25 Things to Know When Renting Out an Airbnb

25 Things to Know When Renting Out an Airbnb

Renting out part, or all, of your home on a rental platform can be a lucrative sideline. Just keep in mind that it can take an investment of time, effort, and money to create and maintain a welcoming space for guests. And, the plan could potentially backfire if you side-step some key legal and insurance steps.

To help ensure your venture is a success, here are some things you may want to consider before you start renting on Airbnb or a similar site.

1. Understanding Local Rental Laws

Before listing your home on a home-sharing site, it’s a good idea to research and make sure you fully understand local laws regarding renting out your home.

Laws that govern home shares vary around the country. In some cities, for instance, it’s illegal to rent a home as an Airbnb unless it’s your primary residence. In others, hosts can only rent out a portion of their home, and must be present during the guests’ stay. Laws about short-term rentals are also constantly changing.

If you own a condo or belong to a HOA, there may be other legal hoops to jump through, since you will likely need to get permission before opening your doors.

2. Checking With Your Landlord (if You’re Renting)

Looking to rent out a room in your home you rent? It can be wise to first carefully read through your own rental agreement.

Leases and agreements can contain language barring renters from subletting the home outright or without the express consent of the landlord. If you’re unsure even after reading the fine print, you may want to have a conversation about it with your landlord.

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3. Talking to Your Neighbors

While neighbors can’t tell you what you can and can’t do on your own property, they can make things difficult for you.

Prior to renting out your home, you may want to do the neighborly thing and pop in or give them a call to let them know what you are planning and do your best to ease any of their concerns. Who knows — they might even end up keeping an eye on the property for you while you’re away.

4. Being Prepared to Pay Taxes

Sure, renting your home on Airbnb may bring in a nice source of passive income. Like all income, however, this may be subject to state and federal taxes.

Generally, if you rent all or part of your home for more than 14 days in a year, you will need to pay taxes on the income. Vacation rental host sites typically send a Form 1099-K to hosts who had more than 200 reservations, earned over $20,000 in a year, or had taxes withheld from their payouts.

5. Considering All the Expenses Involved in Renting

While it may be more fun to think about the extra income that could result from your home rental, it can also be important to think about all the expenses involved.

For example, you may have to purchase items to get the space ready, along with any amenities you will offer guests (like toiletries or coffee), and cleaning supplies (or, pay for a cleaning service), and more.

You may want to make a list of all your potential expenses and consider how it will affect your potential profits.

💡 Quick Tip: If you’re creating a budget, try the 50/30/20 budget rule. Allocate 50% of your after-tax income to the “needs” of life, like living expenses and debt. Spend 30% on wants, and then save the remaining 20% towards saving for your long-term goals.

6. Finding a House Manager if You’d Rather Not do all the Work

Does managing your listing, bookings, and maintaining your rental property sound like a lot? You might consider hiring a manager to do it for you.

There are a number of property management companies around the country. that specialize in managing short-term home rentals.

These agencies will handle everything from writing (or boosting the exposure of) your listing to communicating with guests to cleaning and taking care of repairs. Some charge a commission (i.e., a percentage of bookings), while others charge a flat monthly service fee.

7. Making Space for Guests

Prior to accepting your first guests, it’s a good idea to make sure you have room for them — and that typically means more than just a clean, freshly made bed.

You may also want to offer some empty drawers so that guests can unpack their clothing, and possibly also a free shelf in the bathroom for their toiletries.

8. Putting Away Valuables

While it’s nice to think that everyone is trustworthy, that may not always be the case. It can be a good idea to safely stow away any valuables when you are opening your home to people you don’t know.

You can do this by getting a heavy-duty safe. Or, you might want to lock off one room of the home as an “owner’s closet” that guests cannot access.

9. Checking With Your Insurance Company

Airbnb offers its hosts its own insurance known as Host Protection . Though this covers a wide array of potential issues, including bodily injury to guests and any damage to the property, it may not cover everything. Plus, different home-rental platforms may offer different levels of insurance coverage.

It can be a good idea to also check in with your own homeowners or renters insurance to see what type of coverage these policies offer.

