Pacaso also caps each home to eight shares (or four in the case of Maui, the company’s newest market, which just launched this week), with no owner owning more than half of the house. Then, between you and your co-owners, no one is assigned specific weeks—bookings are handled through the app, which uses proprietary software to ensure a fair division of time, particularly over popular dates like holidays.
Graven explains there are typically three types of people who purchase second homes through Pacaso. The first is an affluent buyer who “just wants to push the easy button,” allowing the company to handle all the details, like maintenance and housekeeping.
“Then we have where our mission is really driven, and that’s making it more possible for people to buy second homes,” he says. Buying a share of a home rather than an entire home outright is obviously far more affordable, and given that many vacation homes sit empty throughout the year, fractional ownership reduces wasted spend. Thus the second type of buyer is an aspirational second-home owner for whom the barrier of entry has been lowered.
And the third type of buyer is an entirely different person. “It’s people saying, ‘A second home was never really my top priority because I want to go to all these places. I go to Europe, I go to Aspen, I go to Miami,’ and so on,” says Graven. So instead of owning one home in one of those destinations, they buy shares of Pacaso homes in multiple places. “They can still do their traveling, but also have equity ownership and property,” adds Graven.
Pacaso’s model hasn’t been without its detractors, primarily locals wary of Airbnb-style party houses. But Pacaso bans both events and short-term rentals—only owners and their guests can stay at their homes. And the company is making a concentrated effort to involve the community, whether through employment managing the homes or by donating portions of sales to local charities. Furthermore, Pacaso only purchases homes that are well above the median home value, ensuring that locals aren’t priced out of real estate due to limited inventory, which is a major concern regarding short-term rental properties.
If you’re thinking about buying a vacation home, it’s worth carefully thinking about your intended use of the home and considering how much time and money you’re willing to invest in its maintenance. Take the time to investigate multiple avenues, whether you decide to offset costs by listing on rental platforms like Airbnb or MyPlace or purchase a fractional share through a platform like Pacaso. There’s no single “best” way to go about second-home ownership, but there certainly are smart ways.