I was wondering if anyone has any knowledge on the profitability of owning an STR in Boulder . I was looking into buying a condo to rent out on Airbnb/vrbo. Let me know if you have any experience or if you own one yourself and if you have experienced any issues / pros and cons.
- @Brandon Bonfiglio Unfortunately Boulder stopped allowing non-owner-occupied STR's less than 30 days in 2015. You can still operate an STR here but the property must be the owner's principle residence. They've gotten pretty good at enforcement too with a dedicated division that has opened some 2,000 cases since the policy came into effect. Most of those cases resulted in warnings/cease and desist type responses but hefty fines have been levied in some cases. I know of several people who had to pay over $10k in fines plus lost income due to having rental licenses revoked.
Some of the bigger players in town who were operating prior to the policy coming into effect simply continued operating but put their properties in other people's names in order to skirt the rules. However the city caught on to that last year and started verifying that the owners were actually living there as well as operating the STR's, and began cracking down with big fines on those operating multiple STR's in the city that weren't their primaries (obviously because you can only have one primary).
The 30+ day/medium term/executive rental market is still allowed within city limits however and I know several people doing really well with that strategy. Furnished rentals definitely rent for a big premium here and there is a strong demand with people moving to the area who can't find anything to buy (due to extremely low inventory) and end up renting in the meantime while they look for a place to purchase, as well as tech workers here on a contract, remote workers looking to stay here for a few months, etc.
Also while the City of Boulder does not allow STR's anymore, Boulder County still does (the county line pretty much follows the edge of the mountains and parts of BoCo are fairly close to downtown). However the rules are a bit wonky and hard to comply with for example the number of nights the property can be used as an STR in a given year are severely limited. BoCo is also currently reconsidering the STR rules as well so it might not be wise to dedicate oneself to that strategy until they come out with the new regulations. We converted our old primary just over the county line to an STR but mostly rent it for stays longer than 30 days due to the limit on the number of nights it can be used as an STR and also due to not wanting to deal with a lot of turns. It does really well. I'd be happy to discuss further with you.