Denver mortgage lender explains how she rents out her home for the short term

This week, mortgage lender Danielle Anderson is fielding calls from Lima, Peru. Back home at her West Washington Park home, vacationing short-term renters have a place to stay at her home. Airbnb.

She earns extra income by renting out both her basement, which she always keeps open to guests, and her personal apartments upstairs. The company Effortless Rental Group manages rentals, cleans the space between guests, and handles emergencies that might arise — like when the oven went out just before Thanksgiving and a family renting out their house nearly missed their turkey.

Anderson is in the middle of a four-month trip to South America with Remote year. The company books and organizes global trips for digital workers and sets up coworking spaces in other countries, so people can adventure around the world while still doing their jobs.

Although she’s been out of the country for much of the year, her job as a moneylender has been going well, she said. “I’m going to hit 30 million this year in production, and I’m doing it from a laptop.”

Anderson became an evangelist of her way of life: renting her house and traveling the world.

“Everyone should do what I do,” she said. Anderson’s message to homebuyers: “They shouldn’t be paying their mortgage. Someone else should pay for it.

Renting out her home helped her afford the Denver housing market.

Anderson, who grew up in Greeley, said she first saw the power of short-term rentals when her sister started renting a loft in Durango. “She slept in the bedroom and the upstairs loft that she rented out to make money.” The arrangement proved profitable.

When Anderson was living in Houston, Texas, she started renting out rooms in her apartment, both short-term and long-term. In 2016, she moved to Denver and decided to buy a house.

“It helped me stretch my budget when I bought a house,” she said, “because I could rely on that extra rental income.”

Short-term rentals have caused many problems, and the city has sought to resolve them.

When the industry took off in Denver, investors began buying several properties and renting them out to tourists. Housing advocates have argued that too much inventory is going to travelers and not enough to residents, inflating house prices for people trying to live in the city.

The industry has been heavily regulated in Denver, and now you can’t rent your home on places like Airbnb and VRBO unless it’s your primary residence. Additional properties can only be rented long term. Since 2016, people who manage short-term rentals from their homes had to obtain a license from the city of Denver.

Even after these rules came into effect, the short-term rental market has struggled. Some neighbors said their communities were overrun with vacationers and revelers. For years, the city’s 311 line has been plagued with complaints about noisy customers. High-profile shootings at Airbnb parties did not help the reputation of the short-term rental market. And the local government struggled to regulate companies that weren’t headquartered in Colorado.

Yet excise and licensing have succeeded in apply its permit programand the city has recorded approximately 85% compliance from short-term rental hosts.

Then came the pandemic.

“With necessary public health closures of some businesses and travel restrictions … there was no business for short-term rental operators,” said Eric Escudero, spokesman for Denver Excise and Licenses. “Much converted to long term rental.”

Applications for new licenses plummeted as travel came to a temporary halt.

Although the market has not recovered from the peak of the pandemic, it has improved slightly from 2020 to 2021. In November, the Department of Excise and Licensing recorded a 7% increase in applications from the previous number .

In the past, single rooms and shared apartments were in high demand. But as travel resumed and COVID lingered, short-term rentals of large homes with amenities like exercise bikes, gyms and swimming pools exploded, said Dana Lubner, who works for Effortless Rental Group and the defense group. Rent responsibly and sit on Denver Short Term Rental Advisory Committee. According to data from AirDNAFollowing second home rentals, 81% of new rentals are complete homes.

In recent months, the 311 line has received fewer complaints about short-term rentals, although more people have applied to handle them.

“As we look to the summer, we anticipate that if we don’t see another spike in cases, we’ll see these apps continue to grow and we expect to see these licenses grow,” Escudero said. “Hopefully we don’t see the complaints go back to where they were. Now we hardly receive any complaints.

Anderson, who spent the past weekend swimming with piranhas, is ready to return to Denver.

City law requires her to live away from her primary residence for part of the year – and she’s willing to take a break from her travels.

When she returns to Denver, she looks forward to a home-cooked meal, something she hasn’t had while abroad.

She plans to stay at least until March. After that, who knows? One thing is certain: she will continue to offer short-term rentals and travel as long as she can.

“I don’t think there’s a way to go back to a normal life after doing this,” Anderson said.

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