Frequently Asked Questions

The Basics

So what exactly does Hometap do?

Hometap is a way for homeowners to be paid today for equity they’ve accumulated in their property - without getting a loan. We invest alongside homeowners, providing cash today and participating in the proceeds at the time of a sale.

What's the difference between Hometap and a loan?

Unlike a lender, we receive no monthly payments or guaranteed return on the money we’ve invested. For some, taking an equity investment can be an intelligent way to fund the opportunities and needs that come up in life while eliminating the “debt-stress” of increased monthly payments.

Who can use Hometap?

Because there are a lot of factors that go into determining if Hometap can make an investment in a property, there isn't a black-and-white list of criteria. Each property is evaluated independently. That's why we suggest homeowners start with the Fit Quiz, and then complete an Investment Estimate so that our Investment Managers have the information they need to speak with you about your specific scenario. Some of the things that tend to make homeowners an ideal fit include:

  • Your single-family home or condo is located in a state in which we’re currently operational
  • While we don't have a FICO credit score requirement, homeowners' credit scores are typically above 600
  • You have a minimum of 25% equity in your home
  • You live in your home at least six months out of the year (we do not currently invest in vacation homes)
  • The investment amount you’re looking for is under 30% of your total home value or under $300,000 (this is the maximum amount that we can invest, and it will depend on home value and equity percentage, as well)

What is the process for getting a Hometap Investment?

Getting a Hometap Investment is done in a few simple steps:

  1. Complete an Investment Inquiry

    You’ll create an account and submit an Investment Inquiry through the Hometap website.

  2. Speak with your Investment Manager

    If we think an Investment might be possible, we will send you an Investment Estimate, which includes estimated terms specific to your property. Your Hometap Investment Manager will set up a call with you to walk through the numbers and answer any questions you may have about the Application process.

  3. Submit your Application

    Once you’ve uploaded or scanned your documents to your computer, grab a cup of coffee and get started – this Application shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes.

  4. Closing

Before we can prepare the final Investment Details, we will schedule a physical appraisal of your property using a third party appraiser. Once the appraisal is complete and the Investment Details are finalized, we can sign the documents and begin the transfer of funds!

How long do I have to settle a Hometap Investment?

The term of a Hometap Investment is 10 years. You can either sell your house during the term or you can buy out our Investment with savings, or by taking out a home equity (or other) loan. We call this Settling the Investment.

In what states is a Hometap Investment available?

Hometap is currently able to invest in homes in the following states (but more are on the way):

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Florida
  • Maryland 
  • Massachusetts 
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota 
  • New Jersey 
  • New York
  • North Carolina 
  • Oregon 
  • Virginia 

If you don't see your home state listed here quite yet, be sure to check back in with us soon. We're growing quickly and expanding our reach to as many homeowners as possible!

If I don’t have to guarantee Hometap payments, how does Hometap make money?

Hometap has the potential to make money through the Hometap Share - the percentage of the home’s value we are entitled to receive when you sell your home, refinance, or buy us out by the end of the term. So, if your home value goes up we make more and if it goes down we make less.

How quickly can Hometap make an investment?

Like most things, this is partly us and partly you. Once you have your completed Application (the “you” part), we can typically order the third party appraisal, finalize the offer, structure the Investment, and close (the “us” part) in three weeks.

When am I expected to pay fees and when do I receive my investment?

You will receive your investment amount exactly four days after the investment agreement is signed, through a wire transfer to the account you choose. The closing costs are deducted from the investment total, so you have no out-of-pocket costs. There is no payment to be made until you are selling the home or, when you decide to you are settling the investment (which you can do at any point within the ten year period).

In what situations would Hometap not be the right option?

Everyone’s motives and methods around homeownership are personal - there are few “right” answers in life and ultimately it’s up to you to weigh your options and make the decision that best fits your needs.

However, if you know you want to stay in your house for more than 10 years, Hometap may not be the best option for you. Our Investments have a 10-year term, which means that we must Settle our Investment either through a sale of your home, refinancing, or through you buying out our Investment in your home within 10 years.

What are the fees associated with closing an investment?

Hometap charges a fee equal to 3% of the Investment amount for arranging and funding the Investment. There are no other Hometap fees, however the appraisal and other third party costs associated with the closing (i.e.: escrow, attorney/notary, and document recording) are deducted from the Investment amount when you get your money. So that there are no hidden fees or surpises, we provide a detailed estimate after you submit an application, including all of the final costs of obtaining the investment.

