There’s an old truism about vacation homes: Nature wants them back.
Indeed between the maintenance, upkeep, taxes, hassle of finding short-term renters, and typically small number of days per year homeowners are actually in residence, vacation homes are generally a great way to make memories—and a poor way to invest your money.
Now two veterans of Zillow have a new spin on second homes—they want to pair you up with likeminded buyers to own just the amount of the house you’ll actually use. Their company, called Pacaso (pronounced like the painter), launched this week. Pacaso’s chairman is Zillow cofounder and former CEO Spencer Rascoff; its CEO is Dotloop founder and former Zillow executive Austin Allison. The company says it has raised $17 million in Series A funding, from investors including Maveron, Crosscut, Global Founders Capital, Howard Schultz, and other Zillow and Amazon executives. The startup has also secured $250 million in debt financing to purchase shares of homes.
Allison says Pacaso is addressing a basic mismatch in the marketplace. “Ten million people own second homes in America. Most of them sit vacant for 11 months of the year. Meanwhile there are tens of millions of people that aspire to own a second home, but can’t afford it,” he told Fortune.
So how do you find your dream home? On Pacaso’s site you can fill out a form with your desired location and price range. Then Pacaso works with local real estate agents to find a home that meets your criteria, and pairs you up with other buyers seeking a similar hideaway. (As of now, Pacaso deals in only turnkey homes, no fixer-uppers.) If Pacaso finds a group or individual who wants 50% of a property, they’ll set up an