Frequently Asked Questions

You've asked, we've answered

About ZeroDown

What is ZeroDown?

ZeroDown is creating a new pathway to homeownership in the San Francisco Bay Area. Homebuying isn’t just expensive here—it’s cost-prohibitive. So the majority of people end up renting, as a cheaper, but wasteful alternative.

But what if there was an option between renting and owning? That’s where ZeroDown comes in: we buy the home you want. You move in, pay us a fixed monthly amount and build purchase-credits purchase-credits represent a percentage of the home value and you earn them over time.
in your home each month.

What are purchase-credits?

Purchase-Credits represent a percentage of the home value. You earn them over time.

Is ZeroDown a loan?

No, ZeroDown is not a lender and you are not getting a mortgage. Instead, you partner with ZeroDown to buy your home for you and build purchase-credits every month.

How do I build towards ownership with ZeroDown?

With ZeroDown, you can start building up net worth without taking on a mortgage.

A portion of your monthly payment each month goes towards building purchase-credits in your home. Any time after two years, you can buy your home from us, using the credits you've built up towards a down payment.

In which areas of the country does ZeroDown operate?

ZeroDown currently operates in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Not in the Bay Area? Tell us where you want ZeroDown to come next by requesting us.

How does ZeroDown make money?

ZeroDown makes money via splitting buy side commissions with our partner agents as well as the one time flat program fee of $10,000 that we charge our customers.

Your approval process

How do I qualify for ZeroDown?

To apply, first sign up and qualify by linking your bank account(s) and providing proof of assets and income. This allows us to confirm your income and get a picture of your finances. We then work with you to determine your buying power.

Does qualifying for ZeroDown affect my credit score?

Qualifying for ZeroDown requires only a soft credit check, which won’t ding your score.

Do I need a down payment to qualify?

Absolutely not. We didn’t choose the name “ZeroDown” for nothing!

What information do I need to provide to ZeroDown?

When you get qualified, we ask you for a few pieces of basic information and to link us to your bank and credit card account(s), which gives us an understanding of your finances. If we happen to need any other information, we'll reach out to you.

How long does the qualification process take?

Once you complete your qualification application, we will be in touch with you within 48 hours.

Choosing your home

Can I pick any home available or do I have to pick a home from ZeroDown’s inventory?

You are free to find your home however you’d like – shop online using one of the many home search engines ( install the ZeroDown plugin to know the ZeroDown offer for every home ) or work with one of our top-rated ZeroDown partner agents who live and work in the areas where you wish to live.

Who pays the closing costs?

ZeroDown takes care of the closing costs associated with the property purchase.

Can I use my own agent?

We prefer that you work with one of our partner agents, whom we’ve selected for their deep knowledge of the Bay Area housing market. That said, we’re happy to partner with your agent if you’ve already been working with one and trust them.

Your ZeroDown monthly payments

What are my upfront costs and when are they charged?

You will be asked to pay a one-time flat program fee of $10,000 to ZeroDown, when we make an offer* to buy the home of your choice. Once our offer is accepted, we take care of all the other closing related costs of buying your home. That's it! No other costs, no hidden fees, ever!

*The program fee is refunded if the offer is not accepted.

How is the monthly payment calculated?

Your monthly payment is based on the value of the home you select and will not change as long as you live in your home. This is the only payment you’ll ever make to ZeroDown and we’ll take care of property taxes and home insurance. No hidden costs, no hidden fees, ever!

Click here to calculate your monthly payment

What is the breakdown of my monthly payment?

A portion of your payment goes toward building purchase-credits purchase-credits represent a percentage of the home value and you earn them over time.
, the rest goes toward leasing the home.

Click here to see more details

Do I need to pay property taxes or buy home insurance?

No. Your monthly payment to ZeroDown is inclusive of property taxes and insurance.

Do I need to pay the monthly HOA dues?

Yes. That said, we'll deduct it from your account along with your monthly payment and take care of making regular payments to the homeowners association on your behalf.

Who is responsible for home maintenance costs?

As the resident and homeownership partner of the property, you are responsible for its maintenance. The same goes for any re-design or improvements that you want to make to the property. For large repairs, like roof replacements and HVAC breakdowns, ZeroDown will cover it.

Buying your ZeroDown home

How do I buy my home from ZeroDown?

You would have built 15% purchase-credits in five years. Any time after two years, you can buy the home from us, using the credits you've built up towards a down payment.

Click here to see a more detailed view of how ZeroDown works

Who owns the title to the home?

ZeroDown owns the title to the home. We are temporary custodians of the title, until you buy your home from us.

You will be leasing the home from us with an option to purchase. Once we buy the home of your choice, you enter into two agreements with us - a lease agreement and an option to purchase agreement (which gives you the first right to purchase).

Can I make improvements to my home?

Absolutely. You can make any improvements or modifications to your home as you see fit. We believe that the quality of the home and any improvement to the home contributes positively to the home value.

Can I sublet or sublease my home?

No, your ZeroDown home must be your primary residence, and you cannot sublet or sublease a portion or your entire home. However, you can do "hosted" short-term rentals like Airbnb in your home as long as you still occupy the house.

Who pays closing costs when I decide to buy the home?

That’s the great thing about partnering with ZeroDown—no closing costs for you! You’ll only be responsible for costs associated with your own mortgage—simple, transparent and no surprises!