Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS OWNEZ FINANCING?
OwnEZ financing, in a nutshell, is financing provided by a private investor rather than a traditional bank with more stringent underwriting criteria. This is designed for the home buyer who has money for a down payment (10%) and the financial ability to afford a monthly house payment.
HOW DO I QUALIFY FOR OWNEZ FINANCING?
We make qualifying for financing as E-Z as possible. Start by contacting a member of our professional and friendly real estate team. In general, you’ll be asked to complete a standard Application Form, submit 2-years tax returns, proof of employment or income (such as W-2’s), and a renter verification. We can usually make a determination with 2 to 4 business days after receiving all of your information.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME A HOME BUYER THROUGH THE OWNEZ PROGRAM?
It varies, but you’re in control of much of the process. The first step is to become qualified for OwnEZ financing, a process that typically takes 2-4 business days after receiving all your information. The second step is to find your home through working with a qualified realtor. That may happen immediately or may take some time as you look for precisely the home (location, square footage, price, physical amenities, etc.) that works best for you and your family. If you’re not finding precisely the right home right away, don’t be discouraged….just continue to work with your realtor to find the house that is right for you.
Finally, once you’ve found the right home and had an offer accepted, we can generally close relatively quickly (often in as little as two weeks), depending on your desired closing date.
WHAT IF I DON’T QUALIFY FOR THE HOME I WANT?
Don’t be discouraged. Qualification is based primarily on your having a 10% down payment and sufficient income to support your house payment. If you’re not immediately qualified for the home you want, one option is to look for a more affordable home . Another option is to wait until your income increases through raises, a job change or promotion, a spouse working or other changes, and reapply for our financing program. We want to work with you. Remember, our mission is to convert you from a renter to a home owner!
CAN I BUY A “FIXER UPPER” THROUGH OWNEZ?
No. Our program is designed to provide homes that are in a fully “move-in ready” condition, and all our homes have been pre-inspected by a licensed third party inspector for precisely that reason. While there is nothing at all wrong with a “fixer-upper,” we’ve found that the transition to being a home-owner is more stress-free and more successful when the new homeowner does not have to deal with contractors, immediate repairs and the disruptions of “rehabbing” their new home.
WHAT IF SOMETHING GOES “WRONG” WITH MY HOME, LIKE THE PLUMBING OR THE FURNACE OR REPLACING MY GUTTER OR WHATEVER?
As the new homeowner, all of the responsibilities for caring for the home and making necessary repairs are now yours. But there is some good news in this as well. First, as the homeowner actually living there, you are in the best position to see and learn of repair issues as they may develop. Secondly, when and if repairs are necessary, you (as the homeowner) will be the person best motivated to see that the repairs are “done right” as part of the investment and protection of your long-term investment in your home.
CAN I MAKE IMPROVEMENTS TO MY HOME?
Absolutely. This is your home, and making improvements over time reflects what is often called “pride of ownership.” The only requirement is that any improvements make to your home be in compliance with all local building codes and ordinances
I UNDERSTAND THERE ARE TAX BENEFITS TO BEING A HOME OWNER. IS THAT TRUE?
Generally speaking, the most important tax benefit is the tax deductibility of the interest and property tax portion of your monthly payment. Here, you should consult with your accountant or tax preparer to determine how and to what extent these benefits best apply to your situation.
WHAT IF I LATER WANT TO SELL MY HOME?
This is your home and is therefore your home to later sell if you wish. You would simply go through a standard sale process (with or without a licensed realtor). The new Buyer would, at closing, pay your agreed sale price and out of this you would pay remaining balance owed to the Investor, if any. The remaining sale proceeds represent your equity in the home and, after paying any commissions or other transaction costs, fully belong to you.
CAN I PAY OFF MY HOME SOONER?
Yes. We believe not only in home ownership, but in debt free home ownership. You always have the right to pay off your home sooner.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I FALL BEHIND IN MY PAYMENTS?
We, of course, hope that does not happen and our qualification process is designed to assure that your home payments are realistic and affordable. But we understand that life throws us curves at times.
In the event something causes you to fall behind in your payments, the first step is to communicate directly and honestly with the Investor receiving your payments, who will determine how to best work with you. If the problem is a short term or temporary matter, there can be mechanisms to allow for catching up on the payments or some similar arrangement. If the problem is a long term, repeating or persisting problem, the Investor’s last resort is to turn to your Land Sale Contract and take legal steps to take the property back. This is why direct and honest communication is so very important in this kind of situation.