Your Questions, Answered.
How does it *really* work? Give me all the nitty gritty details.
1. Find your dream home. On our website, you can find 1,000+ homes listed for sale that we will buy when we find a great renter!
2. We make sure it is a great home, buy it, and rent it to you.
3. When you move in, you invest and become a part-owner of the home, usually with a 1-2% ownership share, or the equivalent of a security deposit.
A. As a part-owner, you earn a share of the profit from rent every month (based on how much of the home your own). This profit converts to more ownership in the home, compounding your investment. If the house appreciates in value, you earn more! For example: if your rent is $1,000 and $800 of it goes to paying the mortgage + taxes + insurance, there is $200 of profit. You earn $200 x (your ownership %).
B. In addition to the equity you earn from rent profits, you can invest extra every month, and at any point in time. This sets you up to earn even more profit from the rent the next month, and the ones after that.
C. Periodically we re-assess the value of the home. If the house value goes up, so does the value of your ownership share! If your home is worth $150,000 when you move in, then after your 2 year lease has gone up in value and is now worth $160,000, part of that $10,000 comes back to you.
D. You can buy the house outright at any point during your lease. At the end of your lease, if you don't want to buy the home, no problem -- you can transfer your equity to another home in our network, another home that we agree to buy for you to rent or cash out for 90% of the value of the equity at that time (appreciation included!). You can also extend your lease for up to five years total) if you’re not ready to decide.
What are the benefits of Up&Up?
- Try a home before you commit to buying it
- Access to our incredible inventory of top quality homes
- Never come out of pocket to pay for unexpected repairs or maintenance
- Earn more ownership in the home every month by taking care of it
- Terminate the lease early if you want to purchase the home at any time
What cities do you operate in?
Our homes are available in Los Angeles, CA and St. Louis, MO, and we are expanding coverage to other major US cities in the next year. If you're interested in renting through Up&Up and we’re not in your area yet, let us know!
Is Up&Up rent to own? I hear that's a scam!
Up&Up is a modernized and more consumer-friendly version of rent to own! This makes us different in a few key ways:
- First, we give you the benefits of ownership from day 1. You make an initial upfront investment in the home at the time when you might normally make a security deposit. This gives you rights to a share of the profits from the home every month, and an ownership stake in the home that appreciates with the home’s value. If your home goes up 3% in value, so does the value of your stake!
- Second, you are under no obligation to ever purchase the home. You’ll get your equity back in cash (plus earnings from being a great renter, plus home price appreciation) at the end of your lease.
- Third, with Up&Up, if you want to buy, you can buy the home any time at fair market value. Rent-to-own often requires you to “lock-in” a purchase price at the start of your lease, and we don’t think that’s fair. We let you appoint a certified independent third party appraiser if you disagree with our assessment of the home price.
How does Up&Up make money? What's in it for you?
We make money by investing in great homes with great co-invested renters. Our business model is built on a basic equation: if our renters treat their homes better and sign longer leases than the average renter because they are part-owners, we all win.
We do not charge our renters anything other than the rent and any added services they request.
How does Up&Up compare to renting or buying a home myself?
Renting provides flexibility but no financial benefits. At the end of your lease, all that you are left with is your security deposit that has earned 0%.
Buying a home is a long term commitment that requires a significant down payment and sole responsibility for dealing with unexpected maintenance issues.
Up&Up preserves the flexibility, ease and convenience of renting, with the financial benefits of home ownership. You become a part homeowner without a large down payment or applying for a mortgage!
Could Up&Up help improve my credit score?
You bet! With your permission, Up&Up can report timely rent payments to the credit bureaus every month.
How do I apply?
First, you can speak with our onboarding team to get pre-qualified. After that you can start your application and start viewing homes with us!
What are the application requirements?
You must meet the following requirements:
- 680+ credit and above
- Make 3x the rent in monthly income
- Ok with a 2-year lease
- Ok with 2x rent as an initial investment in the home
If you do not meet these criteria, you can still apply if you have a co-signer who meets the above.
Can I view the property before I rent it?
Of course! After pre-qualifying, you can schedule a viewing at any time by contacting an Up&Up agent.
How do I know that I'm not overpaying rent?
