Frequently asked questions

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How much does the program cost?

  • It is totally free to apply. Once you apply, get approved, and find a home, you’ll pay a one-time initial home savings contribution (or down payment) to your Utopia Wallet along with a monthly payment to live in the home while you save up to buy.
  • Our program has two unique payments:
    • An initial home savings contribution (also called option payment—up to 3% of the purchase price of the home)
    • Your monthly payment, which includes rent (~75 % or more) and your home savings (~less than 25%), that goes toward your future down payment when you’re ready to buy your home.
  • There are no other fees. Because 75% of your monthly payment is based on rent for a specific home, you might find that two properties listed at the same price may have different monthly payments as rents vary from region to region.

How does Utopia determine the market rent portion of the monthly payment?

  • Our team of real estate experts look at market data frequently to update our rental yields and always make sure our clients pay rents which correspond to what they would pay for a similar property.

Will I have to pay a security deposit before I move in?

  • Just as with any other rental, you will need to pay a security deposit. As long as the home is kept in good condition and you’ve paid rent on time, it will be returned to your down payment fund i.e. Utopia Wallet at the end of your rental period so that you can use it to buy your home. 

Do I pay taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance, etc.?

  • While you are renting, Utopia pays for taxes and homeowners’ insurance. You will pay for all utilities and for any maintenance items under $200. Any maintenance items above $200 will be split half-half between you and Utopia. Utopia does not cover any cosmetic repairs, including but not limited to painting, carpeting, landscaping, or appliances. We also will not pay for repairs required as a result of any intentional or negligent damage, destruction, or misuse of the home by you, your guests or your visitors. You understand that you are sharing in the homeownership responsibilities, and will be expected to maintain your home, including preventative and seasonal maintenance, such as gutter cleaning, filter replacements, winterizing exterior plumbing systems etc.

What is Utopia’s Pet Policy while renting?

  • We adore Pet Dogs & Cats and consider them family!
    Utopia pet policy permits someone to have:
    • Up to three pets (cats or dogs) weighing less than 180 pounds in total combined weight. Utopia is happy to consider exceptions on a case-by-case basis. Inquire after you apply.
    • You will let us know the breed and other details on the lease agreement, we do not presently have any breed restrictions for dogs. Further, livestock/farm animal pets such as pigs, horses, chickens, and goats, aquariums over 20 gallons, and exotic, venomous, and verminous pets, are not allowed.
    • Should you not end up buying the home, you will be assessed a $300 fee for keeping pet(s) on the premises.
    • You will obtain additional coverage on your renter’s insurance to cover pets.
    • It’s also important to consider that certain homeowners associations have particular pet policies of their own.
    • If the home you choose has a Home Owner's Association (HOA), please refer to your copy of the HOA Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) for specific pet policy.
    Overall, we just ask that you be a responsible pet owner, and we are delighted to help you find a home for all your family.

What is included in the monthly payment?

  • Your monthly payment has two components:
    • Rent (about 75%)
    • Home Savings (about 25%)
  • The rent component works just like a normal lease. Utopia sets rent prices according to each neighborhood’s fair market rent value depending on the home location, size, etc.
  • Home savings are funds intended to use on the future down payment on your home. If you choose to buy back the home, your savings in the home can be applied to your downpayment, to your closing costs, or to both.
  • The distribution of your savings can be applied to your closing based on discussions with your lender and their requirements for your mortgage. If you do not buy back the home, your savings can be cashed out.

How do I know how much savings I have in the home?

  • We send you periodic statements showing how much savings you have and how much earnings have been accrued under our ‘rent, earn and own’ program. If you are in the process of applying to a mortgage and need the exact calculation, please email  to confirm the cash amount in savings available.

When is rent due?

  • Rent is due on the 1st of the month. Any full payment submitted on or before that date will be considered an on-time payment.
  • If Utopia auto-drafts your payment and it bounces back due to insufficient funds to clear, this will be considered a late payment, your account will be in default and legal proceedings regarding rent collection may begin. Utopia will re-attempt an auto-draft payment one additional time, at the tenant’s request.
  • If auto-draft payments are not enabled, your payment is considered late if it is not received by Utopia on the 1st. You have a grace period of 5 calendar days to pay your rent in full. After the 5th calendar day, your rent is considered late and a 5% fee will be assessed on any late and outstanding payment.
  • If you have more than three late payments over a 12-month period, Utopia has the right to evict you from the property even if you are current.

Can I schedule my rent payment?

  • Yes, as long as the payment is scheduled before the 1st of the month. If you would like Utopia to run your payment on any day before the 1st of the month, please reach out to us and we can make the appropriate adjustments.
  • We are able to schedule an auto-payment up until the 5th of the month. If you cannot have your payment submitted by the 5th, it will need to be paid via wire transfer, debit/credit card, or cashier's check. Even if Utopia runs your payment automatically, it will be considered late if run any day after the 1st of the month.