WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — 400 Airbnbs opened in Winston-Salem over the past 10 years.
And while city leaders tell FOX8 they aren’t concerned about the growth, one Winston-Salem dad says they need to start making a game plan for the future.
When the first house on Wendover Circle turned into an Airbnb, Raymond Ferrell wasn’t thrilled.
“There’s often five, six cars spilling out all over the place, and this is a city street. You can legally park, so it’s fair. It’s legal, but it’s obnoxious at the same time,” Ferrell said.
He tells FOX8 the grass isn’t always cut, and the trash can sometimes sits at the curb for days, problems the city legally can force a homeowner to fix.
He got more worried when the same person who purchased the first home and turned it into an Airbnb on the street purchased another one.
Ferrell lives on a small street with 13 houses and fears short-term rentals are preventing young buyers from finding their dream homes.
“It’s hard enough to buy a house…and at this price point, it would have been a great opportunity for a first-time buyer, and nobody ends up getting that chance. As a result, you’re taking away an opportunity for somebody,” Ferrell said.
The City of Winston-Salem does not have any guidelines for short-term rentals, meaning anyone not in a neighborhood with a Homeowners Association could operate one.
“In our municipalities, we have not seen massive growth in them. We’re not a tourist town. We don’t have the same impact. We’re becoming more so of one, but we are not thought of as a place to go holiday,” said Jeff MacIntosh, city council member representing the northwest ward.
MacIntosh tells FOX8 staff members are researching the impact of Airbnbs in the area and taking a closer look at how many there are in the city and what the demand is.
Ferrell hopes they will look closely at density issues and ways to keep Airbnb owners invested in the city.
“I understand at a government level, it does need to be treated with caution, but I’m worried about the amount of time caution takes,” Ferrell said.
City staff are scheduled to present their findings to a city council sub-committee in August.