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Unison Review

ByTop10.com StaffApr. 01, 2020

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In a Nutshell

Unison is a revolutionary way for home buyers to maximize their down payments or access cash from their current homes. Forget the old method of struggling to save enough to make a strong offer. Unison increases your down payment amount up to 20% of the value of the home, making your home purchase more affordable and easier to manage. There's no interest charges to worry about and no monthly payments to juggle. Unison is a smarter way to buy.

pros

  • No interest rates or monthly payments
  • Get up to 20% of the home value for down payment
  • Reliable backing and investors

cons

  • Only available in some states
  • Limited to the lenders within the network

Unison Unison Visit Unison

Unison at a Glance

Loan Types

Purchasing, home equity
Featured Loans

N/A
Repayment Terms

Repayment after 30 years, buyout option after 3 years
Minimum Down Payment

5% of the purchase price
Minimum Credit Score

680
Best For

Current homeowners looking for a way to access their equity

Overview

Even if you’ve been in the market for a mortgage loan, you’ve probably never dealt with anything like Unison before. That’s because Unison doesn’t offer you the typical mortgage loan. In fact, you won’t get a loan from this service at all.

So, what's Unison doing on a mortgage loan review site? Well, once you understand what this company is all about, you'll realize why. Unison helps home buyers with their down payments and home owners with accessing their home’s equity without adding debt. Here's how it works:

Unison is a home co-investment company. It provides you with funds in exchange for a share in your property's future appreciation. To be clear, Unison doesn't own any part of your home. Instead, it gets a slice of the pie whenever you sell your home up to thirty years down the line. It's a ground-breaking business model, and while Unison is not right for everyone, it might be the best thing that happened to you. Let's dig in to find out more of the nitty-gritty details.

Best For?

We’ll cut to the chase. Who is Unison really good for? Considering the fact that you get upfront cash with absolutely no interest and no monthly payments, it would seem like a good deal for everyone. But, here’s who will really benefit from partnering with Unison.

  • Anyone who already has a 5% down payment

Why? As long as you come in with at least 5% of the down payment, Unison can contribute enough funds to get you to that 20%. That means you’ll avoid paying pricey private mortgage insurance, which could save you thousands each year.

  • People who want to save on monthly payments

The more you put down, the less of a mortgage loan you’ll need, and the lower your monthly payments will be.

  • Those who want to tap into their home equity without taking on more debt

Unlike other home equity options (i.e. HELOC, reverse mortgage), Unison allows you to tap into your home equity without monthly payments, interest, or added debt.

Types of Loans/Products

Unison doesn’t offer loans directly. Instead, you’ll work with one of their partners lenders to work out your loan details. What Unison does offer is an impressive deal for your down payment amount. As mentioned, you can get up to 20% of your home’s value. Unison works with home buyers needing down payment help, or home-owners looking to get equity out of their current homes.

The Application Process

Unison's application is all online, but it's not a short one. Expect to spend several minutes filling out all of the required  information, which will shorten the process later on. There is also an education component to ensure you know exactly what you’re signing up for. Just be aware that it's not a ten-second application.

Rates and Fees – The Bare Basics

Now, for the best part. Unison doesn't charge any interest. None. So, you won't have to be concerned about monthly payments, and you don't have to deal with comparing interest rates at all. There is an origination fee, though, so factor this in when making your calculations.

You’ll also have to talk with the direct lenders to find out the fees and rates for your individual mortgage loan. Unison does partner with top name lenders, though, so there’s a good chance you’ll get great terms.

Repayment Terms

Unison has two repayment plans. First, after 30 years (or when you sell), you can pay back the investment amount plus the percentage of appreciated value of your home. You can also buy out Unison’s share in your home any time after three years. using the same formula of investment amount plus the percentage of appreciated value of your home (as determined by a 3rd party appraiser.)

What's really amazing is that Unison is in it for better or worse. That means if your home appreciates in value, Unison gets a share in the profits as per your contract. But if your home depreciates in value, Unison takes part in that too. If you lose money on the sale, Unison will take a percentage of the hit, too. Here's what that would look like:

  • You buy a house for $250,000. Unison pays $25,000 for a downpayment, and so do you. You take out a loan for the remaining $200,00.
  • You decide to sell it down the road (more than 3-5 years later, depending on your agreement), but your home has depreciated in value. Now, it’s only worth $200,000. With the money from the sale you pay off your original mortgage loan, let’s say $175,000, leaving you with just $25,000, the amount you borrowed from Unison.
  • Rather than taking the full chunk, Unison shares in the depreciation and takes a smaller percentage.

Help & Support

Unison offers several methods of communication for help and support. You can call the toll-free number, email a rep, or use the live chat that opens at 9:00 AM on weekdays. Unison also has a helpful FAQ section on the website.

Phone: 1-800-330-9400

Email: ps@unison.com

How Unison Compares


UnisonRateZipLowRates
Credit requirements

680Varies based on lender620
Minimum down payment

VariesVaries based on lenderFrom 0%
DTI ratio

43%Varies based on lender43%
Fees

2.5% - 3.9%

Free service to use, loan fees vary based on lenderOrigination, closing
Repayment terms

Up to 30 years

Varies based on lender10, 15, and 30-year fixed

Summary

Unison is a revolutionary way to afford a home or get value out of your current one. With no interest or monthly payments to worry about, consumers can focus their funds on paying back mortgages faster. For a co-investment in your property, Unison will give up to 20% of your home's value for a down payment. It's a good deal if it suits your situation. And Unison is as reliable as they come with backing from major institutional investors.

Unison FAQ

Q: Does Unison own part of my home as an investor?

A: No! You own your home completely. Unison merely owns a percentage of the appreciated value of your home when you sell it.

Q: How much equity can Unison provide for a current homeowner?

A: With its HomeOwner program, Unison offers homeowners looking to tap into the equity of their home up to 17.5% of the value of their home.

Q: How do I find out how much home equity I have?

A: All you need to do is look at the current estimated value of your home and subtract the amount of your mortgage balance. So, if your home is worth $200,000 and you owe $100,000 on your mortgage, your home equity is $100,000.

Q: What are the benefits of using Unison?

A: In short, Unison helps homebuyers or homeowners avoid costly upfront charges, including closing costs, lender fees, and attorneys charges, offers no monthly payments on the invested amount, and is incredibly flexible.

Physical Address

650 California Street

San Francisco, CA 94108

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