Ownify – a first-of-its-kind fractional homeownership program dedicated to making homeownership achievable for first-time homebuyers – had officially launched in the Triangle area of North Carolina. And the company announced today a $7 million seed round, led by Lobby Capital with participation from Socially Financed, Gaingels, and others.
As nearly 2 million people look to buy their first home each year, they face a system stacked against them. And even with good credit and stable income, saving for a down payment is an insurmountable hurdle for many. Coming out of the real estate, mortgage, and software industry, Ownify’s team has been working on solving this problem over the past year, building a path to homeownership through fractional ownership rather than mortgage debt.
To buy their home with Ownify, homebuyers are making a 2% down payment, giving them a 2% equity stake in the home upon closing. And Ownify transforms the homebuyers into powerful cash buyers and covers additional upfront costs like due diligence fees and earnest money.
Homebuyers have to pay a fixed monthly payment to Ownify, inclusive of a monthly equity buy that increases the homebuyer’s ownership percentage in the home over time, and a monthly occupancy payment on the fraction of the home that is not yet owned, which covers costs associated with owning the home such as maintenance and repairs, homeowner’s insurance and taxes. Ownify customers – known as “Ownis” – effectively buy their home “brick by brick” through fractional ownership. After 5 years, Ownis own approximately 10% of their home’s equity. Ownis can buy the remaining equity at any time, at fair market value, or cash out and walk away.
By directly matching real estate investors with homebuyers, Ownify can keep expenses lower than a traditional mortgage or rent-to-own offerings. And on average, Ownify helps customers save $211 per month compared to a mortgage for first-time homebuyers, and $34,060 on a down payment compared to a mortgage down payment. Plus Ownify helps first-time homebuyers compete in the market with an enticing cash offer and the ability to close in less than two weeks, on average.
Ownify essentially offers real estate agents the opportunity to help more first-time homebuyers realize that their dreams of homeownership may be closer than they think. And Ownify helps agents reduce the time and effort required to close deals, convert more customers to sales and earn full commission more often.
“We’re thrilled to bring Ownify to the Triangle area for qualified first-time homebuyers. We believe that fractional ownership, rather than the traditional mortgage-based path to ownership, is an attractive alternative for first-time buyers. Ownify offers a low down payment of 2%, a powerful cash offer to compete against corporate buyers, no unforeseen costs and surprises, and evergreen equity in the home.”
— Frank Rohde, Founder and CEO of Ownify
“Ownify is solving a massive generational problem. The challenges for first-time homebuyers continue to grow and we’re excited to back the Ownify team as they’re solving these challenges in a revolutionary way.”
— Eric Carlborg, Founding Partner and Lead Investor at Lobby Capital
“To the consumer, Ownify is the investor that they never had before to make their investment dreams come true. When you think about Ownify, you should be thinking of less rent-to-own or a bank and more of a partnership. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen come to the market.”
— Bryant Lovette, Ownify-accredited real estate agent and team leader for Lovette Properties
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