OwnHome has designed a program that allows our customers to move into their dream home right away and without a down payment. Think of it as both trying before you buy and fast forwarding homeownership!
OwnHome will buy your dream home for you today and we give you the ability to purchase the property from us on your schedule. Lock in your monthly payment, lock in the purchase price and stop wasting your money on rent. If you don’t like the home, you have the ability to opt out of the property after two years.
Is OwnHome a lender?
No, OwnHome is not a lender and you are not getting a mortgage. OwnHome buys the home and you make monthly payments. You will also have the exclusive right to buy the home from OwnHome and the purchase price will be determined upfront. No surprises!
How do I build towards ownership with OwnHome?
You build towards ownership with the Purchase Credits you earn while living in your OwnHome Home. Your monthly payment will feel much smaller than it is, because each month you'll also be building Purchase Credits that can be applied in full to the purchase of your OwnHome property.
In which areas of the country does OwnHome operate?
OwnHome currently operates in Sydney, starting first in the Eastern Suburbs. Coming soon to the greater metropolitan area of Sydney, before taking on the rest of NSW and eventually Australia. Our mission is to transform home ownership in Australia.
How does OwnHome make money?
When we buy the home you love, we make a small amount of money above the cost of debt financing which goes into building out the OwnHome experience. Second, you buy the home from us at a predictable annual appreciation rate of 3.75%p.a. For instance, if you pick a home priced at $750,000, and you decide to buy it from us after two years, you'll buy it from us for $795,675. Our profit from selling the home to you allows us to keep doing what we do.
What are Purchase Credits?
With each monthly payment, you'll earn Purchase Credits, which add up to a percentage of your OwnHome Home's price when you’re ready to buy it for yourself. It's like cash back on your rent. With the help of these Purchase Credits, you can buy your OwnHome Home from us even sooner than expected by applying them to the home’s price. As a result, a mortgage with a lower down payment becomes much easier for you!
OwnHome Vs. Other Options
How should I evaluate OwnHome against other options?
OwnHome represents a new approach to homeownership, developed with home buyers’ interests in mind. We strive to give you more flexibility and control within your home buying timeline. In that way, there’s no real comparison between traditional options and OwnHome. If you’re going to compare anyway, it’s a good idea to weigh all the possible costs and benefits, keeping in mind the buying, living, and selling experiences:
- A super-powered buying process: expert level experience, all cash offers and keys to your OwnHome Home in as little as 14 days!
- Simple financial terms: no closing costs, no debt, no financing uncertainty, no hidden fees and only one unchanging monthly payment
- Earn Purchase Credits every month, which will make your monthly payment feel much smaller, because they can be applied to the purchase of your OwnHome Home
- A concierge service that makes the experience of living in a OwnHome property one-click easy
What does it mean to make a “cash offer” and why do sellers often prefer this?
Making a cash offer on a home simply means that the buyer has 100% of the funds needed to close the home using cash, as opposed to a loan. Sellers tend to prefer cash offers for two reasons. First, cash offers allow for a much faster closing process. Because no lender is involved, the buyer is simply transferring cash from their account(s) to escrow and eventually to the seller’s account - no need to wait for the lender or worry about any loan approval process. Second, a cash offer reduces the risk of the transaction falling out. Almost all financed offers are subject to an appraisal, which the lender uses to determine the value of the property and ultimately if the loan will be approved. Cash offers usually do not require a formal appraisal process (because there is no lender involved at all).
Does OwnHome give you a better chance at getting your offer accepted?
Yes! Because of our cash offers, as well as our dedicated team’s focus and expertise, we are able to offer much more aggressive closing timelines and the best offer terms - all things that sellers are looking for and may not be possible without using OwnHome!
How does OwnHome compare to taking on a mortgage?
A mortgage loan is how most Australians buy their home. However, they require hefty down payments, closing costs and approvals from third parties (banks, appraisers and city governments to name a few). All of this implies a large commitment on your part right away, with no ability to try the home out beforehand! With OwnHome, you get to try before you buy. Find your dream home and OwnHome will buy it for you using a cash offer and with no down payment requirement. Once you move in, try the home out and make sure you love it! When you’re ready, buy it from us or simply move out anytime after two years! No strings attached.
How does OwnHome compare to just paying rent?
Renting typically does not allow for much flexibility throughout the entire process. For instance, when looking for a rental property, you are limited by the market - not every home is available to rent. Once living in a rental home, you typically don’t have the option to purchase the home and do things like make renovations.
OwnHome addresses all of those limitations - you can pick ANY home on the market to live in that meets our property guidelines, and once you have moved in - you can make renovations (subject to permitting by local governments and us), as well as buy the home whenever you are ready!
If I can afford a mortgage now, why should I do OwnHome?
