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Unison HomeBuyer

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Highlights
Shared Equity Use Case Mortgage Down Payment
Investment Range $ $15,000 - $450,000
Investment Range % 5% - 15%

Unison HomeBuyer Review

Unison HomeBuyer is offered by Unison, a financial services company founded in 2006 and based in San Francisco, CA. Unison HomeBuyer is available in 28 states (and Washington, DC).

Key Takeaways
  • Good credit required. You will need a credit score of at least 680 to qualify for Unison HomeBuyer.
  • Maximum investment of $450,000. Your actual offer will depend on the value of the home and how much equity you have in the property.
  • Long contract terms. Unison HomeBuyer offers a contract term of 30 years, which provides homeowners with plenty of flexibility. Most home equity investors have a maximum term of 10 years.
  • Share of home appreciation. Unlike most shared equity investors, Unison HomeBuyer's return depends on your home's appreciation rather than the home's entire value. When the contract ends, the buyback cost will be the original investment plus 16.5% to 57.8% of the home's increase in value. If your home has lost value, Unison HomeBuyer will also share in the loss.
  • Only available in select states. Unison HomeBuyer is currently available in 28 states.
Unison HomeBuyer Pros & Cons
Pros Cons
  • Avoid paying a private mortgage insurance (PMI).
  • Unison is available in more states than most shared equity investors
  • Fair credit accepted. Considers credit scores as low as 680
  • Considers homeowners with a debt-to-income ratio of up to 43%.
  • Longer repayment periods.
  • The amounts are lower than the loan amounts available with a HELOC.
  • Luxury properties may not be eligible.
  • Unison won't share any losses with you if you sell your home in the first 3 years.
Unison HomeBuyer FAQ

How does the Unison HomeBuyer product work?

A shared equity agreement (also called home equity contract) is essentially a way to sell a portion of the equity in your home to an investment company.

The Unison HomeBuyer product supports home purchase down payments. Unison aims to help more people afford to buy a home. Rather than giving you a loan, they invest alongside you in your home by matching up to 50% of your down payment. Through the Unison HomeBuyer product, Unison helps to finance your mortgage down payment in exchange for a share of the home’s future appreciation.

Unison HomeBuyer will have a lien on the property (just like a mortgage does), but since it's not a loan you won't be paying Unison HomeBuyer interest or a monthly payment. Instead Unison HomeBuyer gets paid a share of your home's value when the contract ends, which typically occurs when you decide to sell your home or buy Unison HomeBuyer out. For example, Unison HomeBuyer might provide you with a cash investment today equal to 10% of your home's current value in exchange for 16% of your home's future value when you sell.

How much will Unison invest into a shared equity agreement?

The Unison HomeBuyer program offers equity investments that range from 5% up to 15% of a property's market value. As you might expect, Unison has a cap on the amount of funding they will invest in a single home. The most Unison can invest in a single home is $450,000.

Unison HomeBuyer Terms & Requirements
Investment Term Amount
Equity Investment Range 5% - 15%
Equity Investment Range $15,000 - $450,000
Maximum Down Payment Match Percentage 50%
Maximum Debt-to-Income Ratio 43%

What are the costs associated with Unison HomeBuyer?

Unlike loans, the cost associated with an Unison investment is not based on an interest rate. There are no monthly payments or accrued interest. Instead, Unison shares in the future value of your property and typically only receives a return on its investment when you sell your home or decide to buy Unison out. The percentage of your home’s value that Unison shares when the contract ends is larger than the percentage of Unison's investment in your home. Therefore, Unison will make a profit if your home’s value does not change. If your home’s value increases, Unison will make a larger profit. If the value drops, Unison will make a smaller profit, or might incur a loss.

The Unison HomeBuyer program includes an origination fee equal to 3% of the Unlock investment. This will reduce the amount of cash that you receive at closing. There are also expenses that are typical for any real estate financing transaction, such as appraisal, inspection and closing costs.

Unlock’s profit on its investment is subject to an annualized cost limit (typically 18%), Your cost for the Unlock money can never exceed the limit. In many cases, and depending on how long the contract remains outstanding, the cost will be significantly lower.

The Unison HomeBuyer program includes a closing fee equal to 2.5% of their investment.

Unison HomeBuyer Fees
Description
Closing Costs (%) 2.5%
Share of Home Appreciation 16.5% - 57.8%

What are the terms for a shared equity investment via Unison?

You can use the funds provided by Unison HomeBuyer for up to 30 years. After 30 years, you will need to settle up with Unison, either by selling the home or buying Unison out. You can finance a buyout with your cash, refinancing your mortgage, or by partnering with Unison for another term.

To buy Unison out, you would need to pay back their original investment plus or minus their share of your home’s change in value.

How long does it take to close a deal with Unison?

Unison HomeBuyer will typically fund a deal within 21 days.

What types of property does Unison consider?

Shared equity investors often have restrictions on the type of properties they will invest in. Unison HomeBuyer will consider shared equity agreements secured by the following property types:

  • Primary home
  • Secondary homes and vacation properties.
Unison HomeBuyer Disclosure: Real Estate Equity Exchange, Inc., dba Unison Home Ownership Investors, offers Unison HomeOwner Agreements and Unison HomeBuyer Agreements through Unison Agreement Corporation (AZ DRE #CO670710000, CA BRE License #2012710, DC REC License #C098374562, GA REC License #76456, IL DFPR License #478026863, MA BR License #422177, MD REC License #6027, NJ REC License #1649879, NY DL License #10311206864, PA REC License #RBR002699, VA REB License #0226-025731, WA DL License #19288) and Unison Agreement AO Corporation (CT REB License #791352, OR REA License #201221258). Unison is an independent investor and is not affiliated with any bank or lender. No agency relationship shall be formed pursuant to or in connection with a Unison HomeOwner or Unison HomeBuyer transaction.
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Message From Unison

Unison is the market leader in home ownership investment. Founded in 2004, San Francisco-based Unison makes long-term investments in individual residential properties through two innovative programs: Unison HomeBuyer, which provides a portion of the down payment needed to purchase a home, and Unison HomeOwner, which allows current homeowners to tap into their home equity without interest or monthly payments.

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About Unison HomeBuyer

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Availability

  Available in 28 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Washington, DC
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • North Carolina
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • Nevada
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

Feature Breakdown

Closing Costs (%) 2.5%
Credit Score Range 680 - 850
Down Payment Match Percentage Up to 50%
Employment Statuses Considered
  • Employed Full-Time
  • Employed Part-Time
  • Self-Employed
  • Retired
Immigration Status Considered
  • U.S. Citizen
  • U.S. Permanent Resident
Intended Use
  • Primary Home
  • Secondary Home
Joint Loan Applications Accepted
  • Co-borrower
  • Individual Applications
Military Status
  • Active Duty Military
  • Non-Military
  • Veterans
  • Military Dependent
Minimum Age 18
Supported Income Types
  • Direct Deposit (W2, SSA, SSDI)
  • Payroll Check or Prepaid Card
  • 1099 Misc. Income
Verification Documents Required
  • Proof of Income
  • Proof of Residence
Shared Equity Use Case Mortgage Down Payment
Funding Time Range 15 - 21 days
Investment Range % 5% - 15%
Investment Range $ $15,000 - $450,000

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