See some examples of common third party costs in the table below. Please note that these fees are for informational purposes only, and final costs are subject to change based on your state or county.

Full Appraisal

A third party home appraisal is needed to determine the market value of your home. This fee may be waived if the owner can provide proof of an appraisel conducted that is less than three months old.

Cost: $599 ($800 in Oregon)

Title Charges

Part of the closing costs you pay to facilitate the investment including attorney/notary costs, settlement fees and property report production.

Cost: $700-$800

Government Recording & Transfer Charges

These include filing fees and will vary by state and county.

Cost: $370-$1,000

After the Investment

Will Hometap have a say in what I do with the house after the investment?

Provided that you take care of your house and pay your taxes, mortgage, and insurance - no. You do need to loop us in if you would like to sell your home, take on another investor or adjust your mortgage.

Will Hometap be responsible for any expenses like taxes or insurance or if an act-of-God-tree falls on my house?

No. We don’t live in your house, tell you what wallpaper to choose, or come for holidays either. Unless you invite us. 😉

What are my obligations if I take an investment?

During the term of a Hometap Investment (10 years), you are responsible for maintaining your home, making timely mortgage, insurance, and property tax payments, as well as informing us if and when you plan to sell your home. During this time, you do not owe any payments to Hometap and the Investment does not accrue any interest.

What if I want to renovate or paint the house purple? Do I have to tell Hometap?

No, we’re not involved in any renovation decisions and we don’t share in any of the home value attributable to renovations, as determined by an appraiser.

So, if you’re renovating to make your life better, excellent! If you’re renovating in the hopes of increasing the value of your home, just do your homework. Some renovations add more value than others; some don’t pay for themselves at all.

Do you offer renovation adjustments?

Yes, we do. You may request an adjustment to the agreed home value to account for any appreciation in the value of the property as a result of certain qualified renovations amounting to $25,000 or more. Here’s how it works: At time of settlement, the homeowner provides us with evidence of the renovation, including receipts and photographs of the renovation. The amount of a renovation adjustment, if approved by Hometap, will be the difference, as determined by an appraiser, between the appraised value of the property post-renovation and the hypothetical value of the property without the renovations. Accepted renovation adjustments are not guaranteed.

After an investment, does Hometap conduct random inspections?

No. Assuming you are doing the things a responsible homeowner does (like paying your taxes, mortgage and insurance, and maintaining your home), we will not be popping by for a visit.

Settling the Investment

What if I want to sell my house before the Hometap term is up?

No problem – it’s totally up to you; just loop us in. Hometap will receive the Hometap share from the proceeds of the sale.

What happens if I don’t sell the home by the end of the term and want to keep it or pass it on to my kids? What do I owe Hometap?

If you don’t want to sell your house during the term, you can Settle the Investment in the same way with savings or by taking out a home equity (or other) loan. Any settlement is based on the current market value of the home.

What happens if the value of my home goes down?

In exchange for our upfront cash investment, Hometap receives a share of the sale or market price of the home. If the value doesn’t go up and we make less, we make less. That’s the risk we take, and that’s for Hometap to worry about, not you.

What happens if my house burns down?

That would be awful and we hope that never happens. If the property can be repaired and restored to its condition before the disaster, then great and that’s the plan. If it cannot be repaired and restored, Hometap will use an appraiser to determine the value of the property before the disaster and Hometap will receive the Hometap share from the insurance proceeds, in the same way as if you had sold the property.

Are you involved in the process when I’m ready to sell my home?

You do not need permission from us to sell. When you decide to sell, you are responsible for notifying Hometap:

  • When you plan to list the house for sale
  • Within 24 hours of receipt of a binding offer (yay!) and include a copy of the offer

While we will not tell you which offer to accept, the sale price must approximate or exceed the market value of the home. We will work with you to settle the investment as part of the normal closing process; like you, and unlike a bank, we are motivated to get top dollar for any house we have invested in.

What happens to the investment if I pass away?

If you are the sole homeowner, the obligation to settle the investment flows to the estate and the lien remains on the property. If there is a second homeowner and one homeowner passes away, there are no changes to the agreement.

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