How Does it Work?
Complete an Online Application
Unlike banks we approve 95% of applicants who apply.
Obtain Shopping Budget
Receive pre-approval terms to start house hunting.
Pick Your Perfect Home
Find it yourself or use a realtor. Choose any home listed on the market that qualifies (not just from limited inventory)
Home Equity Partner Buys the Home
We buy the home with your approval and inspection.
Get the keys at closing and start building equity with a locked in sale price.
You Control the Home, Not Us
Top Questions and Answers
Will I be approved?
If you make at least $4,000/month the answer is yes!. You can use our payment estimator to estimate your pre-approval amount. We approve 95% of all applicants We care less about credit and focus on income, down payment, rental history, and property location. If you would like to increase your chances of approval there are two things you can do. 1) get a co-signer 2) put down a larger down payment.
How much does it cost?
The estimated monthly payment is about 1% of the purchase price. (e.g. a $150,000 would be $1,500/month). The down payment will be anywhere between 3.5%-25%.
We approve 95% of applicants. Estimated monthly payments and deposits can be calculated here.
What is all on the application?
Items you will need:
- Information about yourself
- Proof of income (w-2, bank statements, or taxes)
- Past rental history information
- Answer a few questions
- Provide payment of application.
When will I need money – and how much?
- $50/person for the application
- $1,000 deposit upon an accepted offer
- You pay for an inspection
- $1,000 to cover appraisal
- The remaining down payment due at closing (typically 45 days after accepted offer).*Note – any deposit and appraisal costs will be credited towards your down payment. You may also elect to walk away after the inspection and receive your deposit back.
How do I get started to find my pre-approval home price amount?
We use a trusted 3rd party Tenant Screening Service called Landlord Tenant-Services to keep the information confidential. They will pull credit but should not impact your score by more than 4-6 points.
Still want more information? Watch this short video walking you through the steps to apply.
Is getting a home through Home Equity Partner right for me?
Who is this for? People who don’t qualify for a traditional bank loan, have a down payment, are tired of renting, and want to own their own home.
Who is this NOT for? People that can obtain traditional bank financing (we encourage you try this first), individuals with zero down payment. or individuals who need to move in less than 30 days.
Still don’t know? Check out our special podcast episode debating renting vs lease option vs owning.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Do you serve my area?
We serve all 50 states. The only limitations are for qualifying homes (no manufactured homes, some condos are OK, no major rehab needed w/o significant down payment).
Will I qualify?
Five things we look at:
- Do you have a sizable down payment?
- Can you afford the home?
- What is your past rental/criminal history
- Where is the property located
- Credit score (less important)
We approve 95% of applicants.
What does rent to own all cover?
Our definition of rent to own covers two major categories:
1) Lease with an option to buy (lease option)
2) Contract for Deed
What does an example look like?
Home Equity Partner Purchase Price: $150,000
Duration of Lease: 3 years
Monthly Lease Payments: $1,495
Option Purchase Price: $163,500 (9% increase over Home Equity Partner purchase price)
Rent-to-Buy Down Payment: $16,350 (10%)
Duration to Exercise Option: 3 years (same as lease)
Who is Responsible for Repairs & Maintenance: Tenant
Who Pays Taxes and Insurance: Home Equity Partner
Amount of Rent Going Towards Principal: $150/month for each month that rent is paid
Estimated Equity After 3 Years: $20,000 – $50,000
Can you rent to own a house without a down payment?
It is possible but not very likely. Some other companies may be able to do 1-2% if you want to live in a major metro. With us you will need 5-20% down and you can use our payment estimator to get a better feel for where you are at.
Are rent to own homes real?
Yes. Be careful though, not all companies are created equal. It may be extremely difficult to find existing rent-to-own homes, but they are available in all 50 states. As of now there does not appear to be a single good resource for rent to own homes. We are trying to change that. The most common are existing “for sale by owner” (FSBO) listings that may be open to rent-to-own, otherwise you will need to find a specific rental property on Zillow, Facebook, or Craigslist specifically stating rent to own availability for existing inventory. If you don’t see anything you like, we are a good option if you want more options.
