Frequently asked questions

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How does Utopia work?

  • Utopia helps renters transition faster to homeownership. We let our customers select their dream home and rent for 2 to 3 years while they get ready for a mortgage. We also offer innovative tools and rich incentives to our customers to improve their credit score, build up their downpayment and become mortgage ready. Here is how it works:
    • Get Approved: Apply for Free in less than 3 mins to find your Home buying budget. No impact on your credit score and non-binding to you.
    • Find your Utopia: Pick your dream home (with our agents or yours). We will buy it with an all-cash offer.
    • Move-In and Earn: Rent your home while we work with you to make you a Homeowner. Our innovative “Wealth Builder” program turbo-charges your monthly savings for Down Payment by sharing the gains from Home Price Appreciation with you.

How does Utopia compare to just renting?

  • Unlike renting, Utopia offers a Rent, Earn and Own Program which expedites your journey to homeownership. You can choose almost any home listed for sale that we buy and rent it to you while you save-up to buy at a later date.
  • With Utopia, you get all the flexibility of renting while moving closer to homeownership.
  • There are some important differences between Utopia and renting that you should know:
    • A portion of your monthly rent payment goes directly towards home savings in Utopia Wallet—money you can use towards your future down payment on the home
    • We’ll buy almost any home on the market, so you get to live in your dream home from day one
    • Utopia will cover all major repairs and maintenance during your lease, and unlike a rental, you have the option to customize your home to meet your needs.
    • With Utopia, you have the option but not the obligation to buy. So, if you don’t love your home or the neighborhood, you can walk away and cash out your home savings.
  • Ready to get started on your pathway to home ownership? Get Pre-Qualified Now Or, learn more here.

How much does Utopia cost?

  • You can apply to Utopia for free. Once you’re approved and have selected your home, you’ll contribute 1-3% of its price as an initial down payment. This money is used to jumpstart your down payment savings, which you’ll use to buy the home when you’re ready for a mortgage in 2 to 3 years.
  • While you’re renting, your monthly payment is based on fair market value for rent in your city, plus your monthly contribution to your down payment savings fund.
  • If you buy your home within the first 12 months of the program, you’ll pay a buyback price that’s 3-8% higher than the home’s acquisition price. After 12 months, the price climbs by 0.5% to 1.5% every 3 months. The exact details are communicated to you on case by case basis before Utopia buys the subject property.
  • There are no hidden costs or fine-print when you work with Utopia.

How long is the Utopia program?

  • Utopia offers a 1 to 3 year program to make you mortgage ready. If you reach mortgage eligibility sooner, you can purchase the home at any time. On the other hand, if you need more time, we are happy to work with you to make sure your homeownership goal can be achieved.

How long does it take between the time I apply and the time I move into a home?

  • It generally takes around 3-4 weeks between the time you apply and the time you move into your new home.Once Utopia’s all-cash offer is accepted, we will close on the home of your choice in approximately 21 days.

What if I decide not to buy the home and want to exit the program?

  • We really hope that you successfully complete the Utopia homeownership program, but we do understand that life happens. So, you’re free to exit at any time for any reason by giving us a 60 day notice.
  • Because we bought your dream home expecting to sell it to you, we need to sell it to someone else using a real estate agent, which costs over 6% in commissions and closing costs. We split that cost with you on 1/3rd and 2/3rd basis, which means you pay a relisting fee of 2% of the appraised value when we bought the home. We pay the rest of the real estate commission to the real estate agent and other closing costs.

What if the home appraises for less than when Utopia bought it?

  • When the time comes to buy your home and it doesn’t appraise at the same value, you have many options:
    • You can submit the appraisal report to Utopia and allow us to contest the results.
    • You can seek a second appraisal opinion or a different lender for your mortgage.
    • You can postpone the buyback process and allow the home to continue appreciating in value, or cover the difference in cost yourself. 
    • You can also simply walk away from the home and pay the 2% relisting fee.