10. Writing a Detailed Description

Ready to list? When it’s time to write a description of your home, it’s a good idea to make your listing as detailed as possible, and even include the flaws of your home. A home need not be perfect to list on Airbnb. However, the company suggests that honesty is the best policy.

It can be a good idea to tell guests exactly what they’ll find when they arrive, as well as highlight your home’s special features, such as the location or unique amenities of your space. For more ways to make your listing stand out, you may want to check out Airbnb’s writing tips .

11. Taking High Quality Photos

Before taking photos of your space, you may want to spend some time arranging everything as if you were getting ready to welcome your first guest. This can help showcase your space to its best advantage, and also help set your guests’ expectations before they book.

It’s also a good idea to shoot in landscape format (photos in search results are typically displayed in landscape, so vertical photos won’t showcase your space as well), shoot in the middle of the day when there is plenty of light, and to highlight any unique features or amenities.

12. Creating an Information Binder

It can be helpful to make a packet of information for your guests which includes key information, such as the Wi-Fi password, your contact number, and house rules (such as check-out time and anything that guests need to take care of before they leave).

You may also want to include instructions on how to work on anything quirky, such as the television or coffee maker, as well as local entertainment and restaurant options.

13. Offering A Few Extra Amenities

There are millions of listings on Airbnb. If you’re hoping that your rental will make financial freedom a reality, you’ll want it to stand out from the crowd.

Throwing in some extras can help encourage guests to choose your home over others. Are you near a popular beach? You may want to consider keeping some beach chairs and sand toys stored in the garage for guests to use.

Simple add-ons, like the use of your bicycles or a parking tag, may not cost you much (or anything) to offer, yet significantly increase the popularity of your listing — along with your earnings.

14. Making a Decision about Pets or No Pets

Before you list your property it’s a good idea to decide if you want your home to be a space for pets or not.

This is a personal decision, but you may want to consider whether or not your space is well-suited for pets (a light suede couch, for example, might not last very long). If you do decide to make your home pet-friendly, you could add in an additional fee for cleaning.

15. Learning How to Price a Property Right

You may think your home looks and feels like a million bucks, but that doesn’t mean travelers will pay a premium.

To understand how to price an Airbnb listing correctly, it’s a good idea to comb through comparable listings in your area to get a sense of what other people are charging.

You can also use a free calculator like airDNA . You just need to input all your data, including home size, if it’s pet-friendly, location, etc., to get a recommended price for your listing.

Recommended: How to Invest in Single-Family Rental Homes

💡 Quick Tip: An emergency fund or rainy day fund is an important financial safety net. Aim to have at least three to six months’ worth of basic living expenses saved in case you get a major unexpected bill or lose income.

16. Deciding How You Want to “Screen” Guests

It is against Airbnb’s nondiscrimination policy to decline a booking based on “race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status” or impose different standards for specific guests.

What hosts can screen for are people who may not be a good fit for their property by being as descriptive as possible in their listing. If your home is not a good fit for children, you may want to make that clear in your listing.

Do you want to limit the noise after specific hours to respect neighbors? You may want to be specific about that in your listing so you bring in the type of customer you are hoping to attract.

17. Learning About Enhanced Cleaning Standards

Airbnb, along with other rental platforms, now require hosts to use an enhanced five-step cleaning protocol to help curb the spread of Covid-19.

The protocol includes special measures, such as using disinfectants approved by your local regulatory agencies for use against Covid-19 on all high-touch surfaces (and letting them stand for the amount of time specified on the label) and washing all dishes and laundry at the highest heat setting possible.

18. Thinking About Turnover Time

Before you rent all or part of your home on a rental platform you will want to think about not only when you want to rent your home out, but also how long it will take you to get it properly cleaned (using the five-step protocol) and ready for the next guests.

Will you need 24 hours between guests or can you get the home ready in just a couple of hours? This will determine exactly what dates you are able to accept guests, as well as what check-in time you want to put in your listing.

19. Testing Your Rental With Friends

When you’re getting close to listing your space, you may want to try testing out the system with a few friends.

Inviting people you know and trust to rent your space (free of charge or for a low fee) won’t do much to get that extra income stream flowing, but it can help you work out the kinks, as well as garner you some (hopefully positive!) reviews.

