Monthly Newsletter

December 2018
Brought to you by JR Larsen
3 Things to Consider Before Listing Your Home as a Short-Term Rental
By Tim Harris
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Smoke DetectorThe Age of Sharing is here, and it’s a phenomenon that’s expected to grow from $15 billion in 2014 to $335 billion by 2025, with services such as home-sharing and maintenance platforms being a big part of that equation. Many homeowners have seen big economic benefits over the years from home-sharing platforms like Airbnb, but if you’re thinking about jumping in to get a piece of that pie, there are a few things you should consider first. 

Know Your Regulations
Not all cities see the home-sharing phenomenon as a win-win. Many municipalities are passing new regulations that are often designed to curb its growth. Before signing up for a service like Airbnb, you should find out a few things. Does your city have a framework for short-term rentals? Are there any legal restrictions? How expensive is licensing? 

This is critically important, because ignoring licensing regulations can be very costly. In Portland, Oregon for example, the city implemented fines of $1,000-$5,000 per violation for home-sharing operators. In 2017, it collected over $70,000 in fines and fees from a single operator who was found to be in violation of the city’s regulations. 

Know Where You Live
Cities are made up of distinct neighborhoods, and people are proud of where they live, so, you’ll want to think carefully about the impact of a short-term rental on your neighbors before moving forward with your plans. Will the locals have to compete with guests for on-street parking? Will they feel less secure with strangers coming in and out? 

You don’t need to get permission before renting rooms, but as a courtesy, you’ll want to let anyone impacted by your decision in on your plans. You’ll also want to establish clear house rules and expectations, especially about noise or late-night outdoor socializing, for your guests. 

Know Your Coverage
You’ll hear horror stories in the news regularly about a home-sharing rental gone bad. In London, a short-term renter threw a party for 100 people, unbeknownst to the homeowner, during which floorboards were ripped and a television pulled off a wall. In another widely-reported example, a short-term rental unit was used as a pop-up brothel. Stories about experiences as bad as these are extremely rare; however, they serve to remind us about the financial and legal risks for hosts who allow strangers into their home. It’s important to make sure you have the appropriate coverage if you don’t already have it. 

Home-sharing companies such as Airbnb or HomeAway offer basic insurance coverage, but what they offer may not be enough, or could be severely limited by exclusions. Your best option is to ask your insurance provider about the nature of the protection, liability coverage and deductible. For example, if you’re renting out rooms at your primary residence, short-term, on a regular basis, it may be considered a home-based business, and you could be denied coverage.
Thinking about Retirement
By Lori Thomas
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The average person spends decades saving for retirement and planning for this major financial decision; however, while most seniors envision retirement being completely stress-free, there are many financial hurdles to clear, and multiple factors that can impact retirement finances, as well.


Did you know that among all of these factors, where you live can actually have the biggest impact on your retirement finances? Here are a couple of things to consider when you’re deciding where to settle down when you’re ready to get out of the rat race. 

Services for Seniors 
When you think about retirement, you might have visions of long afternoons out on the links, time on the beach with your grandchildren, or just a nice relaxing place to put your feet up. But don’t forget that you might need a little help staying fit enough to keep your golf game in top shape. It’s worth exploring the availability and cost of healthcare services for seniors in any place you’re considering retiring. Find out what it might cost you if you or your spouse needs in home care or what assisted living facilities cost in the event they’re needed. These costs can vary significantly from place to place, so it’s worth your time to do a little research. 

Add up the Tax Bill
While most of us think about spending our hard-earned savings on enjoying the good life, going into retirement doesn’t exclude you from having to pay your share to government. Retirement planning should always include planning for taxes, including income, property and sales tax. Shopping for a new home in retirement might also mean shopping for a location and a price that will help you stay on budget for your golden years. 

Remember, your retirement journey is a very personal one, and where you choose to retire is completely up to you and your vision for your perfect retirement; however, the more you know about the financial climate in the state you currently reside or are looking to retire in, the better prepared you’ll be for this major life change.

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