What is Pacaso?
Pacaso is the newest way for Silicon Valley bros and venture capital vultures to make a quick buck at your expense: By turning your neighbor’s house into what’s basically a glorified timeshare. Forget the conference room sales pitch most of us associate with timeshares. Pacaso works quietly by buying up single-family properties under anonymous corporate shells and then resells “fractional" ownerships in the form of 1/8 of a furnished home. You may not realize the house next door sold to Pacaso until you see a revolving cast of guests pulling up every couple of days or weeks.
Originally called Niner Homes, Pacaso was founded in 2020 by Spencer Rascoff and Austin Allison who met when both were at Zillow.
You may have seen Pacaso’s advertising on billboards, Google, Facebook, Instagram, NextDoor or in your newspaper – they are making a big play for residential communities in Northern California wine country - places such as Sonoma, Healdsburg and Napa that are in desperate need of more housing for their own community.
Why is Pacaso bad for your neighborhood?
Pacaso fancies itself a “disrupter,” but the only thing it's disrupting is local neighborhoods by turning established homes into virtual hotels – except without paying transient occupancy tax (TOT) like other short-term lodging. By circumventing these fees and regulations, Pacaso is depriving local towns of sorely needed tax dollars, while lining their own pockets.
Pacaso is a Bully:
Pacaso is a litigious bully. It sued the city of St. Helena in Napa Valley because St. Helena classifies Pacaso as a timeshare and won’t allow it. It seems as though Pacaso won’t hesitate to sue local municipalities to get their way. To date, Austin Allison and other senior executives have made no effort to build any sort of relationship within these communities.
JOIN OUR CONTACT LIST
Either click on the Get Involved tab on this website or email us at StopPacasoNow@gmail.com to join our list of allies. Also contact your local group working in a neighborhood near you. See the section below.
Signs are now available free of charge. Pick one up to display in your lawn, window or fence. Don't forget about leaving one on your car when you are parked in a busy parking lot!
Pick up signs at 1404 Old Winery Court, Sonoma, on the front porch OR make your own. Check the photos below for ideas.
WE ARE NOW ON TWITTER!
We need to be where Pacaso spends its time, and that is on Twitter. Please follow us @StopPacasoNow BTW, no surprise! Most of us have been blocked and are unable to retweet from @Pacasohomes
Sonoma, Napa and St. Helena all have petitions on Change.org. Let's keep them growing!
Note: Donations to Change.org do NOT go to our campaign, if you would like to donate, see below.
Napa Change.org: http://chng.it/nV2LdSZHDH
Sonoma Change.org : http://chng.it/ndh87rvTYT
St. Helena Change.org : http://chng.it/PGT9RtxJv2
DONATIONS TO THE CAUSE
Our group is working with media experts to get this story out through news articles and social media ads - Pacaso is advertising nationally and we need to focus beyond Sonoma/Napa. In addition, we have purchased banners, signs and a website.
CONTACT LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Regulations need to be created to protect our Cities and Counties against the rise of this newest way to skirt short term rentals! Write emails and attend meetings - make your voice heard! EMAIL StopPacasoNow@gmail.com for email templates.
WRITE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Pacaso is advertising heavily. They have run half page ads in the local paper and full page in national papers. Write letters to the Editor and tell them NO!
BE AWARE WHEN A HOUSE GOES UP FOR SALE
If you have a 'Pacaso-style' home in your neighborhood, be aware it may be targeted by Pacaso. They will offer more than any other potential buyer. Why? At this point they are still building their portfolio of homes and need more listings on their website for that all important future IPO.
A judge has dismissed part of a lawsuit brought by the home-sharing company Pacaso against the City of St. Helena, in a dispute centering on a definition of a timeshare.
Pacaso filed a federal lawsuit on April 6 challenging the city's determination that Pacaso's shared homes amount to timeshares, which are prohibited by city code.
In a ruling issued last Thursday, U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick dismissed one of the lawsuit's five "causes of action" against the city by applying California's anti-SLAPP statute, which is intended to prevent plaintiffs from using lawsuits to interfere with people exercising their free speech rights in connection with public issues. (READ the entire story in the Press section of this website.
A strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP), SLAPP suit, or intimidation lawsuit is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.
In the typical SLAPP, the plaintiff does not normally expect to win the lawsuit. The plaintiff's goals are accomplished if the defendant succumbs to fear, intimidation, mounting legal costs, or simple exhaustion and abandons the criticism.
to join the City and County of Sonoma contact list
“Pacaso is the newest addition in a long line of vulture capitalist companies here to put the final nail in the coffin of Sonoma's
Logan Harvey, Mayor
Email NapaCATS2021@ gmail.com
to join the City of Napa contact list
“It’s about allowing the residents and workers here some space in which to get away from the impacts of tourism. It’s about trying to preserve our schools. It’s about keeping residents in our neighborhoods and tourists in our b&bs.”
Paula French, resident
to join the St. Helena contact list
"Doesn’t everyone, regardless of an area’s wealth, deserve the stability, serenity and security of living in a neighborhood of full-time neighbors, not vacation party houses?"
Susan McWilliams, resident
"Legal expenses, to the extent incurred on behalf of the LLC, may be passed through to the owners as a Basic Expense of the LLC"
Found under Owner FAQs 6/21
"The owner group can vote to remove Pacaso as the manager of the home and self-manage the property."
Found under Owner FAQs 6/21
NOTE: Whether the owners decide to self-manage or Pacaso remains the manager, management agreements CAN CHANGE. The Code of Conduct, a selling point to potential Pacaso neighbors, is not guaranteed if management changes or the management agreement is amended.
"Owners are not permitted to rent out or sell time on vacation rental sites or other public rental listing services. "
Found under Buyer FAQs 6/21
NOTE: Remember, this statement is part of Pacaso's Code of Conduct, which is NOT on the deed to the property and CAN be changed at any time.
NOTE: Many jurisdictions restrict – or ban outright – short-term vacation rentals especially in Sonoma and Napa Valleys.
"Owners may cancel with no penalty up to 60 days prior to their scheduled stay. "
" If the property is not re-booked, the dates count toward the cancelling owner's annual stay night calendar for the year. "
Found under Owner FAQs 6/21
NOTE: Hospitalization? Smoke from nearby fires impacting the quality of air? Family emergency? Mandatory Evacuation? Extended Power Outage?
"Prospects are whole home listings that meet Pacaso’s highly selective criteria: epic homes in amazing locations. To purchase the whole home, contact Julian Johnston, The Corcoran Group. If enough buyers are interested in co-owning this home, we’ll buy the home and turn it into a Pacaso."
Found under Buyer FAQs 6/21
NOTE: Most of the pages of listings on Pacaso's website are Prospect Listings; homes that are not owned by Pacaso but are for sale on the MLS
If customers can’t find it, it doesn’t exist. Clearly list and describe the services you offer. Also, be sure to showcase a premium service.
Having a big sale, on-site celebrity, or other event? Be sure to announce it so everybody knows and gets excited about it.
Are your customers raving about you on social media? Share their great stories to help turn potential customers into loyal ones.
Running a holiday sale or weekly special? Definitely promote it here to get customers excited about getting a sweet deal.
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Customers have questions, you have answers. Display the most frequently asked questions, so everybody benefits.