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Unison Review

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BestMoney Staff
Bestmoney Staff
Jan. 21, 20214 min read

Unison summary

Unison is a revolutionary way for homeowners to access cash from their current homes. Forget the traditional methods of taking out a HELOC or reverse mortgage. Unison provides a way to tap into your home equity, without adding on more debt. There's no interest charges to worry about and no monthly payments to juggle. Unison is a smarter way to approach home equity.

Pros

  • No interest rates or monthly payments
  • Get up to 10% of the home value in cash
  • 30 year term
  • In business since 2004

Cons

  • Only available in some states
  • Upfront origination fee
Unisonat a glance
4.0

Editorial score

Unison at a Glance

Loan Types

Home Equity
Featured Loans

N/A
Repayment Terms

Max term is 30 years; Unison gets paid back from sale proceeds or buyout based on home value

Minimum Credit Score

680
Suitable For

Current homeowners looking for a way to access their equity

Overview

Even if you’ve been in the market for options to access your home equity, you’ve probably never dealt with anything like Unison before. That’s because Unison doesn’t offer you the typical second 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 homeowners 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 change in value. 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. Let's dig in to find out more of the nitty-gritty details.

Suitable 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 wants to tap into their home equity without taking on more debt

Unison is not a lender, so a home co-investment will not saddle you with added debt.

People who want to save on monthly payments

Because Unison does not require payment until either the end of the 30 year agreement or sale of the home, there are no monthly payments or interest rates which is often the case with HELOCs or home equity loans.

Those looking to fund their retirement through their home equity

Unlike reverse mortgages, you can take cash out without the added worry of rising interest or eating up your entire home equity over time.

Types of Loans/Products

Unison is not a lender so they don’t offer loans. Instead, you will work with their team to complete your home co-investment which can help you access 10% of your home’s value. Unison works with current homeowners looking to get equity out of their primary homes.

The Application Process

Unison's application is all online, which typically only takes 5 minutes. . Expect to hear from a Unison Program Specialist after completing the application as 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

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.

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 change in value of your home. You can also buy out Unison’s share in your home any time after five years using the same formula of investment amount plus the percentage of the change in 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 increases in value, Unison gets a share in the profits as per your contract. But if your home decreases in value, Unison takes part in that too. Meaning, if you lose money on the sale, Unison will take a percentage of the hit, too. Here's what that would look like:

  • Your home’s appraised value is $500,000. Unison applies a 2.5% risk adjustment which determines the starting value to be $487,500.
  • You take out 10% ($50,000) of your home’s equity out
  • You decide to sell it down the road (more than 5 years later), but your home’s value has decreased. Now it’s only worth $387,500. Because Unison invested alongside you, they share in the $100,000 decrease in value. Instead of paying back the full $50,000, their share of 40% in the change in value requires a payment back of only $10,000.
  • In the case where your home increases by $100,000, Unison will receive back their original $50,000 plus $40,000 of the change in value - with a total payment of $90,000. 

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

Summary

Unison is a revolutionary way to 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 10% of your home's value in casht. 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 10% 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 homeowners avoid costly upfront charges, including closing costs, lender fees, and attorneys fees, offers no monthly payments on the invested amount, and is incredibly flexible.

Physical Address

650 California Street

San Francisco, CA 94108

BestMoney Staff
Written byBestmoney Staff

Our editorial staff consists of writers who are knowledgeable about financial services. We specialize in simplifying the process of choosing the right mortgage loan provider for your needs.

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