If you have been making regular mortgage payments, you’ve been building equity in your property. That equity can help you secure money for other big expenses like paying for college, eliminating debt and remodeling your home.
San Francisco-based Unlock Technologies is designed to help you access that cash. The company doesn’t offer home equity loans or home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), which use your home as collateral and come with monthly payments and finance charges. Instead, the company uses a home equity agreement that operates like an investment. You give the company a piece of equity in the property in exchange for getting the money today while Unlock gets to share in the profits of your property’s appreciation. It’s similar to the way a stockholder would share in the profits of a company’s rise in market value.
Unlock has been around since 2021, and it is accredited by the Better Business Bureau. Past customers give it high marks, too. The company has a 4.6 out of 5 — excellent — rating based on nearly 90 Trustpilot reviews. For now, those customers are limited to just 14 states. Unlock operates in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Washington.
How Unlock works
Unlock pays you money today for the opportunity to get a piece of the proceeds of the sale of your home up to 10 years in the future. The company will offer anywhere between $30,000 and $500,000, depending on your property, finances and amount of equity.
A typical agreement might give you 10 percent of your home’s value in exchange for 16 percent of its future value. For example, if your home is worth $300,000 today, you might borrow $30,000. Eight years later, your home goes to contract for $400,000. When you close the deal, you would owe Unlock $64,000.
You don’t get to decide when you get to sell your home. Unlock’s structure stipulates that the investment matures 10 years from the contract date. At that point, you’ll either need to buy the company out of the agreement or sell your home.
To work with Unlock, you’ll need to create an account and submit a few pieces of information: your government-issued ID, proof of homeowner’s insurance and past mortgage statements. The preliminary approval process takes around 60 seconds. If the terms look good, you’ll need to spend another 5–10 minutes completing a full application. This starts the typically 30-day process that includes an appraisal and a home inspection. According to Unlock, the process can move as quickly as 10 days.
Who is a good fit to apply with Unlock?
If you need immediate access to money and have at least 20 percent equity built up …….