What is Zero Down?
Zero Down is an affordable home ownership option in the Bay Area. The way it works is that we buy the home that you pick and you get home-equity options each month i.e. home equity vests to you monthly, just like stock options at your workplace.
We plan to expand to San Diego, Denver, Austin, Seattle and a few other cities shortly.
Apply to become a member
if you want to join our beta.
What are home-equity options and how do I use it?
Your home-equity options represent your interest in the home. There is a 2-year cliff after which your home-equity options will vest monthly for up to 5 years. Vesting of home equity options is contingent upon timely monthly payments.
After 2 years, you could move out anytime and exercise one of the following two options,
Buy the home from us at a predetermined price (and use your equity options towards down payment)
Cash out your accrued equity options by selling it to us
Who is this for?
People who are:
looking to buy, but do not have enough savings for a down payment. For instance, people who have student loans have a low savings rate despite having good jobs and salary
looking for flexibility i.e. ability to move out without the hassle of selling the home
If you are priced out of homeownership or want the flexibility of renting with the benefits of owning, you may want to consider becoming a member
Currently, the program is open to qualified first-time homebuyers who intend to live in the home themselves for at least 2 years.
How do I qualify?
First, you sign up
to become a member. We then work with you to determine if you can afford the monthly payments on the home. This is based on a number of factors including, but not limited to, your annual household income, debt obligations, financial history, and employment status.
How does the home buying process work?
You go through the following initial steps,
Become a Zero Down member.
We check your ability to pay and approve your membership.
Once you are a member, pick your home
You could visit open homes with our broker partner
If there is a home on the market that you would like to bid, tell us about it
Nominate us as your buyer agent and we will submit a bid on the home. If the bid is accepted, we buy the home for you.
You move into the home.
Start making monthly payments to get home-equity options each month.
Is there an application fee?
There is an application fee of $250 that you pay upfront, which is applied toward your home purchase.
If for any reason we don’t approve your membership, we will refund the fee.
Is there a limit on the value of the home I can pick?
Yes. The maximum bid is $1.5M in the Bay Area.
Who will do the negotiation and the closing?
Our partner real estate agents are experts with 20+ years of experience. We will take care of negotiating and closing your home.
How many years do I have to live to get ownership?
Minimum of 2 years. If you leave before 2 years, no equity options vest.
What happens when I want to leave after 2 years?
You can leave anytime after 2 years with a 90 day notice. At that time you have two options,
Buy the home from us at a predetermined price
Cash out your equity options by selling it to us
How do I buy the home from Zero Down?
You get a conventional mortgage and buy the home from us at a predetermined price
(which will be agreed upon at the time of your move-in). We will cash out your home-equity options to
facilitate your down payment towards the house.
How do I cash out home-equity options?
When you decide to cash out your equity options, an important question is,
how does one estimate a value of a home without actually executing a sale. The cash out intent will trigger
an onsite appraisal visit to establish a fair value of the house. We will buy back your home-equity options
at the appraised value of the house.
How does Zero Down make money?
When you nominate us as your buyer agent, we earn a commission when we buy the home
We are backed by real estate investors, from whom we earn a small fee in exchange for managing a portfolio
of homes across cities.
How long can I live in Zero Down home?
Maximum of 5 years from the date of move-in.
At the end of 5 years you need to make a decision if you want to buy the home from us or move out with cash.
What will my monthly costs look like?
Your monthly costs on a Zero Down home will be less than your monthly costs had you chosen a
fixed-prime-rate traditional mortgage. Click here
for a detailed comparison of a Zero Down with traditional
Do I need to pay property taxes and home insurance separately?
Your monthly payment to us is inclusive of all of your costs. You need not make any additional payments on top of your monthly payment to us. For a detailed breakdown of Zero Down home
costs in comparison to a traditional mortgage click here
Are my monthly payments tax deductible?
No. The monthly payments are not tax deductible.
Who is responsible for home maintenance?
As the resident and equity partner of the property, you are responsible for its maintenance.
Can I make improvements to my home?
Yes, you can make any improvements or modifications to the home as you see fit.
The quality of the home and any improvement to the home contributes to the appreciation which
reflects positively on your equity when you cash out.