What’s the Catch with Unison HomeBuyer?

Short answer: there is no catch.

We share in the investment in your home and the appreciation or depreciation when you sell. We charge no monthly payments and no interest. Explore below and learn how Unison works.

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What percentage of the change in value does Unison share?

Unison typically shares in anywhere from 15% – 50% of the change in value based on how much you want us to invest.
Let’s look at an example that illustrates what your numbers might look like if you bought a home 30 years ago with Unison:

  • You purchased a home in 1987
  • You put in a 10% down payment
  • You paid $1,000,000
  • Unison put in another 10% (for a total down payment of 20%)
  • With 10% investment, Unison’s share is 35% of your home’s appreciation
  • Your mortgage rate was 4.0%
  • Your home value increased an average amount of appreciation (based on Federal Reserve data)

This graph 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.

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Homeowners

Homeownership is a dream, but can tie up a lot of your money and cause financial stress. We free up that money and still let you share in appreciation in home prices.

Institutional Investors

Institutional investors have money to invest and long time horizons. They want to invest in the housing market but they don’t want to buy individual homes or collect monthly payments.

Why would Unison invest in my home?

Our company was built on the idea of partnership between Unison and homeowners. Unison’s founder, Thomas Sponholtz, started the company in order to bring together institutional investors and homeowners.

These two seemingly different groups have a lot to offer each other. Homeowners need greater flexibility for financing their home purchase or using the equity in their home. Investors need a way to invest in the housing market. Unison brings them together.

 
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Why haven’t I heard of Unison before? Are Unison’s programs fair?

Unison is pioneering a completely new way to think about home finance. We invest alongside homeowners in their homes, sharing the investment – as partners. With something this new, it’s natural that people will have questions about it.

We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to structure our partnership with homeowners. Our goal is to create a sustainable business that allows homeowners to have more flexibility and control over their finances.

We do believe that Unison is fair, and we hope you do too. Here’s why:

We invest alongside you at the same price

Since both you and Unison are investing in your home, it’s important that both of us start together by investing at the same price. We use independent appraisals to determine the fair market value of a home. By tying our success to yours, we ensure that the deal is equitable and fair.

We share the downside as well as the upside

It’s very important to us that we share both the upside and the downside of our shared investment in your home. If your home loses value, we don’t leave you high and dry: we share the loss with you. After the U.S. housing crisis of 2007-2008, we all know that home prices can go down. An investment from Unison means that you have a partner by your side — in good times and bad.

You receive a greater share of the investment returns

You own the home and you’re the one making sure it stays in tip-top shape. For that reason, you should have a greater share of the investment. If you buy a home with us and we each put in 10% for the down payment, we usually share 35-40% of the appreciation when the home is sold, while you share 60-65%. Your share is greater.

We typically compare favorably to the alternatives

We want Unison to compare favorably to other options you might be considering. For example, you might consider a 90/10 loan which allows you to keep 100% of appreciation but comes with higher monthly payments plus PMI payments.

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Will I save money with Unison?

While it’s impossible to compare every scenario, it is likely that you will save money with Unison’s programs. For a typical homebuyer, choosing Unison could mean saving enough money over the first year to cover 3 months of mortgage payments. Over the first 4 years of owning your home, you could save enough to cover an entire year of mortgage payments.

We’ve had customers who cut their monthly mortgage payment by hundreds of dollars by choosing to partner with Unison on their home purchase.

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How does Unison compare with alternatives?

Many people want to compare Unison to a 90/10 mortgage with PMI. While there are some advantages to a 90/10 loan, we think our programs stack up well against them. Here is an example of the difference between the two given average U.S. home price appreciation:

Estimated Annualized Percentage Cost Over the Term for a $50,000 Unison Down Payment

For homeowners looking to unlock the equity in their homes, there are many companies that provide home equity loans. However, we think our Unison HomeOwner program stacks up well against these options. Here is an example of the difference between the two given average U.S. home price appreciation:

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