Friends can also tell you honestly what you might do differently or change to improve the rental experience. This way, you’ll feel confident once people you don’t know arrive.

20. Being Ready for Bookings Right Away

With millions of users all over the world, it may be a good idea to go into listing your property believing you’ll receive guests right away.

While this may not happen, it’s better to be prepared for visitors, than wait to see how your listing performs before readying your space for guests.

21. Looking At Your Reviews

After guests depart they may leave you a review of their stay. It’s a good idea to not only look at the reviews but to take them to heart. Reviews can make or break Airbnb rentals.

While it can be tough to digest criticism of your home, if guests complain about something that can be easily fixed, it can be in your best interest to fix it.

Reading positive reviews can be a good way to see your rental from an outsider’s perspective and make changes to improve your listing.

22. Accepting the Fact You Can’t Please Everyone

Sometimes, people are just difficult, or nitpicky, or just aren’t the right match for your listing and will leave a nasty review that feels unwarranted.

If you see a review that falls into that camp, it can be wise to just forget it and move on. This can often be a better approach than starting a fight in the comment section, which may only end up making you look bad to potential future guests.

23. Working Toward Superhost Status

Becoming an Airbnb superhost can increase your earnings by giving your more visibility and letting guests know that they can expect the best when staying with you.

Superhosts are featured in search results and get a Superhost badge on their profiles and listings to help them stand out. After each year as a Superhost, they’ll get a $100 travel coupon.

To become a Superhost, hosts must complete at least 10 stays in the past year (or 100 nights over at least three completed stays), have a 4.8 or higher average overall rating, respond to 90% of new messages within 24 hours, and cancel bookings less than 1% of the time.

Recommended: Is It Smart to Buy an Investment Property While Renting?

24. Deciding If Airbnb Is the Only Platform for You

After deciding to list on Airbnb, it’s then time to decide if that’s enough. There are, after all, a number of other home rental platforms to choose from, including Vrbo, Booking.com , and Flipkey . It’s up to you how many different listings you’re willing to maintain.

25. Keeping Your Calendar Up to Date

Once you list your home on Airbnb (or any other rental platform), it can be wise to keep your rental calendar as up-to-date as possible. This way, guests don’t accidentally book a stay when you have your in-laws visiting or when you otherwise want to use your own space.

If a date looks to be free to a potential guest but you forgot to mark it as unavailable, it can become a frustrating experience for both parties.

The Takeaway

If you have an extra room, or your home is vacant for several months out of the year, you may be tempted to list it on a home rental site.

But before you start posting photos on Airbnb, there are several things you may want to think through — from legal and insurance issues to the time and expense involved in getting (and keeping) your space ready for guests.

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SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

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What Are Convertible Bonds?: Convertible bonds are a form of corporate debt that also offers the opportunity to own the company’s stock.

What Are Convertible Bonds?

Convertible bonds are a form of corporate debt that also offers the opportunity to own the company’s stock. Like regular bonds, they offer regular interest payments. But they also allow investors to convert the bonds into stock according to a fixed ratio. As such, they’re often referred to as “hybrid securities.”

Most convertible bonds give investors a choice. They can hold the bond until maturity, or convert it to stock. This structure protects investors if the price of the stock falls below the level when the convertible bond was issued, because the investor can choose to simply hold onto the bond and collect the interest.

How Do Convertible Bonds Work?

Companies will often choose to issue convertible bonds to raise capital in order to not alienate their existing shareholders. That’s because shareholders often react badly when a company issues new shares, as it can drive down the price of existing shares, often through a process called stock dilution.

Convertible bonds are also attractive to issue for companies because the coupon — or interest payments — on them tend to be lower than for regular bonds. This can be helpful for companies who are looking to borrow money more cheaply.

Every convertible bond has its own conversion ratio. For instance, a bond with a conversion ratio of 5:1 ratio would allow the holder of one bond to convert that security into five shares of the company’s common stock.

Every convertible bond also comes with its own conversion price, which is set when the conversion ratio is decided. That information can be found in the bond indenture of convertible bonds.

