Seattle seniors cashing in on Airbnb

If you thought renting out a room on Airbnb was just for millennials, think again.

According to Airbnb more seniors in Seattle are using the site to rent out rooms. The company says the number of hosts ages 60 to 90 grew 75 percent from 2015 to 2016.

airbbEleanor Olsen has been renting out rooms in her Crown Hill home since 2011.

Olsen’s husband Bruce started having heart problems in 2006 and was no longer able to work. But by renting out two rooms in her home on Airbnb, Olsen said she’s been able to pay her mortgage and stay in her home.

“I had never thought about it as being hip or not hip, it was just a really easy way to have your house pay for your mortgage,” said Olsen.

Olsen said she makes about $15,000 annually renting out the rooms on Airbnb.

In the last 12 months, senior hosts in Seattle earned over $5.7 million. Nationally, 41 percent of seniors reported that hosting has helped them afford to stay in the homes where they’ve often lived much of their lives.

Senior hosts tend to be hosting in outer parts of the city.

The top neighborhoods for active senior hosts based on the number of listings hosted by seniors are as follows: Wallingford, Fremont, First Hill, Phinney Ridge and Ravenna.

Original article by Katy Rusch, KAGS, September 19, 2016