Hometap is a home equity investment program that helps you access your home equity without needing a traditional home equity loan product, or cash-out refinance. Instead, the Hometap Home Equity Investment Program provides homeowners with an alternative way to access their home equity, with the flexibility to pay back the Hometap investment within 10 years.
The company was founded by Jeff Glass and is based in Cambridge, MA. They have been in business since 2017. Their mission is to make homeownership in the U.S less stressful and more accessible to all.
How Does Hometap Work?
Hometap makes it easy to access your home equity in the form of cash and offers a straightforward application process. All you have to do to get started is complete an online application form, which takes around five minutes.
Once you’ve completed the form, you’ll get an investment estimate for the property and an investment manager assigned. If you meet the criteria, Hometap will provide a detailed explanation of the opportunity, including how much money you could potentially take.
Then, you’ll have to get a home appraisal to determine your house’s current value. If you decide to proceed, Hometap will give you a final investment offer, typically between 5%-30% of your home’s value—up to $600k. After the paperwork is signed and recorded, and you pay for the signing costs and 3% of the investment fees, you’ll get the funds.
At the end of the 10-year term, you will be for the agreed-upon percentage, or you can do so before. Note that if you choose to sell the house before the team is up, you will need to pay for the Hometap investment at this time.
What Can You Use the Funds For?
You can use the funds from your Hometap investment to pay off any outstanding debts, like credit cards or student loans. Or, if you’re looking to buy something big, like a new car or a vacation home, you can use them towards the down payment. The funds can also be used to improve your home, such as adding a swimming pool or installing energy-efficient appliances.
How Does Hometap Compare?
While it’s true that there are many ways to invest in real estate, Hometap is one of the most unique, offering a loan alternative to allow homeowners to get the cash they need without having to pay extra monthly payments, as they would have to do if they were taking out a loan. Also, since Hometap is not a loan, no interest is paid. Instead, you will pay a percentage of your home value at the time of settlement, which is usually 13-18% of the value of your house at the time you settle.
Hometap may be a good option for you if you don’t want to add any additional debt or make any monthly payments towards a loan, but instead, use the appreciation of your house to tap into your home equity and get the cash you need right now.
Who Should Consider Hometap?
Anyone who wants to take advantage of their home equity should consider Hometap. Suppose you don’t qualify for a convenient way of accessing home equity, such as a home equity loan, HELOC or cash-out refinancing. In that case, Hometap may be an alternative way to tap into your home equity.
If you don’t want to incur more debt or don’t want to make any extra monthly payments, Hometap may be the right solution for you.
What are the Benefits of Hometap?
There are several reasons why Hometap may be beneficial for you:
- No Interest and Loan Payments: Unlike other programs, Hometap does not charge interest since they are not a lender. There are no monthly payments either. Instead, you only need to repay the investment plus the agreed percentage of your home value at the end of the term.
- Flexible Terms: With Hometap, you can choose to take advantage of the full length of the loan term, or you can prepay early with no prepayment penalties.
- Keep Your Home: Hometap makes an investment o the equity of your home, but you remain the owner of your house and only have to pay back at the end of the investment term or when you sell your house, whatever comes first.
What Are the Cons of Hometap?
The cons of Hometap include the following:
- Limited Investments: Since Hometap is not a lender, and they qualify houses on a case-by-case basis, your house may not be suitable for a Hoemtap investment. You can navigate to their website to check if your home may meet the requirements by answering a few simple questions with no obligation.
- Investment Risk: If you decide to sell your home before it appreciates, you might lose money.
How Can You Qualify for Hometap?
Anyone can apply for a Hometap investment. However, you must meet certain criteria to qualify for a Hometap home equity investment. These are some of the requirements to qualify:
- Lived in one of the following states for at least six months: California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington D.C., and Wisconsin.
- Have at least 25% equity in the home.
- Have a credit score over 600.
- You have been living in the house for at least one year prior to applying.
- You must be employed full-time or self-employed.
It’s important to note, however, that they understand that each homeowner’s situation is different, and each assessment is tailored to each situation, so you could apply even if you don’t meet all the above requirements. If you choose to apply and get approved, you will be under no obligation to accept Hometap’s investment offer until you have signed the paperwork.
How to Get Started with Hometap
Starting the process to get a Hometap investment is easy. Just follow these simple steps:
- Visit the Hometap website to complete the online form to get an investment estimate from a dedicated investment manager
- Fill out a formal application with more details to get a final offer
- Sign the paperwork and receive the funds
- Pay back the investment and agreed-upon percentage in 10 years