Convertible bonds can come with a wide range of terms. For instance, with mandatory convertible bonds, investors must convert these bonds at a pre-set price conversion ratio. There are also reverse convertible bonds, which give the company — not the investor or bondholder — the choice of when to convert the bond to equity shares, or to keep the bond in place until maturity.

But it also allows the investor to convert the bond to stock when they’d make money by converting the bond to shares of stock when the share price is higher than the value of the bond, plus the remaining interest payments.

How Big Is the Convertible Bond Market?

In 2022, the size of the global convertible bond market was estimated to be about $375 billion. Securities have been issued by hundreds of companies. But note that these numbers are miniscule compared to the U.S. equity market, which has trillions in value and thousands of stocks.

The total size of the convertible bond market does expand and contract, though, often with the cycling of the economy. As such, it’s likely that the market could be bigger or smaller a year from now.

Reasons to Invest in Convertible Bonds

Why have investors turned to convertible bonds? One reason is that convertible bonds can offer a degree of downside protection from the bond component during stock volatility. The companies behind convertibles are obligated to pay back the principal and interest.

Meanwhile, they can also offer attractive upside, since if the stock market looks like it’ll be rising, investors have the option to convert their bonds into shares. Traditionally, when stocks win big, convertibles can deliver solid returns and outpace the yields offered by the broader bond market. However, when stocks retreat, convertibles tend to deliver short-term losses.

For example, In 2020, the U.S. convertibles market returned a blockbuster 43%, making it one of the top performing global asset classes. The convertibles market also did well in 2009, just as the global economy was recovering from the financial crisis, when it returned 49%.

Downsides of Convertible Bonds

One of the biggest disadvantages of convertible bonds is that they usually come with a lower interest payment than what the company would offer on an ordinary bond. And the chance to save on debt service is a big reason that companies issue convertibles. So for investors who are primarily interested in income, convertibles may not be the best fit.

There are also risks. Different companies issue convertible debt for different reasons, and they’re not always good. Convertible financing is sometimes labeled “death spiral financing.”

The death spiral is when convertible bonds drive the creation of an increasing number of shares of stock, which drives down the price of all the shares on the market. The death spiral tends to occur when a convertible allows buyers with a large premium to convert into shares at a fixed conversion ratio in which the buyer has a large premium.

This can happen when a bond’s face value is lower than the convertible value. That can lead to a mass conversion to stock, followed by quick sales, which drives the price down further.

Those sales, along with the dilution of the share price can, in turn, cause more bondholders to convert, given that the lower share price will grant them yet more shares at conversion. Being one of the shareholders who makes something out of such a catastrophe can be a matter of close study and good timing.

How to Invest in Convertible Bonds

Most convertibles are sold through private placements to institutional investors, so retail or individual investors may find it difficult to buy them.

But individual investors who want to jump into the convertibles market can turn to a host of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to choose from. But because convertibles, as hybrid securities, are each so individual when it comes to their pricing, yields, structure and terms, each manager approaches them differently. And it can pay to research the fund closely before investing.

For investors, one major advantage of professionally managed convertible bonds funds is that the managers of those funds know how to optimize features like embedded options, which many investors could overlook. Managers of larger funds can also trade in the convertible markets at lower costs and influence the structure and price of new deals to their advantage.

Recommended: How to Trade Options

The Takeaway

Convertible bonds are debt securities that can be converted to common stock shares. These hybrid securities offer interest payments, along with the chance to convert bonds into stock.

While convertible bonds are complex instruments that may not be suitable for all investors, they can offer diversification, particularly during volatile periods in the equity market. Investors can gain exposure to convertible bonds by putting money into mutual funds or ETFs that specialize in them.

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Adult Children Living at Home: How to Set Rules and Expectations

Today, it’s not uncommon for adult children to return home or never leave the nest to start with. About one in three 18- to 34-year-olds live with their parents according to recent survey data.

Moving back home can be a wise move for grown kids who may be dealing with job uncertainty, earning a low income, and/or be facing a mountain of student loan debt.

And it can wind up being a good deal for parents as well.

Some of the benefits: opportunities for companionship, the possibility of sharing household expenses, and the ability for adult children to pay down student debt and save money for longer-term financial goals (for instance, buying a house).

But living in the same household again can also bring opportunities for tension and misunderstandings.

