LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - What began several years ago as an innovative idea during Kentucky Derby week has skyrocketed into a booming business for many Louisvillians.
The rent your home trade has grown fast in the last decade. Now, there are homeowners from southern Indiana to southern Kentucky looking to cash in and it's become a buyer's market with plenty of places to choose from.
It doesn't have the longevity of fancy hats or mint juleps, but for many Louisville families it is becoming a Derby tradition. Over the years, WAVE 3 News has introduced viewers to homeowners who saddled up on the idea to rent out their digs Derby week.
Now? It's a renter's market.
From a $3,000 house with an optional pasture on Craigslist to dozens of websites all trying to keep up with the Derby demand.
"It's four bedrooms total," said newcomer Rob Schenkenfelder describing the St. Matthews home he shares with his fiance'. The duo put their house on the popular international website airbnb.com. Their nicely appointed home that sleeps 8 with 3 full baths comes complete with a Derby wreath on the door.
Although it's a house most out-of-town race fans would love to call their Derby destination, the couple offered a discount after realizing how much inventory was out there. Schenkenfelder told us, " I couldn't believe how many more listings are on there and all that competition caused us to reduced the price."
Cutting a deal wasn't necessary for Jazz Salon hair stylist Lauren Horne.
Close to both the track and popular restaurants, her stylish Highlands apartment was priced right and went fast to a Florida mother and son. "We've talked to the people staying at our place," Horne told us, " and they're on the website too and they said this is a good relationship for us because you guys can come stay with us in Florida!"
Besides that bonus and the extra cash, Horne and her husband are equally excited to ensure some southern hospitality. "Showing someone Louisville and being able to share this fun community is great, " Horne smiled, "Hopefully she's got a big hat and hopefully he loves Derby Pie and they love the races."
If you have a group of Derby visitors coming into town the Schenkenfelder's home and many others are still available.
There are plenty of websites to choose from. The people we talked with both chose airbnb.com because it offers insurance against any damages and you can choose exactly who you want in your home. Homeowners can see profiles and E-mail renters directly.
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