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Cincinnati-based tech entrepreneur Austin Allison had been scheming up a new business plan with former Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff that would allow more consumers to become second home buyers, and then, the pandemic hit. The way we work, live, and enjoy our free time began to transform right before our eyes, and Allison knew there was never a better time to make second home ownership possible and people began fleeing cities and setting up shop in beachfront cities and mountain towns.
"The pandemic made demand for second home ownership stronger than ever as people looked to reorient their lives to a new work-from-home, school-from-home reality," says Allison. 'There is also a heightened emphasis on the now—why wait to attain the dream you’ve always had whether that be owning a second home or other aspirations? A second home gives you that place to spend time with friends and family and create memories, the trail you ride the mountain bike on, the favorite coffee shop or restaurant you return to every time, all of those important aspects of life that people value more now than ever before."
What Is Pacaso And How Does it Work?
Pacaso is a digital platform that connects aspiring second homeowners to high-end properties in the most desirable second home destinations across the U.S. as well as Spain. (The Spanish region of Costa del Sol is one of the most popular vacation home locales in the world). Named to honor Pablo Picasso's innovative development of Cubism in the art world, Pacaso seeks to develop a new age of co-ownership that rebrands the concept from timeshares with sketchy contracts to hassle-free property management and equitable scheduling.
"We’ve replaced the decades-old practice of DIY co-ownership with fully managed LLC co-ownership, professional property management, and a smart scheduling system to make owning a second home more enjoyable and less expensive," Allison says."Co-ownership helps buyers increase their purchasing power and shop for homes that would be otherwise out of their price range. It also empowers a sphere of buyers—those who may have been priced out of the market—to become second home owners."
Pacaso takes care of the furnishings, repairs, utilities, and other management needs so homebuyers can make the most of each minute they are visiting their vacation home. Unlike with timeshares, buyers also enjoy ongoing access, true ownership, and the ability to sell on your terms based on market pricing.
Pacaso's SmartStay™ system allows the homeowners to book stays from two days to 24 months out in real time, using the app. The system is designed to offer all Pacaso owners equitable access to their home to ensure all owners get to visit during times that are convenient and desirable throughout the year. Allison says each region also has a dedicated Home Manager who supports the owners with scheduling, management and special requests, along with any other home-related needs.
What Makes a Property Pacaso-Worthy?
The Pacaso team will work with buyers on any for-sale listing in its network to create a property-specific LLC. The company features a carefully curated assortment of listings in their top destinations sourced in neighborhoods based on data from real homebuyers already living in Pacaso destinations.
"Aside from being located in desirable and popular second home destinations, our homes are high end; turnkey, meaning the home shouldn’t need major renovation or repairs; offer premium amenities and modern conveniences, such as hot tubs, chef’s kitchens, outdoor living spaces; and really have those “wow” factors," says Allison. "All of our Pacasos are luxurious but livable as we want the home to feel special without sacrificing comfort or ease for our owners."
The company currently operates in 20 locations and plans to continue expanding into top vacation home destinations in the coming years. The majority of Pacaso homes can be found in California, Colorado, and Florida while other destinations include Jackson Hole, Scottsdale, and Park City. From sleek Intracoastal estates in Boca Raton to chic cabins in Breckenridge, there's something for every type of vacationer and design sense.
"Many families aspire to own a second home, but few realize that dream," says Allison. "The largest barriers are second home purchase price and purchase justification—it’s hard to rationalize buying a whole home you’ll use for less than six weeks out of the year or taking on the part-time job of managing your second home. Our business model at Pacaso addresses both challenges head on."
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