Dear PoP

Room For Rent, originally uploaded by jrandallc.

“I was wondering how many people are taking advantage of the inauguration to rent out spare rooms in their houses and what they are charging. I’ve seen some pretty outrageous listings on craigslist and heard the hotels are charging an arm and a leg for rooms. I’m not looking to take advantage of people but rather the time period because my basement apartment will be empty at that time.”

and from folks who wouldn’t mind taking a little advantage:

“I’m curious to know. Have any readers decided to rent out their house/condo/apt/unit/bedroom/couch for the Inauguration, what price they are asking for it, and are they ACTUALLY getting acceptance offers? It seems crazy to me (based on the ads I’ve seen on craigslist) that someone would actually pay $10K (hell, even $5K) for a 2bed/2bath condo for 5 nights. But, when in Rome …



I have to admit, I’ve thought about renting out a room myself but I haven’t pulled the trigger yet. You can find some crazy craigslist options here. So has anyone decided to rent a room, apartment/condo or house for the inauguration? If so how much are you asking?

10 Comment

  • I’ve been considering it, but like PoP, just can’t seem to pull the trigger. My place is right on Constitution Ave on the Hill and is a quick easy walk to the Capitol. From what I can tell, the going rate for places in my neighborhood is 1500ish/night with a 4 night minimum. I can’t say $6000 isn’t tempting, but the prospect of strangers in my house (either with or without me here) just doesn’t appeal at all. On the other hand, I’m really considering getting out of town anyway (crowds, tourists and enthusiasm all kind of freak me out – the combination of over-the-top amounts of all three gives me hives just thinking about it), so it seems like I might as well make some money. Then again, that would mean I’d have to really clean up, which is a check in the “con” column.

  • Pay someone $100 to clean your apartment, well worth it if you go for $6k.

  • From a fellow Petworthian. I’m renting a room in my 5br/3ba on Quincy and Rock Creek to a couple of Katrina clean up volunteers for $150 a night for 4 nights. I have a nice place and maybe could have gotten more, but I don’t think I would have felt comfortable asking for more.

    We signed a short term rental agreement and I already have a deposit. I’m happy — and I think I’m going to take this occasion to buy nice, new flat screen.

  • I’ve considered it, too, because we live in Mr. SLS’s house but I own a 3bed, 1 full, 2 half bath house in the city as well that I’ve slowly been getting ready for sale. I’m hesitant to do it because I don’t want strangers in my house and I especially don’t want strangers in my house messing up the stuff I’ve just done to get the house ready for sale.

    But the money sounds niceeeee.

  • I am seriously considering renting my den which would easily sleep 4 in my house one block from the U Street metro. I plan to offer it for around $150-200 to people who were volunteers for the Obama campaign in one of the swing states.

    If I don’t post an ad on Craigslist maybe I will have an essay contest on my blog!

  • We just don’t feel right renting out any space at our place. Anyways, it looks like our space will be occupied with out of town friends – so we may get some nice wine, meals at some sweet restaurants and good company.

  • I’m seriously considering doing it, but staying in my place and having the renters as guests. Since I’ll still be there, I’ll offer it for a low price (but not the $5 that I’ve seen one poster offer to pay per night!)

  • I decided to list my place just because I looked at what other places were going for in our area, and thought the prices were insane!! Totally insane, but if that is what people are paying then… It looked like 2br, 1.5 bath houses were going for between 4k and 6k for 7nights, so I listed mine at the lowest end of that which I think is still crazy, but we will see. Also said that the price was negotiable. Would be a nice chance to get out of debt after being off work in this economy..

  • I’m renting my place out in Penn Quarter. Strangely, the fact that people are getting so up in arms about condos being rented out made me want to do it more. Just to prove that if you rent your place, the renters don’t turn into raving lunatics that will burn the place down. Seriously, who thinks that way?

  • The story is getting blown out of proportion. Yes, the hotels are booked, but 1 room condos/etc are not going many thousands of dollars. Take a look at Ebay. People are asking for alot, but none of these listings are closing because no one is bidding that much. This may change as the event nears, but right now, it’s not true.

    As far as Craigslist? Craigslist is a joke. People on CL ask more than market rate for everything all the time. That doesn’t mean anything is selling. It’s the same on all the other free listing classifieds.

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