Unison.com is a San Francisco based company that allows homeowners to convert up to 17.5% of their home’s value to cash. This 'cash advance' is then repaid when the home is sold or 30 years have passed.
How Does Unison Homeowner Work?
Unison Homeowner is not a unison home equity loan in the traditional sense. Instead, the company offers cash upfront and takes a share of appreciation or depreciation when the home it is sold.
Because the program is not a loan, customers don’t make monthly payments, but rather repay Unison when the home is sold or 30 years have passed, whichever comes first. The homeowner can also choose to buy the company out after three years, too.
Unison Homeowner caters both to current homeowners as well as prospective buyers. There are two separate funding programs available, allowing prospective buyers to receive up to fifty percent of the down payment with refinancers also receiving a significant benefit.
You can access up to twenty percent of your home equity and receive a cash payment immediately, without having to pay interest payments or another new bill.
When you acquire money from Unison Homeowner, you can use the money for up to thirty years - or until you sell the house, whichever comes first. YOU can use the money for anything you need, from funding home remodeling projects to paying off other debts.
In short, Unison makes an equity investment in your home. BY providing your funding, they invest in your home. Therefore, if your home’s value goes up, their investment share increases, while if the value goes down, they make less money, too.
Cost and Price Plans
Unison Homeowner may seem like a huge risk, but they offer hard numbers in turn. Unison provides you with access to your home’s equity in exchange for a share in the value.
You can fund up to twenty percent of your home’s value, and you cannot dip below and eighty percent loan to value ratio. This is fairly standard and comparable to other home equity programs.
Unison’s share will be equal to about four times the amount you fund. For example, if you need to tap into twenty percent of your home’s value, Unison will take eighty percent of the home’s value.
The company does make some exceptions. For example, if you are funding a remodeling project, Unison offers a Remodeling Adjustment that allows you to keep all of the increase in value that is related to the remodel.
There are no interest payments required in this program, but it’s still important that you crunch the numbers to make sure this is something in which you are interested, as it has serious financial implications.
Is Unison Homeowner Legit?
Unison Homeowner offers several distinct advantages. For example, it’s not a loan. Unlike a home equity loan from a bank, you don’t have to make monthly payments, nor do you have to worry about interest accruals. If you’re trying to get out of debt, that’s pretty palatable.
Plus, with Unison Homeowner, you have flexible options. You can use the money for anything you want, from paying off credit card debt to paying for college. It is a unique way of providing access to home equity, and with a buyout option and thirty-year limit available, it’s a good decision.
That being said, many complaints about Unison Homeowner’s legitimacy have been in that you give up a lot of equity in your home’s value - those are pretty serious numbers we mentioned.
Betting against your home rising in value is one thing, but your value growth could easily outgrow the amount you might have paid in interest through a traditional home equity loan. Therefore, you need to make sure the risk is worth it before taking the leap.
In addition, Unison Homeowner charges a 3% transaction fee at closing. That may not sound like much, but if you’re taking large amounts of money, that could be pretty high, particularly if you also need to pay third party fees.
Currently, funding from this company is available in thirty states as well as the District of Columbia.
Unison HomeOwner is easy to contact, offering a general use phone number at 1-800-330-9400 as well as a program specialist email at [email protected].
You can email the company with general inquiries via their website contact form, or drop them a line at their corporate headquarters. Addresses and more information is available on the website.
The company also offers a handy program guide, which walks you through all of the potential options in refinancing your home or home purchase.
The guide compares Unison Homeowner with other alternatives, like reverse mortgages, home equity loans and more, allowing you to fully understand the decision before you commit.
Competitors and Alternatives
There are plenty of alternatives to Unison Homeowner if you’re looking to refinance your home or obtain some quick cash. Make sure you weigh all of them carefully before pulling the trigger.
For example, the most basic is a home equity loan. This involves taking out a lump sum of money that is borrowed against the fair market value of your home. In order to repay the loan, you must make monthly payments (which include interest fees) over a set period of time.
A home equity line of credit is similar, except it’s an open line of credit that uses your home’s equity as collateral. You’ll have an eventual limit and also be required to make monthly payments.
A cash-out refinance is a third option. This involves refinancing a mortgage that you already have into a larger loan. You receive the difference between the two loans in cash. Although you will ultimately owe more on your home, you will have the cash to do with as you please.
The Bottom Line
Most people are probably in agreement that tapping into your home’s equity can be a risky financial move. Paying back more money than you owe can be harmful to your overall situation. However, sometimes the situation simply necessitates it, and that’s where Unison Homeowner can really save the day.
If you need money fast, and you don’t care about losing portions of your home’s long-term value, you should consider Unison Homeowner.
It may be a good option if you're financial savvy and understand the risks involved in betting against your home - if, however, you are simply trying to finance your tendencies to overspend, do some more research before choosing.
If you have any experience with Unison Home Equity Loans, please leave your reviews below.
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