OwnHome can help you buy your dream home in several ways, even if you have already saved for a down payment. For instance, you may not be happy with the loan amount that a mortgage lender has approved you for. If a better home is a little out of reach using this traditional path, we can buy it for you and you can move in, take a bit more time and save up or get qualified for a higher loan amount and buy it back from us with no hassle. Think of it as a home ownership boost!
Another way that OwnHome helps those who have already saved a down payment is through our cash offers. You will have a much higher chance of winning the home you want this way, and we can use this to also negotiate better prices and concessions for you. OwnHome also handles the entire home buying process for you, from negotiation to inspection to make sure the home is good quality. We buy homes all the time and know what to look for, what's a good deal and what's good quality!
The OwnHome Process - Choosing your home
How does the OwnHome process work?
Working with OwnHome is quite simple and looks like this:
- Sign-Up and Qualification: Fill out an online application, which allows us to verify your income, assets and credit. From there, we work with you to determine a reasonable home price and monthly payment budget that will guide your home search.
- Choosing Your Home: After your qualification, you’ll be introduced to our dedicated buyer’s agent, who’ll help you find and tour properties for sale in your preferred neighborhoods. Think of them as your seasoned house whisperer. Once you identify a property you love, we guide you through the entire purchase process.
- Purchasing Your Home and Move-In: Now that you’ve found your dream home, we’ll go through the bidding process together. Our OwnHome real estate experts will do the property diligence and determine the best offer strategy. When the offer is accepted, OwnHome will handle the entire closing process. From there, you’ll enter into an agreement with us that clearly lays out all the necessary details including but not limited to move-in date, monthly payment, and your rights and responsibilities as a OwnHome resident. After that, you’ll get the keys and move in!
Can I choose any home available or do I have to choose a home from OwnHome’s inventory?
You are free to find your home using any method you’d like. OwnHome will also set you up to work with one of our top partner agents, who are experts in their respective local real estate markets. Please see our property guidelines for a summary of the type and condition of homes that are and are not eligible for the OwnHome program.
Does OwnHome help to ensure that the property I’m interested in is a quality investment?
Absolutely! We have a team of real estate experts that will work with you to review disclosures, coordinate offer terms and ultimately decide if the purchase is a quality investment. We are right there with you every step of the way from the original purchase to the point when you are ready to buy for yourself!
Who pays the closing costs on the home?
OwnHome takes care of all the costs associated with the original property purchase. Your only costs are the starter cost and the monthly payments (which include strata fees payments if the property is part of a strata plan). Note: there will still be some closing costs when you buy the home from us with a mortgage later. At this point we can help guide you to the best possible mortgage partner when you’re ready to buy out OwnHome.
Also at the point that you purchase the property from OwnHome you will be liable for stamp duty. You can calculate these stamp duty costs here. We are actively campaigning to change the stamp duty law so that the stamp duty we (OwnHome) pay upfront can contribute towards your stamp duty expense.
What is my qualified price range when buying a home with OwnHome?
Once you sign up, you’ll go through a qualification process with OwnHome to determine the most suitable price range based on your financial situation. Typically, OwnHome homes in your area are priced between $1,000,000 and $1,800,000.
Does OwnHome purchase new construction homes?
Yes! If there is a new construction home or development that is of interest to you, we are happy to look into it. These are often great fits for our customers.
Qualifying for OwnHome
How do I qualify for OwnHome?
When you begin the qualification process, we ask you for a few pieces of basic information and to provide proof of your income, assets and credit - similar to the qualification process a lending company would require.
Does qualifying for OwnHome affect my credit score?
No. The qualification process only requires a soft credit check, which will not impact your credit score. What information do I need to provide to OwnHome to qualify? When you begin the qualification process, we ask you for a few pieces of basic information and to provide proof of your income, assets and credit - similar to the qualification process a lending company would require.
How long does the qualification process take?
Once you complete your qualification application, we will be in touch with you as soon as possible, usually within 24 hours.
Costs and Fees
What are my upfront costs and when are they charged?
Whenever you'd like us to make an offer to buy the home you want, we require a one-time starter cost payment, which is $5,000. This is typically the same amount as rental bond, but in this case is non-refundable, to cover our costs associated with the purchase of your home. Once our offer is accepted, we take care of all the costs associated with the purchase of your home.
If your offer is not accepted, this starter cost is refundable.
What are the monthly costs of residing in a OwnHome home?
Your monthly costs on a OwnHome home will depend on the value of the home you select. You can see here how much the OwnHome monthly cost will be for different home values.
Do I need to pay property taxes or buy home insurance?
No. OwnHome handles property taxes and home insurance. However, OwnHome does require you to obtain renter’s insurance.
Do I need to pay the Strata fee (if applicable)?
