HomeUnion, found online at HomeUnion.com, is a new real estate investment website that says they “make it easy for you to build wealth through residential real estate investments by doing all the legwork for you.”
How Does It Work?
According to their website, HomeUnion will help their members create a real estate investment plan that is tailored to their specific investment goals. When you become a member of their website, you will be given access to a large database of available properties which have been chosen and listed after going through their extensive “Top Down property identification process.”
Once members have selected a property they would like to invest in, they have the option of choosing to fund the investment with cash, an IRA, or to finance it. Once you have successfully acquired your property or properties, you will be able to track your investment through your account, including all expenses, revenue, estimated appreciation, and more.
HomeUnion will then handle the rest of the necessary services, including day-to-day management like maintenance and repairs; the ongoing paperwork like taxes, HOA fees, and insurance; and maximizing occupancy, meaning that they will do what is necessary to secure a new tenant whenever required and minimize any disruption in your cash flow.
Finally, should the time come when you are ready to sell your property, HomeUnion will do everything they can to successfully sell your property through their database.
At this time, HomeUnion does not publish a chart or list of their fees, other than to say that their investors will never pay a fee to register as a HomeUnion member or to search through their database of available investment properties.
The charge an “asset acquisition fee,” which is used to cover all the services they provide to their members in order to identify and acquire the asset. They also charge an asset management fee for the oversight and management for each property which is actively under management. If you would like a more detailed explanation of these fees, that ask that you call their Customer Service department directly.
Financial institutions and investment services do not provide traditional refunds. Instead, they sometimes do provide their customers with a small time limit in which to back out of the deal they have arranged with no financial penalty. This is something you’ll have to speak with one of their representatives about, however.
Customer Service Contact Info
Customers who would like to speak to their Customer Service team about their questions, concerns, or complaints can do so by phone at 866-732-3220, by email at [email protected], or by submitting them directly to their website through their Contact Us link.
There are very few reviews available for this company at this time, and apparently no reviews of this company and their services from real members and customers who are currently using this service to invest in real estate.
That being said the few reviews that are available are very enthusiastic about the investment opportunity that they are offering their members and the amount of effort and information that goes into selecting the properties in their database.
That being said, people should always keep in mind that when it comes to investments, you are also responsible for doing your own due diligence, as investment opportunities always come with an option to lose money.
Competitors and Alternatives?
Fundrise.com is not wrong in saying that there are very few real estate investment opportunities for people who are not approved investors, but there are a few other companies and websites working with a similar model to this company, including RealtyShares, Fundrise.com, and a few others.
If you have experience with this company or their products, please leave your HomeUnion reviews below.
1 ‘HomeUnion’ Review
I have purchased one property through Home Union in my self directed IRA and may consider other purchases either or out of the IRA.
Here are some good points about Home Union.
1. They identify strong growth areas in the US. Examples are the tech areas of North Carolina and incremental growth regions in Texas, Georgia, Florida, Indiana to name a few.
2. They work with realtors, house flippers, property managers, rehab firms in this areas and have a pretty solid data base of opportunities and support industries and do a pretty good job of mining for acceptable real property prospects.
3. They have a cadre of lenders lined up who will fund on a non-recourse basis into self directed IRAs for those investors who wish to leverage a reasonable investment. Equity is typically a higher percentage since there can be no guaranty required when funding real estate in an IRA ( at least that is the way I understand it).
4. Home Union does everything soup to nuts. The acquisition fee of 3.5% I think may be reasonable but that is where Home Union's value stops. If you buy a house from them, say $100K, then your investment is now $103,500. If market rents yield you anywhere from rents of $800-1100 a month. it proves to be a reasonable cash investment. Financing the acquisition would need different analysis.
For me, spending $3500 is not bad given I would invest that amount and more if I were to travel to these areas and begin a search.
However I disagree with Home Union's soup to nuts approach of handling everything from rehab, finding tenants, collecting rents, making repairs, paying HOAs, Insurance, home warranties, property taxes, etc.
Home Union's ancillary products are not market.
a. they require a repair reserve of $1000. Most PM firms require none or a maximum of maybe $200.
b. Home Union will charge a monthly management fee of 10% of the monthly rent, and here is the rub, even if it is vacant. No property manager would ever do that. What would be their incentive to get the house re-rented.
c. the property management agreement is between 35-40 pages in length where most PM agreements are between 3 and maybe 8 pages depending on what you and a PM firm require.
My suggestion, if you engage Home Union for an investment, do your own homework and, if you find a property that meets your investment criteria through Home Union and you are comfortable with the results of your own research, then the 3.5% is worth it. Do everything else yourself. It does not take a lot of gray matter to pay taxes, insurance, HOA if any, home warranties, etc. Find your own property manager who manages a fair amount, checks out well with realtors and other property owners and has been in the area for some time.
Spend a good amount of time in investigating the opportunity and get comfortable with the asset as if it was in your own neighborhood and you will find Home Union to be fine for the job they do of finding properties through their well thought out criteria and data bases