment on a house.

A third couple has saved $10,000, but in this housing market that doesn’t go very far.

What do they all have in common? Because of a creative new path toward home-ownership called Loftium, they’ve all found a way to own their own homes.

“We started Loftium because we thought homeownership was increasingly difficult – and we saw a solution using Airbnb income,” said Loftium CEO Yifan Zhang, who cofounded the company with Seattle entrepreneur Adam Stelle.

How it works. Loftium currently owns 10 homes in Portland, and many more in Denver. All homes include a separate, on-site guest suite. Loftium rents the homes to prospective homebuyers, who live in the main part of the homes while serving as Airbnb hosts for the separate suites.

renters keep 60% of the Airbnb guest income – an average of $1,400 a month – which they use to build up savings for a down payment. In three years, they should have enough for a down payment and can buy the homes from Loftium for a locked-in price.

“We really want to be that alternative to, you know, a family contribution, for the vast majority of Americans who don’t have access to an $80,000 down payment,” Stelle said.

The fine print. People looking to purchase a home and host through Loftium get a free consultation that results in a preliminary budget. Buyers then search for homes and figure out monthly payments and estimated guest income.

After buyers sign a host to own lease, Loftium buys the home through an all-cash offer, covering all taxes and fees. Renters pay a 1% fee, which goes toward a future down payment; they can also use up to 30% of their guest income to reduce their monthly rent.

Anytime between one and three years into the lease, renters can buy the home from Loftium.

Be our guest! Loftium also helps prospective home buyers manage the Airbnb hosting process. Loftium sets up the Airbnb listing, takes professional photos of the space and provides essentials like linens, towels and toiletries.

Zhang said once a suite is up and running, it should take little more than 15 minutes of attention each week for the host.

“As far as being a host for Airbnb, they made it really easy,” said Carlie, one half of the Portland couple with the newborn who found a house at Arbor Lodge with Loftium. “They helped make things automated for us so that there was a lot less messaging with guests. That was something that was really helpful for us.”

Portland pads. Loftium’s housing stock in Portland range from a craftsman home in North Portland to a new duplex in the Kenton neighborhood and a corner lot home in Vancouver, Washington. Rents spanned from about $1,700 a month to about $4,000 – before any guest income that can offset the rent.

After about a year of renting their North Portland home with Loftium – not far from Portland’s rose-filled Peninsula Park – Josh, the other half of the Portland couple, said he, Carlie and their young daughter are right where they want to be.

“I would definitely recommend Loftium just for the opportunity to live in a home you can feel good about at a very affordable rate,” he said. “That’s just an amazing opportunity you can’t get with anyone else.”

Learn more about Loftium here.