That’s why parents who welcome their kids back may want to set a few guidelines. Here are some rules both parents and grown children might want to wrangle before moving back in under one roof.

What Is the Timeframe?

When adult children move back home, it’s helpful for both parties to have a timeframe in place, rather than the ’’foreseeable future.”

This may mean talking about why the move is happening. Is it to save money? If so, what is the money being saved for, and at what point should the child move out?

Some parents might find it helpful to set up a trial period, after which they can have a frank conversation about what is and is not working in the arrangement.

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Going Over the Financials

Many misunderstandings from adult children living at home stem from confusion over how much money, if any, they are expected to contribute.

It can be helpful for both parties to consider their expectations before coming together and talking through them. Some issues you may want to think about and then discuss:

•   Will adult children be expected to pay rent? And if so, how much will rent cost? When will it be due? Some parents might want to set a flat rate, while others might consider a percentage of the child’s income, if that income is currently low but expected to rise.

•   Will the child be responsible for a portion of bills, groceries, or other household costs (recurring and/or discretionary expenses, as you decide)?

•   How will resources be allocated? Is the fridge open for anyone? Can the child use the family car if they need it?

•   How much will bills go up with additional usage? Parents might decide they want their child to pay for any overages, or they might be okay with handling the increase themselves.

Recommended: How to Manage Money Better

Going Over House Rules and Behavior Expectations

Some parents have a “my house, my rules” expectation. But it can sometimes be mutually beneficial if both parties talk about behavior expectations with an attitude of give and take.

Often “unspoken expectations” don’t come up until a problem occurs. Talking through them proactively can make sure that everyone is on the same page.

Some issues parents and adult kids may want to go over:

•   What are expectations for guests? Is it okay for romantic partners to sleep over? Do parents need a heads up before guests come by?

•   What are communication expectations? Should a child inform their parents if they won’t be home by a certain time?

•   What chores are expected? It’s wise to go over whether or not you expect that your child to do some of the supermarket shopping and/or clean any areas of the house beyond their living spaces. It’s perfectly acceptable to have your adult child pitch in on dinner duty, take on cleaning, or otherwise contribute to the house as an adult. Perhaps they pay for their own monthly supermarket costs.

•   What do daily schedules look like? Maybe one family member needs quiet for work meetings. Maybe another needs access to family exercise equipment or the shower in the morning? Talking through routines — from breakfast to bedtime — will set expectations and avoid misunderstandings.

•   What does privacy mean when you’re under the same roof?

Both parties may be concerned about how the new arrangement will affect their lives, and talking through those concerns can help people find solutions that work for everyone.

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Helping Adult Children Achieve Financial Independence

There’s nothing like living together to get financial habits out in the open. This applies to adult children and their parents.

By keeping an open dialogue about money, however, you can help your adult children get on the right financial track (and perhaps move out sooner, rather than later).

Here are some ways you may be able to help adult children work towards financial security.

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Talking through financial and savings goals

Instead of asking your adult child how much they have saved, or how much consumer credit card debt they have, consider asking them to talk through their short-term financial goals and long-term ones too.

Putting rent to work

Some parents who are in a position to do so may want to charge their children rent and then use that money to gift to their child for a down payment, help with tuition, or hit another financial goal.

Or, in lieu of rent, you might request that your child set up an automatic deposit into a savings account that could eventually become a security deposit on a rental or an emergency fund.

Teaching by Example

One way to encourage disclosure about your adult child’s financial picture is to talk through your own.

Talk broadly through your retirement plan, any long-term care plans, or how you hit your own financial goals (such as buying a house). This can help your child start good financial habits and build a positive money mindset.

After all, personal finance is not typically taught formally, and giving your adult child — no matter how old — some insight into the tools and strategies you use can give them ideas for how they can manage their money and cut back on expenses.

Trying Not to Nitpick

While it’s helpful to talk through your own strategies, it may not be helpful if your child feels like you’re critical of the way they are spending money.

Let’s say your adult child buys a latte every day. Sure, you can point out how much they would potentially save if they invested that money, but for the sake of the relationship, it may be easier to let certain habits go and focus on what your child is doing to work toward financial goals, such as investing in their company’s 401(k) plan or doing their taxes well in advance of tax day.

