A fresh rent-to-buy initiative, HomeNow, offers an enticing proposition to transition renters into homeowners. This innovative programme is meticulously crafted to facilitate a smoother transition from being tenants to property owners.
With HomeNow, a property is purchased and subsequently rented out to prospective buyers at a pre-agreed price, locked in for a five-year duration. The standout feature? “Residents receive one third of the increase in value during their tenure,” which is channelled into their mortgage deposit when they opt to buy the property.
The initiative currently encompasses properties across Kent, Surrey, Essex, and the Midlands, with values ranging between £150,000 and £400,000. The mechanics involve potential buyers selecting a property and reaching out to HomeNow. Once approved, the company takes the lead, interacting with the seller, covering costs such as stamp duty, and attending to legal and conveyancing matters, ultimately stepping in as the landlord. True to standard landlord practices, HomeNow remains vigilant about fulfilling responsibilities, such as gas safety and electrical checks.
Jonathan Potter, the brain behind HomeNow, shed light on the philosophy driving the initiative. He emphasised, “The idea is that residents should feel like homeowners because they are earning equity and will hopefully own the property themselves.”
He elaborated, “They still receive the equity if they decide not to buy. By locking them into an initial five-year period, it also removes the stress of spending a disproportionate amount on rent, without having adequate funds for a mortgage.” Furthermore, he clarified, “As renting tenants – on a fixed rent – they only have to provide a standard tenancy security deposit of four weeks’ rent.”
Jonathan’s vision for the residents is clear, “We are very keen that from the beginning residents should treat the properties as if they are the owners, that includes decorating and home improvements.” He concluded by stating, “HomeNow conducts annual inspections to ensure the property is being well maintained but other than that, the residents have full autonomy.”