Airbnb in San Diego - Looking for some advice!

31 Replies

My husband & I bought a house in the Golden Hill neighborhood of San Diego last August. Prior to making the offer I checked with Avalara to see if it was "legal" to rent the property in the city as a STR. They responded that yes, currently it IS possible to get a STR license for the City of San Diego, but there are no guarantees that will remain the case in the future, given the fact that the city is looking into implementing restrictions,.

@Valerie Rogers Curious how your process was with attaining a STR license...


And also do you and your husband live within the house as well or AirBnb it fully? How is the occupancy rate the past 5 months or so? 

A business associate of mine is looking to do a AirBNB in Pacific beach, so we are getting into all the details. Thank you!

@Douglas Spence

Hi Douglas,

First, thank you for your service. I have a financing solution that may be able to work for you.

Rates start at 4.125%

No application fee

Origination charge only .5% which can be rolled into the rate

Loan amounts up to $2.5MM | Cash out up to $2MM

No income | No employment | No tax returns required

Gift funds allowed

Qualify using interest only payments

Vest title in an LLC

Minimum FICO 600

Short-term rentals allowed (Airbnb, VRBO, etc. etc.)

Borrower can own unlimited financed properties

No Pre-Payment Penalty

Multiple term options:

5/1, 7/1, 10/1 ARMS with interest only options

15 & 30 year fixed

@Ben Tomkinson

Thanks for the info. I decided to rent while I live in San Diego. The financing was never the problem - the problem was finding a property that will cash-flow once I move! Renting in SD was a fantastic decision for me. I've been using the money saved from not paying a crazy mortgage to buy cash-flowing properties outside of California.


Best of luck Ben!

@Douglas Spence Hi Douglas, I'm in San Diego also, even being a Realtor and having access to the MLS I can't find anything that makes sense for buy and hold investments. May I ask where do you invest in now and they manage the property for you? Thank you for any advice.

Bump. I stumbled upon what looks to be a great AirBnb opportunity right now if anyone's interested. I'm a local full time realtor living in Bankers Hill and specializing in the downtown & metro area. Toured a multi family property this weekend that just hit the market (broker open house). Current owner has been AirBnB'ing both units and I have the data if any investors are looking for someone to represent them on the buy side. Thanks

Originally posted by @Valerie Rogers:

My husband & I bought a house in the Golden Hill neighborhood of San Diego last August. Prior to making the offer I checked with Avalara to see if it was "legal" to rent the property in the city as a STR. They responded that yes, currently it IS possible to get a STR license for the City of San Diego, but there are no guarantees that will remain the case in the future, given the fact that the city is looking into implementing restrictions,.

So funny that I've run across this post I created 6 months ago....it looks like most of my post has disappeared or was cut off.

Anyway, an update on our San Diego STR....

We bought a 2 BR/2 BA/2 Kitchen house in the Golden Hill neighborhood of San Diego last August. It can be rented as the entire house or as two separate 1 BR/1 BA apartments. .

It wasn't until Oct 1 that we were able to get it on the STR market.

We were able to secure a STR license with the city without a problem and STRs are still legal in San Diego, so no worries there.

Occupancy: We rented the house to our son & daughter-in law for several months while their house was being renovated, so we didn't really have much of an opportunity to rent it for short term bookings. The several that we had were great. Then before we knew it COVID hit and all of our bookings canceled (not just in San Diego but in all four of our properties' locations). We were able to put a traveling nurse in the San Diego property for 3 months so that helped with some income while STRs were shut down.

Since COVID hit we have begun to think about selling one or more of our properties in order to simplify our lives and to lesson our liability as we get closer to retirement. (We currently have 6 mortgages including our primary residence.)

So...we are thinking about selling the San Diego property less than a year after purchasing it.

While we love the house and the close proximity to downtown and to our son & daughter-in-law & kids in North Park we feel this property is our largest liability and that is why we are thinking about selling it.

There's really no "point" to this post other than answering the question posted by @Warren Wong about the license process and occupancy and providing an update.