💡 Quick Tip: If you’re faced with debt and wondering which kind to pay off first, it can be smart to prioritize high-interest debt first. For many people, this means their credit card debt; rates have recently been climbing into the double-digit range, so try to eliminate that ASAP.

The Takeaway

Living under one roof may not always be easy for adult children or parents, but it comes with an opportunity for growth for everyone, as well as a closer relationship as equals.

Part of forging that relationship may involve setting some parameters early on about what is expected from grown children while they are living at home, from how much they may be expected to contribute financially to how often they can use the car.

Letting kids move back home (where they can live more affordably), and having open discussions about money, can help them not only save, but also develop good financial habits.

Better banking is here with SoFi, NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Checking Account Overall.* Enjoy up to 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.


SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2023 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
The SoFi Bank Debit Mastercard® is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A., pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.


SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a recurring deposit of regular income to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government benefit payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, or are non-recurring in nature (e.g., IRS tax refunds), do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

As an alternative to direct deposit, SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.


Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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5 Smart Steps to Get Out of a Timeshare

Timeshares may be a fun vacation option for a while, but sometimes people want to end the arrangement. Those time share contracts, however, can seem pretty ironclad.

Whether you want out due to buyer’s remorse, a shift in your financial situation or health, or any other reason, here’s some good news: You’re not necessarily stuck.

If you change your mind soon after the purchase, for instance, you might be able to opt out during the “rescission period.”

Those who have had their timeshare for years can have alternatives, including having the resort take it back or perhaps re-selling it.

There are also what are known as “exit” companies that help timeshare owners get released from their agreements (though it’s important to vet those companies before signing an agreement).

If you’re ready to say goodbye to your vacation place, read on to learn steps for legally getting out of a timeshare contract.

5 Steps to Escaping a Timeshare

If you’re thinking about getting out of a timeshare or know you’re ready to make a change, here are five options to consider.

1. Checking the Rescission Period

If your second thoughts occur within several days of your purchase, you may be able to rescind the transaction if you’re still within the “rescission period.”

If you are, you should be able to get your money back and go on your merry way.

Keep in mind, however, that the rules vary from one state to the next.

Depending on the state where the timeshare is located, rescission periods can be anywhere from three days (the minimum required by the Federal Trade Commission) to two weeks.

In some cases, the rescission period may kick in as soon as you buy the timeshare. In others, it might start when you receive the public offering statement that includes general information about the timeshare.

For a timeshare on an exotic isle somewhere outside the U.S., you’ll need to find out what the laws are there.

If you’re eligible for rescission, you’ll want to follow the instructions in the documents you received when you purchased your timeshare.

Most likely you’ll need to send the resort a letter telling them you want out via rescission for a full refund.

It’s a good idea to send this letter using certified or registered mail.

💡 Quick Tip: Typically, checking accounts don’t earn interest. However, some accounts do, and online banks are more likely than brick-and-mortar banks to offer you the best rates.

2. Contacting the Timeshare Resort

If rescission isn’t possible because too much time has passed, another option you may be able to take advantage of is a “deed back” program.

Also known as “take-back” and “surrender” programs, these programs allow distressed owners to give their timeshares back to the resort developer, often for a fee of a couple of hundred dollars or so.

To find out if your developer offers this type of program, you may want to contact them directly and ask to speak with someone who handles “deed-backs” or “surrenders.”

You can also check online resources like ResponsibleExit.com for information about return programs.

Generally, developers will only go for this if the timeshare is fully paid for, and you’re up to date on your maintenance fees.

Some developers that accept returns may require owners to pay annual fees for a year or two while the resort finds another buyer.

In some cases, you may have to prove financial or medical hardship in order to qualify for a take-back program.

Even if your resort doesn’t have an official take-back program, you have nothing to lose by asking. Who knows; they might go for it.

Recommended: How to Automate Your Finances

3. Reselling The Timeshare Yourself

If you’re considering reselling your timeshare, it’s probably best if you don’t go into it with hopes of making a killing.

There are typically many people looking to unload their timeshares and demand isn’t generally high, unless your property is in a hot destination.

As a result, reselling can often be a losing proposition.

