Can I buy out Unisons investment in my home?
Our goal is to give you as much flexibility as possible. Unison allows you to request a special termination after the first three years (in some rare cases the waiting period is five years). We’ll use an independent third-party appraisal to determine the market value of your property at that time. Then you’ll pay us an amount similar to what you would have paid if you sold your home.
The biggest difference between selling your home and buying us out is that Unison cannot share in any loss in your home's value when you buy us out.
Learn more about special terminations here.
What happens when I decide to sell my home?
You can sell your home at any time. Whenever you choose to sell, you'll need to notify Unison and send us copies of certain documents related to the sale -- such as appraisals, inspections, title reports, etc. When your sale of the home closes, you will pay Unison the amount you owe us from the escrow.
Since Unison's funding is not intended to be short-term financing, we cannot share any loss in the value of the home if you sell it within the first three years (in some rare cases the waiting period is five years).
If I purchased a home with Unison HomeBuyer and sold it 30 years later, how much would I owe?
Let's look at an example that illustrates what your numbers might look like if you bought a home 30 years ago:
- You purchased a home in 1987
- You paid $1,000,000
- You put in a 10% down payment
- Unison put in another 10% (for a total down payment of 20%)
- Your mortgage rate was 4.0%
Your home saw an average amount of appreciation (based on data from the Federal Reserve). The graph below shows how much equity you would gain and how much you would share with Unison over this 30-year time period. As you can see, both your equity and Unison's share increase when the home increases in value. However, your equity also grows when you make your mortgage payments every month.
What happens if I sell within the first 3 years?
You are always allowed to sell your home, it’s yours after all. However, if you were to sell in the first three years, Unison would not share in any loss in your home’s value.
Unison also would not provide a remodeling adjustment during that period.
What happens if there is a foreclosure?
Because we want the best for our shared investment, we see foreclosure as a last resort. If you’re ever unable to make payments on your mortgage, we may issue "Protective Advances," which are funds that keep you current and help you avoid default, you would have to pay this back.
Unison may also offer you something called an Orderly Sale to prevent your home from going to foreclosure and becoming a "distressed" property. This may help preserve your home's value. This option can also protect your credit.
Of course, Unison does retain the right to foreclose on your home in situations where you have not met the obligations of our agreement.
To learn more about default situations, click here.
What if I make home improvements?
We believe that if you make improvements to your home that changes its value, you should get all the benefits. That’s why we use a tool called a Remodeling Adjustment.
To use the Remodeling Adjustment, you need to work with licensed contractors and fully document the project. We then use an independent appraiser to determine how the work changed the value of your home, making sure you receive full benefits. Because not all improvements add value whenever you are thinking about a project it is always a good first step to reach out to our team. It is important to note that the Remodeling Adjustment doesn’t apply if you end the agreement in the first three years.
Who decides when our partnership ends? Can you force me to sell my house?
You always remain the sole owner of your property and can decide to sell your home at any time. After 30 years, you will need to either buy out Unison’s investment, sell the home, or apply for an extension from Unison.
If you ever find yourself unable to make your mortgage payments, Unison may work with you to find a resolution that is best for everyone, which could include the sale of your home.
I have a lender I am working with already. With Unison HomeBuyer, do I have to work with your partner lenders?
You will need to work with one of our partner lenders since these companies are prepared to finalize a home purchase with the Unison HomeBuyer.
We are constantly building partnerships with new lenders. Please contact us to see if there is a qualified lender in your area.
What if I don't have enough cash for at least 50 percent of the down payment with Unison HomeBuyer?
In order to qualify for Unison HomeBuyer, we usually require you to have enough money available to pay half of the down payment in addition to any closing costs and other costs. However, if you don't have the required amount, we may still be able to help you purchase a home. Please contact us to see if we can work with you.
What happens if I don't properly maintain my property and its condition deteriorates?
During the term your agreement with Unison, you are required to maintain your property in good condition, subject to normal wear-and-tear.
If you do not, when the agreement ends the value of your property will most likely be less than it would have been if it had been properly maintained, and this would not be fair to Unison. When this is the case, a Deferred Maintenance Adjustment may apply when performing the settlement calculations.
Since the loss in value would be due to your failure to maintain the property, the Deferred Maintenance Adjustment allocates all of the loss in value due to improper maintenance to you, so that Unison does not share in it.
Typically, no Deferred Maintenance Adjustment will apply unless the aggregate cost of the required repairs is at least $5,000. One or more appraisals, inspections or repair estimates obtained from independent third-party providers are used to determine the amount of the Deferred Maintenance Adjustment.
Unison is committed to a fair process to determine the amount of the Deferred Maintenance Adjustment. In a rare instance in which we are unable to agree in good faith on the amount, the issue will be determined through arbitration.
More detail about the Deferred Maintenance Adjustment can be found in the Unison HomeBuyer and Unison HomeOwner Program Guides.
To learn more about default situations, click here.
What happens if I get behind on my mortgage payments? What happens if I default?
Unison technically has the right to foreclose on your property to protect its investment, similar to a lender. But we would much rather see you stay in your home. That's why we will always give you a chance to fix any default. As an investor in your property, we share your desire to protect the equity in the home. In certain circumstances, if you are facing foreclosure by your lender, we might work with you to sell your home in an orderly "non-distressed" fashion which would maximize the sale price, protect the equity in the home, and preserve your credit.
To learn more about default situations, visit here.