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Airbnb Blurs The Line Between Commercial, Residential Property

Airbnb homeowners looking to refinance their mortgages are running into trouble getting loans—their Airbnb income is blurring the line between commercial and residential.

Some of America’s largest banks, including Bank of America and Wells Fargo, are imposing additional levels of scrutiny on customers who rent out rooms in their home on home-sharing sites like Airbnb, the Wall Street Journal reports. Some borrowers say they were told they are no longer eligible for certain loans and now have to pay higher interest rates.

The issue has to do with what’s historically been an easy distinction to make—whether a house is a principal residence or an investment property. But today Airbnb’s website has over 455,000 active listings, up 80% from a year ago, and banks are still wrestling with how to classify and understand this new category of homeowners. [WSJ]