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Divvy Homes Review
Rent-to-own home enterprises are often one of the more unsavory corners of the real estate market, with high eviction rates, inferior houses, and dubious legal methods. It is not unusual for people who pursue rent to own homes – many of whom are economically vulnerable, to have a poor outcome in the transaction, or even to be a victim of some sort of fraud.
Unfortunately, millions of Americans are unable to afford a home because of financial constraints. According to Experian, one of the three consumer credit bureaus, 16 percent of Americans (almost 53 million) have credit scores of less than 580. A low credit score like this would typically put homeownership out of reach since it would be impossible in most cases to qualify for a mortgage with most lenders.
Instead, most people in this situation find themselves to be consigned to be long-term renters, especially if they are unable to find someone to co-sign a home loan for them or give them the cash outright for a home purchase.
Divvy Homes, a three-year-old company funded by high-flying Silicon Valley investors, claims it is here to change all that.
Divvy, an innovative financial services company focused on homeownership, empowers consumers to choose a property on the open market rather than offering them a small selection of often unsatisfactory properties to choose from like most rent-to-own transactions typically do. The sale price is fixed at the beginning of the lease, and they can save money by purchasing early.
Here is a detailed overview of Divvy Homes that will help you decide whether or not Divvy Homes is a good choice for you.
Onto our Divvy Homes review!
What Is Divvy Homes?
Divvy Homes is a financial services company founded by Adena Hefets, Alex Klarfeld, Brian Ma, and Nicholas Clark in 2017 in San Francisco California, where it is still headquartered. The real estate-centric platform works with people who want to buy a house but can’t because they can’t get a loan. They allow renters to pick a property they want to buy one day, put down a small deposit, move in, and make monthly payments.
Divvy’s unique home-buying process enables the prospective buyer to build up equity in the home over time. Additionally, the consumers within a Divvy transaction typically have the opportunity to improve their credit scores, build equity in the home that they eventually own, and become eligible for financing within three years. Upon successful conclusion of working with Divvy, most people are able to obtain a mortgage and purchase the property they had been renting.
Instead of paying rent every month and getting no closer to homeownership, Divvy will provide tenants the option to develop credit, earn equity, and eventually get approved for a mortgage through a modified rent-to-own arrangement.
How Divvy Works
Working with Divvy is a pretty straightforward process, thanks to their intuitive, easy-to-use online platform. To begin the journey to getting your own home on the site, a renter first fills out an application with the platform, providing financial and personal details. Then, once Divvy approves their application, the consumer can begin looking for a home in one of the sixteen metropolitan areas across the country where Divvy Homes currently operates.
The Divvy platform is available in Atlanta, Georgia, Cincinnati and Cleveland, Ohio, Dallas, San Antonio and Houston, Texas, Denver, Colorado, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Jacksonville, Orlando, and Miami, Florida, Memphis, Tennessee, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Phoenix, Arizona, and Saint Louis, Missouri; you can also check the counties adjacent to these metropolitan areas to see if Divvy is available there as well. The renter has the freedom to choose any home in their neighborhood.
The prospective renter is guided through the process by Divvy real estate agents and customer support employees, who assist with everything from house-hunting to final agreements with sellers.
When a renter finds a house, they wish to buy, Divvy requires them to put down at least a 2% deposit. Divvy Homes will cover most of the other costs involved in the transaction, including the remaining purchase price, the closing costs, taxes, and insurance expenses.
After that, the renter can move in and will begin making two monthly payments: The first payment will be a standard monthly rent. Then, there will be an equity, or “savings,” payment, which Divvy will keep on behalf of the person within the transaction. At the conclusion of the agreement, Divvy will return the accumulated monthly savings payments, which can then be used as a down payment for the purchase of the home. At that point, the renter should be able to qualify for a traditional mortgage and assume ownership of the home, as long as all other requirements are completed.
Divvy Homes is available in the following areas:
- San Antonio
- Fort Lauderdale
- Saint Louis
Keep reading for more of our Divvy Homes review below.
Divvy works with a variety of candidates. The platform prioritizes selecting prospective renters who are likely to make on-time payments, and who would likely be on track to eventually qualify for a mortgage. There are additional qualifying standards, much like with a typical home purchase and/or mortgage, to ensure that you can make future payments.
Although their screening process is not as rigorous as that of a typical lender, candidates must meet the following criteria to be accepted.
Since you’ll be a tenant, this will include a credit check, income verification, evidence of down payment, and a background check. In terms of income, you must be employed and produce proof of income for the last six months, with a monthly average of at least $2,400.
Overall, the following checklist indicates what Divvy typically requires of people in order to qualify for their programs:
- Credit check
- Income verification
- Background check
- Proof of down payment
- Two months rent
- Photo ID
The Divvy team takes time out to ensure all the requirements are met. Of course, this is to ensure you are in a position to meet up at your end. Thus, the following checks will be carried out:
When you apply with Divvy Homes, they’ll do a “soft” credit check that won’t damage your credit score. If you’re applying alongside another person (a co-applicant), their credit will be checked as well. You (and your co-applicant) must have a credit score of at least 550 to be considered for credit.
