Unison Review

Top10.com Staff

In a Nutshell

Unison is a revolutionary way for homebuyers to pay for their new homes or refinance their old ones. Forget the old method of taking out a mortgage loan and struggling with down payments. 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

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Unison at a Glance

Loan TypesPurchasing, home equity, refinancing
Featured LoansN/A
Repayment TermsRepayment after 30 years, 3-year buyout option
Minimum Down PaymentNo down payment required
Minimum Credit ScoreN/A
Best ForCurrent homeowners looking for easy equity, buyers looking for affordable mortgage loans

Overview

Even if you’re in the market for a mortgage, loan, chances are you’ve never dealt with anything like Unison before. That’s because Unison doesn’t offer you the typical mortgage loan you’re used to. In fact, you won’t get a loan from this service at all. That aspect of things is dealt with by its partner lenders.

So, what's Unison doing on a mortgage loan review site? Well, once you understand what this company is all about, you'll realize it's doing a whole lot. Unison helps homebuyers and homeowners save and get more by funding a larger down payment for them. Here's how it works:

Unison is an investment company. It will lend you money 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 when you sell your home 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?

Let’s cut to the chase. Who is Unison really good for? Considering the fact that you get upfront cash with absolutely no interest payments and no monthly fees or payments, it would seem like a good deal for everyone. But, it’s not. Here’s who will really benefit from partnering with Unison.

- Anyone who already has a 10% down payment

Why? Because by increasing your down payment to 20% (thanks to Unison), you'll avoid paying pricey private mortgage insurance. This could save you thousands each year.

- People who want to save on monthly payments

The more you put down, the less you have to take out as a mortgage loan, and the lower your monthly payments will be.

- Those who want to tap into their home equity as an investment

If you’re looking to buy a rental property that’ll bring in additional income, Unison can be a great option.

Types of Loans/Products

Unison doesn’t offer loans directly. Instead, you’ll work with one of the partners 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 homebuyers or homeowners 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 information being asked. This is meant to shorten the process later on since all the information is already available for lenders and underwriting. 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 deal 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. You can either pay back the investment amount after 30 years, plus the percentage of appreciated value of your home when you sell it. Or you can buy out Unison’s share in your home after three years.

But 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. So, if your home goes down in value, and you end up making less on the sale whenever you sell, Unison will also take less than what you originally borrowed (so, you still walk away with some cash despite having to pay back the original funds on a depreciated value home). 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 a few years down the road, 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.

So, you still get some of the profits after the sale.

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 requirementsN/AVaries based on lender620
Minimum down paymentVariesVaries based on lenderFrom 0%
DTI ratioN/AVaries based on lender43%
FeesOrigination fee 2.5%Free service to use, loan fees vary based on lenderOrigination, closing
Repayment terms30 years or 3 yearsVaries based on lender10, 15, and 30-year fixed
APR0%Varies based on lenderFrom 3.365%

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 an 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 financial institutions.

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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