We believe that our renters should only pay fair market value rent. We encourage our renters to look at other comparable properties to verify the fairness of their rent.
How long is the Up&Up Lease?
The lease is 2 years and you have the option to renew for 3 additional 1 year terms. After 5 years, the lease can be extended if both you and Up&Up agree to extend.
What is the minimum investment I need to get started with Up&Up?
The minimum investment we require you to join Up&Up is 2 months of rent on your selected property.
Do I need to get a mortgage to work with Up&Up?
Not at all! Renting with Up&Up means you get the opportunity to own as much home equity as you like without having to apply for a mortgage or wait to save for the down payment.
Do I need to choose a home before I apply to Up&Up?
Nope! Applying first actually makes it easier for us to help you find suitable homes and move quickly throughout the process.
Can I choose any home I like?
You can choose any home available on our website. If you like a home that is for sale and not listed on our website, we'd love to hear about it!
Building Equity with Up&Up
How much equity do I start with initially?
The initial value of your equity is simply the initial investment you make in lieu of your security deposit. This initial investment is typically 2 months of rent.
How much equity do I build every month?
We think of Up&Up renters as part owners in the Up&Up property. As a result, you’re entitled to your percentage of the cash flow generated from the property.
As a rough guide, if you paid $2,600 per month in rent on a $500,000 home, you could gain about $100 to $150 of equity each month, simply by making timely rent payments and home prices rising at historic rates.
Can I build equity faster?
Absolutely! You have the option of investing as much as you like any given month above your minimum commitment. You can also make additional investments at any time. And with the Up&Up app you can see what your equity is worth at any time. If you leave at the end of your lease, you can redeem your equity stake for cash. Think of it like investing in a 401k—the more equity you purchase early on, the faster your equity value compounds!
How much am I paying each month?
The minimum you are responsible for each month is simply the rent and any additional investment as agreed in the lease and purchase option agreement. You may choose to make additional equity investments in your home.
Maintenance and moving out
Who pays for maintenance?
As your partner in the home, we pay all upfront maintenance costs. You never pay out of pocket. However, as a co-owner, you earn a portion of the monthly profit in the home, so if you take better care of the home, you earn more ownership. That means if a lightbulb goes out, it is better for both of us if you fix it rather than call us to do it.
What happens if I damage the property?
If you decide to move out and we discover damage to the property beyond routine wear and tear, you would be responsible for the damages (as is typical in any rental), which we would deduct before redeeming your equity stake for cash.
What would happen to my equity in the event of a disaster?
You would be entitled to your proportionate share of the homeowners insurance distribution.
What happens at the end of my lease?
At any time you can convert your accumulated equity into a down payment to buy the home for yourself.
At the end of your lease term, you can either:
1. Transfer your equity into another Up&Up property for rent
2. Apply your equity to another property we buy with you
3. Move out and redeem your equity stake for cash (90% of the value of the equity at that time - appreciation included)
For example, if you were paying $2,600 rent on a $500,000 home, as well as investing $500 of equity each month, you could have enough for a 3.5% FHA down payment at the end of your 2-year lease. Alternatively, you could move out and receive an ~$18,000 check from us!
Buying an Up&Up property
Will Up&Up still be on the deed even after I buy the property?
Nope! Once you purchase the property, we transfer the title to you and it’s all yours.
Do I still need to apply for a mortgage to buy a Up&Up property in the future?
Not necessarily, but most of our customers typically still apply for one in order to purchase the home.
Can you help me apply for a mortgage?
Yes! We have a number of services to support you in navigating the mortgage process.
How do you value the price of the home?
We have our own proprietary algorithms that value home prices on a real-time basis. Don't agree with our price? You can request an independent appraiser to be brought in and provide their perspective on the home’s value.
How soon can I buy my Up&Up property?
As soon as you like! We absolutely encourage you to buy the home if you like it and have built enough savings and equity. We even provide tools for Up&Up renters to help you plan for full homeownership and get a mortgage.
Am I obligated to purchase the property at the end of my lease?
Not at all! If you decide the property isn’t for you, you can simply move out - you can transfer your equity to another Up&Up property or cash out.
What if I break my lease?
As a co-investor in the home, you are responsible for timely payment of rent throughout the 2-year lease term. We are open to sublet agreements.