Frequently Asked Questions
There are many common questions when it comes to the Homeowners Now rent-to-own program. We've done our best to answer as many of them as possible in order to make your application process fast and easy!
How does the Homeowners Now Program work?
Homeowners Now will purchase the home that YOU choose and you will be given the exclusive right to purchase the home at the end of the agreed-upon term. Throughout this period we work hard with our clients to help you save for your down payment and improve your credit score. At the end of the term, you will be in a position to qualify for a mortgage through the traditional lending institutions and the property title will transfer into your name. We are obligated to sell the home to you at the end of the term and 100% of the Initial Down Payment is credited towards the purchase price of the home.
How much do I require for the Initial Down Payment?
The Initial Down Payment is credited towards the purchase of your home at the end of the agreed-upon term. Although each case is unique, we typically recommend a minimum deposit of $15,000 or 3% of the purchase price of the selected property. We are extremely flexible when it comes to the operations of our Program and we will ALWAYS do our best to work with whatever funds you have available.
What methods of payment are accepted for the Initial Down Payment?
We accept any form of certified funds, whether that be certified cheque, bank draft, or money order. You do have the ability to use your RRSPs for the down payment at the end of the agreed-upon term, however you cannot use your RRSPs towards the Initial Option Fee.
Can I use borrowed funds towards my Initial Down Payment?
You certainly can! We do not operate like the big banks do. If you have a close friend or family member who is willing to lend you funds, you can use that money towards the Program. We are flexible with our clients and we believe you are free to choose where you get your Initial Down Payment from.
My credit is horrible - can I still qualify?
Like anything in life, it all depends on your individual situation. We do not operate like traditional lending institutions and we believe that every Canadian should have the opportunity to own their home. The most important aspect of the Program is for you to be honest. If you provide accurate information from the onset, we all have the best opportunity in being able to get you into owning your home. Unfortunately, please note that should you have had a mortgage included in a previous bankruptcy this would preclude you from our Program.
I'm self-employed or work as a commission-based employee can I still qualify?
Did you know that 35% of Canadians are self-employed and approximately one in eight obtain their income through commissions? Our Program is designed to help families whose income may not always be guaranteed and we believe you shouldn’t be reprimanded for the type of income you earn.
Who pays for the regular maintenance of the property?
We want you to understand that from the first day you enter our Program that we consider YOU to be the homeowner. This means you are responsible for maintaining the property. The bonus of this is that any improvements or upgrades you make to the home will increase the value of your investment and YOU will reap the benefits! We help you understand that all homes require regular maintenance and budgeting for this is a key element of the Program.
Who pays for the property taxes, home insurance, and condo fees?
Homeowners Now Inc. pays for these expenses. We pay for the property taxes, building insurance, and condo fees (if applicable) as part of our investment in you. We will help you understand these costs when the mortgage title is transferred into your name at the end of the Program so that you are well prepared for handling them yourself.
Is the purchase price of the home negotiable?
One thing that our clients find is a large benefit is the fact that the purchase price of the home is fixed at the beginning of the Program. The purchase price is based on a conservative estimate of the future value of the property and is guaranteed for the duration you are in the Program. This means that regardless of how much the home appreciates over the term of the agreement, your purchase price will not change.
Are the monthly payment terms negotiable?
The monthly payments you make can be reduced by increasing the Initial Down Payment. Therefore, the more funds you have at the beginning of the Program the less you will likely use towards your monthly payments.
How do the payments compare against traditional mortgage payments?
When you evaluate all the factors, our all-inclusive payment schedule is actually LOWER than paying a traditional 5% interest rate mortgage.
Can I choose any home I want for the Homeowners Now Program?
Yes! We help educate you on properties that are considered readily marketable residential dwellings that are located in a market with demonstrated ongoing re-sale demand, to help you choose a property that will provide you with future financial wealth. We have access to the best licensed REALTORS across Canada to help you choose the home that fits your lifestyle best – whether you need schools nearby, access to public transit, or you want a high-rise apartment. The home will also be professionally inspected before you purchase it to ensure that you home is in good condition and does not pose any hidden problems or costs.
What if I can't afford the monthly payments or the Initial Down Payment right now?
Your monthly payments will approximate the payments you would make on a new mortgage with all of the costs considered, such as property taxes, insurance, and condo fees (if applicable). We will also work with you to ensure you purchase a home that you can afford so that you have the best quality of life. Remember, it is our goal to ultimately qualify you for your own financing at the end of the Program, so it is not in anyone’s benefit to place you into a place you cannot afford.
What happens if I am unable to make one of the monthly payments?
You are ultimately responsible for all obligations under the terms and conditions of the Program. This means that you are responsible to pay the monthly payment in full and on time for each payment, just as you will when you take over the mortgage. If you miss a payment, you will be considered to be in default under the terms and conditions of the Program. Similar to all other financial institutions, if you are in default for a period of more than 30 days, we reserve the right to commence legal proceedings to recover and secure our interests in the property. We know this sounds serious, but we want to help educate you that your own home IS a serious responsibility. You will also receive serious consequences, whether positive or negative, depending on how you treat the responsibility you undertake. Please be assured that we will educate you completely on all of these legalities prior to moving forward with any signing.
Can I rent out the property?
Remember, this is your home! That means that you can rent it out if you wish. You will need to be made aware that you will still remain fully responsible under the terms and conditions of the Program, which means you will also be ultimately responsible for any maintenance, repairs, and administration required with renting out the property to someone else.
What happens if I do not want to buy the house at the end of the Program?
There are typically two outcomes to this scenario – we can either extend the Program length if you need more time, or you can choose to walk away from the home. If you choose to walk away from the home, you will forfeit your non-refundable and incur other consequences as a result. There are significant costs involved in selling a property that has been specifically purchased for your benefit, which include (but may not be limited to) REALTOR commissions, mortgage repayments, payout penalties, interest costs, holding costs, investor payouts, and marketing. We will help educate you that we are making a significant investment in YOU and we want to deal only with committed individuals and families.
How soon can I move into my new home?
The entire length of the process typically takes anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks from start to finish. The approval process usually takes 1 to 2 weeks, at which point we will then design the Program to meet you specific individual needs. Selecting a home and moving through to acceptance can take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks to complete. After all conditions have been met on the acceptance, you should expect another 2 to 4 weeks for closing before you receive the keys to your brand new home!
How about others services? Can you help me with my current bankruptcy situation?
Sorry, as the programs at Homeowners Now are relatively short at three years or less, we cannot work with any individuals who currently are, or in the past six months have, declared bankruptcy. If this is you, we suggest you reach out to companies specializing in this field directly.