Keep An Open Mind When It Comes To “Airbnb” Guests In Coconut Grove
Although some Coconut Grove homeowners aren’t too thrilled when their neighbors allow short-term rentals through VRBO or Airbnb (there was a recent initiative to restrict short-term rentals in San Francisco), I have found that 99% of the time the visitors are interesting people who are gracious and completely respectful of the neighborhood.
On Halloween night, as we were trick-or-treating through the Grove with my two girls, we knocked on the door of the home across the street. A family answered the door who happened to be renting the house for 1 week. They were from Rome and had a daughter who was 7 years old, about the same age as my oldest daughter. She was dressed up in a Halloween costume but you could tell that they weren’t really sure what this whole “Halloween” thing was all about. We invited them to go trick-treating with us to show them how it was done. They spoke English fairly well, and we learned that they always preferred to stay in a house as opposed to a hotel so that they could get the real feeling of what it is like to live in the city they are travelling in. They come to the United States once or twice a year so that their daughter who goes to an American school in Italy can hear the language and have an understanding of our culture.
After trick-or-treating for a few hours together, we realized that we had a lot of things in common (a love of the ocean, good food, and all things Italian) and we invited them out in the boat with us the next day. The kids really hit it off together, and their daughter ended up coming over to our house every afternoon to play.
The family took advantage of being in the Grove and would walk into Greenstreet for breakfast, and have dinner at Lulu’s or Lokal. In the end, they loved the Grove so much they wanted to see a few houses that were on the market before they left…..a win win for everyone.
I am sure there are exceptions, but we have had nothing but nice visitors staying on our street and look forward to meeting the next ones.
As for the Airbnb effect on the real estate market in Coconut Grove? It is no doubt good for home sales because we are starting to see investors purchasing homes strictly to place them on short-term rental sites. A negative effect may be that it could push up long-term rental prices which are already high in Coconut Grove.