Business was humming for Airbnb host Josep Navas Masip in Philadelphia. So he purchased a second home and planned to renovate it and add it to his Airbnb offerings.
"In the middle of the renovation, the coronavirus crisis hit," he said. "I had to cancel my renovations, and I had to tell the contractor to stop working."
Navas Masip, 44, was bringing in about $2,000 a month from the two rooms he was renting from his South Philadelphia home.
Betting that he could double his earnings with a second home, he quit his job as a Spanish language professor to pursue another graduate degree in education and e-learning. His plan was to lean on his Airbnb income during that time.
Now with no guests for the foreseeable future, Navas Masip knows he has to rip up that plan, but he doesn't quite know what to do. He is still pursuing the graduate work online, but when it comes to making money, he said he's feeling increasingly desperate.
Navas Masip now wonders whether he should rent out the house he just bought or put it up for sale.
"I have, now, two mortgages. I don't have any income," he said. "And I don't know when I'm going to be able to start doing Airbnb again. So I'm thinking about maybe taking a loan from a family member or start talking to a bank."