Bucky Wucky does have sponsors, and we may work with companies to provide you with the best content, information, and data on business and personal finance. Some links on our site may be affiliate links. While our sponsors may pay us, we only work with companies that align with Bucky Wucky’s values.
Homeownership is a goal for many people starting out in their adult lives, and owning a home is often one of the most critical investments we make.
However, it can be challenging to purchase a home, especially when we do not have sufficient money for a down payment. It can also be challenging to unlock the equity you’ve built in a home you own, either to upgrade that home or to invest in a business or pay off debts.
Fortunately, thanks to many innovative financial companies, there are more options than ever when it comes to putting your home’s equity to work. If you are interested in accessing your equity right now, one option you should definitely consider is Unison.
Let’s take a look at the Unison platform, so you can determine if it is a good fit for your financial needs.
Onto our Unison review!
What is Unison?
Unison Home Ownership Investors, better known as Unison, is a financial services company focused on homeownership and equity investment. It was founded in 2004 and is based in San Francisco, California.
The company allows homeowners or home buyers to make down payments on a new home purchase or unlock the equity in their home; homeowners can receive a portion of that equity in cash, which they can use either as a down payment, to fund home renovations, or for some other purpose, such as to fund a business or pay off other debts.
The cash homeowners receive for their equity is not a loan, but is instead co considered an investment on Unison’s part; at some point in the future, Unison will either share in the home’s appreciation, or in a loss if the home depreciates, based on the percentage of equity it originally invested in.
In order to use Unison, you must be an American citizen or resident of the United States over the age of 18. You must also own or be purchasing a home in one of the states where Unison is currently available.
You must also meet certain credit score and income requirements to be available for Unison’s equity co-investing program as well.
Finally, the home must be a primary residence and must have a value of at least $100,000.
- American citizen
- Over 18 years of age
- Credit score requirement
- Home value over $100,000
How it Works
If you’re buying a home, Unison will provide buyers a no-interest down payment loan in exchange for a share of the equity in the home. Upon purchase of a home, the platform will provide some share of a cash down payment in exchange for a share of the home’s future appreciation.
There is no interest rate or monthly payments. At some point in the future when the home is sold, the homeowner is responsible for paying back the loan amount, along with whatever the agreed-upon percentage of appreciation was at the time of the loan.
If you’re currently a homeowner, Unison will purchase up to 20 percent of the equity you have in your home, providing cash in exchange for its investment.
Again, the platform will provide this loan in exchange for a share of the home’s future appreciation. At a certain point up to 30 years from the date of the contract with Unison, the homeowner will be responsible for paying back the platform’s original investment, plus any additional appreciation.
Conversely, if the home depreciates over a period of time, Unison will share in the loss of the property’s value as well.
There are some additional details involved in working with Unison. As stated earlier, users must have decent credit in order to be eligible for the platform’s programs.
Additionally, Unison does charge some fees when conducting transactions with users; there is a 2.5 percent origination fee for the down payment assistance program, and the platform also charges a 3.9 percent transaction fee for the equity cash-out plan.
There are also stipulations about how the property must be maintained in these programs as well.
Unison only has one review on Trustpilot, so its profile there is too immature to draw any conclusions. However, the platform has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 2013 and carries an “A+” rating with the BBB.
Unison Pros & Cons
Here are some of the key pros and cons of working with Unison to access your home’s equity:
- Path to Home Ownership. Prospective homeowners who lack the cash for a down payment may be able to buy a home they otherwise couldn’t afford using Unison and could end up with lower monthly mortgage payments as well.
- Access Equity. The platform allows homeowners to access their equity without taking out a loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC)
- No Payments or Interest. Since any cash you receive from Unison is not a loan, you won’t have to worry about making monthly payments or interest accumulating over the life of the transaction.
- Shared Loss. If your home depreciates in value, Unison will share in that loss with you, which will decrease your overall financial burden.
- Appreciation Risk. If your home appreciates in value significantly, you could end up owing Unison more than if you’d used some other means to access your equity, such as a home equity loan or HELOC.
- High Fees. There are substantially high transaction fees associated with the platform’s down payment and equity programs on the Unison platform.
- 30 Year Repayment Window. Homeowners have 30 years to repay Unison; if there isn’t an opportunity to do so along that time horizon, you could be forced to sell the home.
If Unison isn’t a good fit for you, there are other shared equity companies you should definitely consider. Some of the top alternatives to Unison include:
Unison Review: Parting Thoughts
If you need assistance with a down payment on a home you want to buy or need to access the equity of your existing home, make sure you check out Unison. This shared equity may be just what you need to put your home’s equity to work for you right away.
Home Co-Investment With Unison
See if Unison is a good fit for your home equity needs
Thanks for reading our Unison review.
You might also like our Odoo review.