What is a lease-option-to-buy?
You rent the home with the exclusive option to buy it. You are not obligated to purchase the home but have until the end of the contract term to decide. This is called the lease expiration date. The owner cannot sell it to anyone else as you have control over the decision to buy or sell the home first unless a party breaks the lease agreements.
How is the deal structured?
- Lease Option – sometime called rent-to-own, lease to buy, lease to own, lease purchase, rent to buy, or L/O. In this case, two agreements will be signed (lease agreement and option agreement)
- Contract for Deed -Sometimes called land contract or deed of trust is a single contract for deed document. This is signed and is a true sale of the home.
What’s my plan to prepare for the purchase?
We always recommend trying to exhaust all resources to get a bank loan first. If you have been denied or just can’t quite pull it off in time, that is where Home Equity Partners can help.
If you are currently renting or looking for a rent to own home, the biggest factors will be getting your financial house in order via saving for a down payment and ensuring you make at least 3 times your expected monthly payment.
Additionally, we recommend visiting with The Village Family Service Center in Fargo ND (they also offer online consultations) for debt, credit, and money consultation. We are not affiliated with The Village but believe they truly help people and are a great non-profit.
Who’s responsible for what?
In most cases you act as the homeowner. Just like if you got a loan from a bank, the bank would not fix a toilet or a door knob. You have the pros/cons that go with home ownership. You get to fix things your way, make improvements that you want, and address any home issues as they come up. This is why we recommend an inspection be done on all properties prior to moving in so you are fully aware of age, condition, and likely future repairs for the home you choose.
Do I need a home inspection?
Yes. An inspection is the safest way to ensure you will be protected and understand exactly what kind of home you are buying. Similar to a regular bank financed property and purchase agreement, an inspection is a choice but is always recommended.
Should I trust this company?
Not right away!
There are lots of scams or misinformation out there. We did a special podcast on what to look out. Check it out.
We believe in helping people get into homes only if our program is a good fit so we create a lot of content around the Do’s and Don’ts of Rent-to-Own
How does Home Equity Partner make money?
- Option A is we find an investor for your home and the investor pays us a fee.
- Option B is Home Equity Partner buys the home for you directly. We make money from your monthly payments and from some of the home’s appreciation over time. Any appreciation above the buy-back price is your extra equity (in addition to your monthly savings and initial down payment).
Do I get my deposit back?
Any down payment or deposit you put down on the home goes towards the final purchase of the home. All the money is applied to the agreed upon sale price of the home. There is the rare situation in the event you no longer wish to purchase the home, your deposit is forfeited. The deposit is a key piece in being able to successfully own a home. We also stand buy our guarantee that we will not keep any deposit unless you get a home.
What's the difference between Lease-Option vs. Lease-Purchase?
Lease Option gives you the “option” to buy the home whereas a Lease-Purchase is a contract to purchase home at an agreed upon later date. One has more flexibility while the other is more concrete.
How much of rent goes towards the purchase of the house?
This varies by property but typically 10-20% of payments are received back as principal pay-down or credits on final purchase.
How long can I rent before I can buy the house?
We usually set 1-5 years as the standard but have gone up to 30 years.
What happens if I can’t purchase the house at the end of the lease?
You have a couple options
- Extend your terms. Most contracts have an option to extend for 12 months although we highly anticipate and encourage you to stick to the original schedule.
- Walk away and lose deposit and credits built up.
- Sell the home and option to someone else. This is recommended over “walking away” as you could possibly recoup the equity you have built in the property over the years (or even make a profit).
Who is responsible for maintenance?
You are. You act the homeowner.
Do I need a realtor to find a home?
You do not, however, since you are not paying any realtor fees, we would strongly recommend it as it may make the home shopping experience more positive.
Do I need homeowners or renters insurance?
If you are doing a lease option, it is highly recommended that you carry renters insurance.
If you are doing a contract for deed, you will be required to carry homeowners insurance.
Are rent to own homes more expensive?
In general yes. You are paying a premium so that part of your rent goes towards building equity.