LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Local homeowners are cashing in again this year for the Kentucky Derby. As many put their house on the market for the long weekend, experts say it’s part of a growing trend happening year-round.
“It does continue to grow each and every year, which is great for the city,” said Zach Leonardo, Owner of Nationwide Home Rentals. “There’s only a certain number of rooms.”
Leonardo recently got involved in the business after seeing the need. He said more guests want to call the Bluegrass State home for Derby week.
“People are coming in at the last minute, trying to find a house,” he said.
John Mahorney put his home on Airbnb last summer.
“We are about three-and-a-half miles from Churchill Downs,” he said. “It’s become a year-round, monthly business to rent your house out. It not only pays for your property, but it supplements the income.”
This is the graphic designer’s first time charging for the Derby.
“Around seven times more than normal,” Mahorney said of the rates.
Experts said most locations go, however the prime spots are around downtown: The Highlands, Germantown and St. Matthews areas. At the responsibility of the homeowner, the home WDRB visited in Indian Hills was rented in a couple of weeks.
“I have people ranging from $500 a night upwards to $10,000 a night,” Leonardo said.
“The Derby rate is by far the most we’ll ever ask for the house, simply because the demand is so high and everyone else is charging this huge rate,” Mahorney said.
Planning for the long weekend began right after the race before.
“We had three more today, and that number is going to continue to grow rapidly as we get closer to Derby,” Leonardo said.
In case you’re still debating, it’s not too late to get in on the action.
“You should start immediately,” Leonardo said. “Start today.”
From meals to transportation to entertainment, the list of accommodations continues to grow in the rental housing market for out-of-towners to achieve that custom feel.
“Here, you feel like you’re staying in Louisville,” Leonardo said. “Like you’re a part of it.”
It also helps locals bank some fast cash and often put it back into the market in this huge, ever-changing industry.
Taxes and registering the house with the city is new this year. Mahorney said he owes 16 percent, with about half going to Louisville Metro. This is part of his guests’ expense.
For more information about Nationwide Home Rentals and the rental business, click click here.
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