The best approach might be to think of reselling as someone taking the timeshare off your hands and becoming responsible for the fees moving forward, rather than making a profit.

You can list your timeshare on a general resale marketplace site, such as eBay and Craigslist. There are also sites just for timeshares, such as TUG (the website for the Timeshare Users Group) and RedWeek .

💡 Quick Tip: When you feel the urge to buy something that isn’t in your budget, try the 30-day rule. Make a note of the item in your calendar for 30 days into the future. When the date rolls around, there’s a good chance the “gotta have it” feeling will have subsided.

4. Reselling the Timeshare Through a Broker

If you opt to resell your timeshare, another option is to hire a real estate broker or agent who specializes in reselling timeshares.

If you choose this route, however, you’ll want to pick your broker carefully, cautions the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) .

Some real estate brokers and agents who specialize in reselling timeshares may falsely claim the market in your area is hot and that they’re overwhelmed with buyer requests.

They may even tell you that they already have buyers ready to purchase your timeshare, or promise to sell your timeshare within a specific time.

It’s wise to be skeptical of all such claims, says the FTC, and also to vet the reseller before agreeing to anything on the phone or in writing.

A good safeguard is to contact the state Attorney General and local consumer protection agencies in the state where the reseller is located, and ask if any complaints are on file. You also can search online for complaints.

You may also want to ask the reselling agency if their agents are licensed to sell real estate where your timeshare is located. If they say they are, you may want to verify it with the state’s Real Estate Commission.

Recommended: How to Manage Your Money Better

Other questions you may want to ask before hiring a reselling agent:

•   How do you plan to advertise and promote the timeshare unit?

•   Will I get progress reports and, if so, how often?

•   What fees do you charge, and when do they have to be paid?

It’s generally preferable to do business with a reseller that takes its fee (or commission) only after the timeshare is sold.

If you must pay a fee in advance, however, it’s wise to ask about refunds, and to get all refund policies and promises in writing.

💡 Quick Tip: If you’re creating a budget, try the 50/30/20 budget rule. Allocate 50% of your after-tax income to the “needs” of life, like living expenses and debt. Spend 30% on wants, and then save the remaining 20% towards saving for your long-term goals.

5. Hiring a Timeshare Exit Company

The concept is good. With a timeshare exit company you often get a small army to handle your business.

A good one knows the inner workings of the timeshare industry, which could be advantageous to you.

One major caveat is that these services generally don’t come cheap–prices vary considerably, but can be as high as $4,500.

It’s also important to be aware that there are many bad apples out there. There have been numerous lawsuits against timeshare exit companies that backed out of their payment agreements with customers.

To help ensure that an exit company you’re thinking about hiring is reputable, you may want to check with the Better Business Bureau, and also search online, to see if there have been complaints about the company and (most importantly) how they have handled those complaints.

You can also protect yourself by refusing to make any payments before a contract has been signed by both parties.

Recommended: 5 Reasons to Switch Banks

The Takeaway

Unloading a timeshare property isn’t always easy, but some of your exit options include: backing out during the “rescission period,” reselling it yourself, hiring a broker to resell it for you, and hiring a timeshare exit company to take care of the whole separation process.

It’s important to understand all of your options (and the potential pitfalls of each) in order to choose the best solution for your situation.

Better banking is here with SoFi, NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Checking Account Overall.* Enjoy up to 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.


SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2023 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
The SoFi Bank Debit Mastercard® is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A., pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.


SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a recurring deposit of regular income to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government benefit payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, or are non-recurring in nature (e.g., IRS tax refunds), do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

As an alternative to direct deposit, SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.


Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

This article is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult an attorney for advice.

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Is Homeowners Insurance Required to Buy a Home?

When you buy a home, you’re likely paying more than just the down payment and closing costs. You’ill probably also need to purchase homeowner’s insurance. While this coverage is not mandated by law, many mortgage lenders require it before they agree to finance the purchase of your home.

Here’s what first-time homebuyers need to know before shopping for homeowners insurance.

What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?

Homeowners insurance coverage provides protection for both a home and its contents against damage, theft, and up to 16 named perils, including fire, hail, windstorms, smoke, vandalism, and theft. It also typically includes personal liability coverage for accidents that may happen on the property (think of people slipping and falling down your stairs, or your dog biting a neighbor on the property).