Yes, OwnHome will add any strata fees on top of your regular monthly payment. This is because strata fees can vary considerably, so we can’t pre-calculate the costs of these in our calculator. We are doing everything we can to make this as low-cost as possible for people, so don’t want to penalize those purchasing homes without strata fees. However, OwnHome makes the payment and coordinates directly with the strata committee on your behalf.
Who’s responsible for home maintenance costs?
Since OwnHome customers generally are serious about wanting to eventually own the home, you are responsible for typical maintenance and repairs. You also have some ability to make upgrades and renovations to the home, subject to local permitting requirements and our review process. Exceptions to this are repairs necessary to keep the home habitable, which will be covered by OwnHome. Structural issues, HVAC repairs and roof repairs are a few examples. In either case, our concierge service is available to help you find and book maintenance providers or discuss issues with the home, making caretaking as convenient as possible!
Are my monthly payments tax deductible?
No. Just as if you were the home owner, your mortgage payments for your primary place of residence are not tax deductible. That said, seek independent taxation advice if you are using a portion of the property as a home office, in which case there may be some deductibility of your monthly payments. OwnHome Homeownership
What is the OwnHome Concierge?
The OwnHome Concierge is our member’s only 24/7/365 dedicated service team to handle any and all requests made by our customers. This ranges from help with setting up or troubleshooting utilities to finding a quality landscaping company. You name it and we’re here to help!
Who owns the title to the home?
OwnHome owns the title to the home until you buy it from us. At the time we buy your home, you enter into two simple agreements with us:
- The first is a lease agreement, which covers the monthly payment amounts, terms, maintenance obligations, and some extra privileges, such as the right to make certain renovations to the home.
- The second is an option agreement, which grants you the exclusive right to purchase the home back from us at predetermined prices.
How do I buy my home from OwnHome?
Anytime starting 2 years after moving in and up to 5 years later, you can buy the home from OwnHome and put any Purchase Credits earned toward the purchase of your home! Full disclosure, any time prior to two years and OwnHome’s upfront costs have not been covered due to the requirement of OwnHome to pay stamp duty on the initial purchase.
We establish the future price of the home before you move in, so all you need to do is let us know you’re ready to buy and we can guide you through the purchase process.
How long do I have to live in a OwnHome home before I can buy the home from OwnHome?
Once you get the keys, you’ll have the exclusive option to buy the home from us anytime after 2 years and up to 5 years after that (as described above).
How do you determine the price of a OwnHome home when I am ready to buy?
You buy the home from us at a predictable annual appreciation rate of 3.75%. As part of our Option Agreement (agreed upon before you move in), we outline the purchase price of the home depending on when you plan to purchase the home from OwnHome, as well as the purchase credit accrual schedule. The process is completely transparent and you will know the agreed upon purchase price from the beginning. No hassle, no surprises!
For instance, if you pick a home priced at $1,000,000 and you decide to buy it from us after Month 24, you'll buy it from us for $1,076,406. Our small profit from selling the home to you allows us to keep doing what we do. What if the home increases in value by more than that? Then you benefit from the locked-in home price. How long can I live in a OwnHome home before I purchase it for myself? Up to 5 years.
What happens if I want to leave my OwnHome home before 1 year?
The minimum lease commitment is 2 years.
Can I make improvements to my OwnHome home?
Absolutely! You can make improvements or modifications to your home that do not require any permits or inspections from state or local authorities, as OwnHome would need to be involved in that process. For everything else, we just ask that you notify us and go through a review process.
Can I sublet or sublease my OwnHome home?
You can only use the OwnHome home as your primary residence (until you buy it from us), meaning you cannot sublet or sublease a portion or your entire home. You may offer short-term rentals on platforms like Airbnb, but only to the extent permitted by, and subject to, local laws, rules, regulations and restrictions, and the rules, policies and procedures of such platforms. We reserve the right to discontinue this at any time though since this is an area that is subject to a lot of legal changes made by cities and municipalities, and even strata committees.
How am I protected if anything happens to OwnHome?
We have arrangements with a backup service company who would take over and manage the homes. Your property is held in a Real Estate Investment Trust.
What happens if my home depreciates in value?
In the event that your home loses value (or for any other reason), you are free to move out at the end of your lease term (minimum of 2 years). There is no obligation to buy the home from us.
What happens if my home appreciates in value?
We give you certainty by predetermining the future purchase price of your home at the time you move in. If the house is worth more than the pre-agreed price, you keep all of that extra value! As an example, say if your home grows near the long run historical average of 8% p.a. and you purchase it from OwnHome after 5 years, you’re $267,000 better off! The difference between the price you agree with us ($1.20 million) and the market value of your own ($1.47 million) that is yours to keep and invest in your future.