When the Divvy team examines your credit record, they check for things like your debt-to-income ratio, how responsible you are with credit, any missed payments or loan delinquencies, any foreclosures, evictions, or bankruptcies, and your overall FICO score.
If your credit report lacks the information Divvy requires to proceed, they will notify you and may need to do a “hard” credit check (which can affect your credit score) to obtain the information they require.
Divvy will assess eligibility for their programs based on a prospective renter’s income as well. The platform will want to verify that a prospective renter and any additional co-applicants make enough money to cover the mortgage payments on a regular basis.
Divvy is also checking to see if an applicant will be able to get a mortgage in the next few years as well. Any documentation you have will be used to substantiate your income. Employer W2s, bank, and direct deposit information, pay stubs dating back a few months, and your most recent tax returns are all examples.
One of the reasons some people have trouble securing a mortgage is that their income is difficult to verify. This revenue is frequently derived through a small business, self-employment, or contracting. If this is the case for you, Divvy says they may request extra financial information and paperwork, but you will not be immediately dismissed.
The company will also conduct a thorough background check to verify a user’s rental history as well as any criminal past, such as evictions, bankruptcy, and criminal convictions, among other things. Thus, you should expect to be subjected to a background check by Divvy that will evaluate your recent history very closely.
A criminal history check is included in the background check. Convictions from the past do not automatically disqualify you, and the platform indicates that they will judge every single applicant on his or her merit to determine if he or she would be a suitable fit for the program.
Down Payment Availability
Users will also have to show proof of a down payment of $1,250, or 2% of the buying price, or of the home’s entire worth, whichever is bigger, according to Divvy. For example, If you want to buy a $200,000 house, you’ll need $4,000 in cash to work with the platform.
After you’ve received final approval, you can begin looking for a home with the help of a real estate agent. The buying price will need to fit into your pre-determined budget.
When you seek a mortgage from a lender, the standard necessary down payment (on average, it’s now roughly 7%) is substantially smaller. Two months’ rent is due. This is a relatively new Divvy requirement. You’ll need not only the 2% deposit but also the first two months’ rent.
Identification Confirmation (includes photograph)
When applying for their program, Divvy will ask for a government-issued, legitimate photo ID to verify that you are who you say you are. A driver’s license, military identification, or a passport are examples of acceptable identification.
If everything checks out, you’ll get a proposal with payment breakdowns and your Divvy commitment, as well as a deposit request for your down payment (which serves as a sort of earnest money). Divvy will then negotiate with the home seller on your behalf to buy the property.
Here is a great summary for everything you’ll need on hand to work with Divvy on a rent-to-own home:
- Documented income (at least $2,400 per month) is required.
- A credit score of at least 550 is required.
- A background check is required, as well as rental history.
- Before the closure, a 2% down payment is required.
Eligible Homes for Divvy
After you’ve been fully authorized to work with Divvy, you’ll then employ a real estate agent to choose a suitable property that fits within your budget, just like you would with a traditional home purchase.
Divvy claims that nearly every listing meets their broad criterion, which includes single-family homes and townhomes. Unless the title is “fee simple,” condos do not qualify.
The price must, however, be between $60,000 and $300,000, and the size of the property must not exceed two acres. A “fee simple” deed is also required.
Divvy users are also not allowed to buy foreclosures, pre-foreclosures, short sales, bank-owned, county-owned, or Fannie/Freddie-owned homes.
Here’s a further checklist to get you started on eligible properties for the Divvy program:
- Townhomes and single-family houses
- The purchase price must fall within the range of $60,000 and $300,000.
- The home must not be a foreclosed or bank-owned property.
- The home should be in decent shape.
More of our Divvy Homes review below.
The Differences Between Divvy and a Traditional Mortgage
While the tenant will make monthly payments and build equity in the home while living there, the Divvy procedure is not the same as applying for a mortgage with a bank; this isn’t a home loan. Instead, Divvy serves as the lender once a renter has been accepted and has found the home they wish to buy. To get into the residence, the renter does not need to meet the strict standards of mortgage lenders.
The property is paid for and initially owned by Divvy, who accepts a 2% down payment and monthly rent plus equity payments from the renter. Divvy keeps those equity payments so they can be utilized as an official down payment when the renter qualifies for a mortgage on their own at the conclusion of the process.
With a mortgage, you have immediate ownership of the property. With Divvy, you’re a renter until you’ve saved enough cash for a down payment (through the monthly equity payments) and raised your credit score enough to get a mortgage.
Additionally, eligibility for a mortgage and the rate for the loan is dependent on your credit score; Divvy is more flexible in this aspect.
So, while there are quite a few similarities between a home loan and a transaction with Divvy, the two process are also quite different as well.