On the flip side, basic homeowners insurance likely won’t cover damage from disasters such as floods and earthquakes, and even war (seriously). Homebuyers who live in an area prone to certain events or natural disasters may want to consider supplemental coverage. In some cases, their lender may even require it.

It’s a good idea to learn what’s generally covered by each homeowners insurance policy type — and what isn’t — to ensure you have the right protection in place.

When You Need to Buy Homeowners Insurance

If buyers plan to get a mortgage to purchase their home, their lender will likely require they obtain homeowners insurance coverage before signing off at closing.

In reality, this is a sound business tactic, as the lender will want to protect its investment, which is the property, not the person it’s lending to (harsh, we know). Let’s say the home is damaged in a windstorm or burns to the ground. Insurance will cover the cost, after a deductible, without burdening the homeowner. The homeowner can then continue to pay their mortgage on time, much to the delight of the lender.

Again, if you live in an area prone to certain disasters like floods or earthquakes, your lender may require additional coverage. Check with your lender on what’s necessary before signing.

If a person’s first home happens to be a condo or co-op, the board may also require specific coverage, thanks to a shared responsibility for the entire complex.

Recommended: House or Condo: Which Is Right For You? Take the Quiz

Can You Forgo Homeowners Insurance?

Technically, there are no laws requiring a person to obtain homeowners insurance, but it’s a rule put in place by many lenders.

If you’re paying cash for a new home, you can forgo purchasing homeowners insurance, though that may be a risky proposition.

Think you can somehow snake the system? Think again. If a lender doesn’t feel that the homebuyer is working hard or fast enough to find homeowners insurance before closing, the lender may go ahead and purchase insurance in that person’s name with what’s called “lender-placed insurance.”

This isn’t as cool as it sounds. Not only will it increase the mortgage payment, lender-placed insurance is typically more expensive than traditional homeowners insurance. And it may not even provide all the protection a homeowner needs or wants.

To give yourself enough time to find the right policy for you, aim to start shopping around a good 30 days before closing.

How Much Coverage a Person Needs

How much homeowners insurance a new homeowner needs will depend on the value of their home and the possessions in it. As a first step, would-be homeowners can ask their agent for a recommended amount of coverage.

After determining that number, it’s also a good idea to take stock of belongings and see if any items may require additional coverage (think expensive antiques, paintings, or other irreplaceable items). It could also be smart to photograph and digitally catalog major items in a home for proof needed on any claims.

Replacement Cost vs. Actual Cash Value

When shopping for homeowners insurance, there’s replacement cost coverage and actual cash value coverage.

Replacement cost coverage pays the amount needed to replace items with the same or similar item, while actual cash value coverage only covers the current, depreciated value of a home or possessions.

This means that if you have actual cash value coverage and disaster hits, you’ll only be able to get enough cash for the depreciated value of the home and items, not the cost of what it may take to replace them.

Most standard homeowners insurance policies cover the replacement cost of a physical home and the actual cash value of the insured’s personal property, but some policies and endorsements also cover the replacement cost of personal property.

The upshot: It’s best to go for replacement cost coverage whenever possible.

Recommended: How Much Is Homeowners Insurance?

The Takeaway

Is homeowners insurance required to buy a home? If you’re taking out a mortgage, that’s almost always a “yes.” It’s worth looking at your options — and understanding what will and will not be covered — so you can feel at ease in your new home for years to come.

Of course, shopping for homeowners insurance often requires considering several options, from the amount of coverage to the kind of policy to the cost of the premium. To help simplify the process, SoFi has partnered with Experian to bring customizable and affordable homeowners insurance to our members.

Experian allows you to match your current coverage to new policy offers with little to no data entry. And you can easily bundle your home and auto insurance to save money. All with no fees and no paperwork.

Check out homeowners insurance options offered through SoFi Protect.



Insurance not available in all states.
Experian is a registered service mark of Experian Personal Insurance Agency, Inc.
Social Finance, LLC ("SoFi") is compensated by Experian for each customer who purchases a policy through Experian from the site.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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