A San Francisco startup charges renters almost $1,300 a month to live in converted living rooms — and it's so popular it's expanding to 5 major cities around the US
- HomeShare is a startup that leases apartments in luxury buildings and splices them into additional units, so more tenants can share the rent.
- Each micro-bedroom fits a queen-sized bed, a nightstand, a dresser, and little else. Rates start at $1,290 per person a month in San Francisco.
- HomeShare announced it’s expanding to five markets, including Los Angeles.
In San Francisco, a bedroom at one of the city’s luxury apartment dwellings for $1,290 a month is, all things considered, a steal. A startup called HomeShare offers just that.
But there’s a catch: Your bedroom might be located in the living room.
Founded in 2016, HomeShare leases apartments in expensive new buildings and splices them into additional units, so more tenants can split the rent for less per person. A two-bedroom becomes fit for three after HomeShares installs an upholstered partition in the den, with rents in San Francisco starting at $1,290 per month.
The company announced on Monday that it’s expanding to five markets — San Francisco, Silicon Valley, New York, Seattle, and Los Angeles — thanks to new partnerships with major real-estate developers. The launch comes on the heels of a $5.7 million seed funding round, led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, in January.
Jeff Pang, founder and CEO of HomeShare, said the startup has placed over 1,000 individuals into housing, mostly in San Francisco’s white-hot rental market. HomeShare customers in the “converted rooms,” or dens, which have the cheapest rent of all rooms, spend roughly half the cost of a studio apartment in San Francisco.
In 2017, San Francisco renters paid an average price of $3,440 a month.
HomeShare charges a nominal service fee to customers on top of rent, but according to Pang, the savings of living in a HomeShare are still significant.
Most people come to HomeShare as transplants in a new city, looking for a room and maybe a community. Nick Arko, a startup founder who lives in a San Francisco HomeShare, said he recommends the company to anyone moving to the tech hub.
“Rent prices in San Francisco are astronomical. The major draw to HomeShare is not how much you are paying — though splitting a two-bedroom unit does come with a discount,” Arko said. It’s all about what you get: a brand new unit with amenities and a great community.”
Pang, previously an early employee at Uber, is of the unpopular opinion that San Francisco does not have a housing shortage. Instead, he says there’s a glut of supply — but it’s all in the luxury housing segment, which is out of reach for some renters.
HomeShare makes it affordable, by some standards, to live in one of these upscale locales. Though HomeShare renters don’t get very much in the way of elbow room. Each micro-bedroom fits a queen-sized bed, a nighstand, a dresser, and little else.
Peter Ham, a dentist, has lived in a HomeShare in Seattle for two months. He said the space constraints can be an issue. His master bedroom, which he rents for $1,450 a month, has a sliding door instead of a closing door that limits his privacy. With the den converted into a bedroom, there’s no space for a couch.
Overall, Ham said it works because he takes advantage of the building’s luxury amenities and lounge space. Many of the buildings listed on HomeShare have pools, fitness centers, co-working spaces — not to mention close proximity to downtown.
Before moving into a HomeShare, Arko rented what he described as a 70-square-foot private room and shared two bathrooms with about 12 housemates. It became infested by rats and cockroaches. He said HomeShare offers him sweet amenities like a rooftop lounge and co-working space, as well as a community of new friends.
“Apart from HomeShare, I’d checked with one other listing alternative from Craigslist which, ironically enough, had a partition wall made of cardboard boxes dividing the living room space,” Arko said. “The price was still more than what I ended up paying through HomeShare.”
Read the full article from it’s original source: http://uk.businessinsider.com/homeshare-startup-cheap-luxury-apartments-san-francisco-2018-6