Key Benefits of Working with Divvy Homes
Divvy Homes assists renters in becoming homeowners in exchange for a 2% down payment and on-time payments. The platform is open and honest about what they do, and there is a slew of online reviews and comments from former renters who have become homeowners thanks to their services.
However, there is one important point to consider: renters are required to pay a double monthly payment under the Divvy program. You don’t have much leeway if your credit score is already poor. Missing even one of your monthly payments can seriously hurt your credit score. It might be difficult to keep up with market-rate rent, especially when you have an additional monthly equity contribution to make.
Additionally, Divvy is a for-profit company that aims to assist renters to become homeowners. They have the authority to evict renters who are three or more times late with their rent in a year. In some cases, Divvy also has the power to evict you from the property even if you are current, according to the Divvy Homes FAQ page.
More of our Divvy Homes review below.
The Outlook for the Divvy Homes Program
Many analysts believe that as home prices rise and more Americans struggle to qualify for a mortgage through traditional lenders, organizations like Divvy Homes will continue to emerge to help renters transition to homeownership.
Some, however, are skeptical of the growing trend toward rent-to-own agreements, which rely on the renter’s ability to improve their credit score, manage existing debt, and make “steep” monthly payments.
There are those, however, who even after all the supporting evidence, still are not persuaded that fractional ownership is a good idea. They claim that alternative home-buying arrangements like Divvy would never be able to “repair” someone’s inability to qualify for a mortgage in less than three years.
Nonetheless, this system has proven time and again to be effective, and Divvy homes is at the forefront of making rent-to-own homes a viable means of achieving home ownership when qualifying for a home loan is not an immediate option.
Should You Use Divvy Homes?
Whether you like the notion or want to keep with a traditional lender, the reality is that the house buying and mortgage industries have been ripe for upheaval for quite some time. A changing housing market may be speeding up those shifts, encouraging businesses like Divvy to stop waiting for change and start making it. While working with Divvy may raise the buyer’s costs somewhat, it also opens a previously closed door for them as well. So, if you’re in the market for a home but are concerned about qualifying for a home loan, Divvy is definitely worth looking at.
Divvy Covers Maintenance
As a homeowner, you are responsible for dealing with any problems that arise in your houses, such as equipment failure or unforeseen damage. However, one key benefit of Divvy is that the platform will cover the cost of any necessary maintenance or repairs to keep the house safe and habitable.
Roof repairs, HVAC, foundation repair, electrical system repair, and so on are all examples of this. All you have to do is spot these problems and hire a contractor to provide an estimate to fix them. You must submit a contractor’s details and cost estimate to Divvy for approval before they can start working.
It is important to note that painting, flooring, landscaping, and appliances are not included in Divvy’s coverage. And it won’t pay for repairs caused by careless or malicious harm.
Divvy Homes Pros and Cons
Our Divvy Homes review looks at some of the key pros and cons to consider.
- You can apply for Divvy’s services from the comfort of your own home, as most of the process occurs online.
- You do not have to have excellent credit to qualify for the program and can build your credit while you are within the Divvy transaction as well.
- You get the option to rent to own townhouses and condominiums with Divvy as well as single-family homes.
- Divvy charges a service fee of either $2,000 or 3 percent of the value of your home when using their services.
- If at the end of the agreed term you are unable to settle with Divvy, you will be forced to sell the house to meet your settlement obligations.
- Divvy is not available in all parts of America.
Divvy Homes Competitors & Alternatives
The biggest competitions that Divvy has could also make excellent alternatives to the joint ownership option. Three of those names include TouchPoint, Oxford Properties Group, and Great Eagle. Each of these platforms has its own advantages and disadvantages which you should definitely review as you determine the best means to purchase your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our Divvy Homes review looks at some of the most frequently asked questions.
What is the phone number for Divvy Homes?
The Divvy Homes phone number is: (530) 734-8890
What is the credit score needed for Divvy Homes?
You will need a minimum credit score of at least 550 to apply for a Divvy home.
Divvy Homes Review Parting Thoughts: An Innovative New Path to Home Ownership
If you want to live in a certain home or simply prefer owning a home over renting but are unable to qualify for a mortgage for any reason, Divvy could be a good option for you. Divvy has been designed for people who do not qualify for a mortgage but want to purchase a specific property. If you find your dream house but are turned down by a mortgage lender, Divvy may be able to help. Divvy could also be a wonderful alternative if you simply prefer the notion of homeownership to renting and want to get started right now.
On the other hand, there are several zero-down and low-down-payment mortgage alternatives available today that don’t demand much more than a 2% down payment. Additionally, if you don’t believe that you’ll be able to qualify for a home loan at the conclusion of a Divvy transaction, you may want to consider some other home buying option, or just keep renting until you can improve your overall financial situation.
So, as you consider your next step in your efforts to own your own home, take a close look at Divvy Homes and see if the platform will work for you.
Check Out Divvy Homes
Take a peek at the Divvy Homes website to see if they are a good fit for your needs.
Thanks for reading our Divvy Homes review.
You may also be interested in Rent To Own Homes.