So you’ve heard about Landed – or maybe found us after Googling “homes for teachers program” – and you decide to sign up to take the next step. You fill out the online application, submit it, and… the next step is to talk with someone from Landed. It might surprise people to learn that regardless of where you live, where you are in the home search, or whether you are ready to buy a home, every eligible educator who is interested in Landed can talk to someone from our team one-on-one. We believe in providing personal, friendly, and helpful support.
So what happens when you talk with our team, anyway? As one of the people at Landed who spends a good part of each week doing these phone calls, I thought it would be interesting to shed some light on what happens when you schedule a phone call with our team.
The first thing to note about these phone calls is that there isn’t one type of person who we talk with every day. It’s a common misconception that Landed only helps first-time homebuyers (we work with anyone regardless of whether they have owned or currently own a home), but we do work with a lot of first-time homebuyers. I talk with many people who have owned one – or even two – homes before. Some people are looking to buy a larger home or to find one with a better commute. We talk with people who are ready to make an offer next week on their dream home, and we also talk with people who are just getting started and want to plan with us to buy in a year or two. The bottom line is that if you work for a school and you are looking to buy a home, we can help, and we’d love to talk with you.
My number one priority when I talk with you on the phone for the first time is to learn more about you and your family. Are you a teacher, or do you have another role at your school? What are your homebuying goals? Sometimes people have a specific vision of what kind of home they would like to purchase, and sometimes they just want to get into any home that allows them to stop renting and start investing in themselves. We want to learn as much as we can about each person we speak with because everyone has a different vision for the home they want, and we want to make this process work for you. This will also help us pair you with an excellent real estate agent who fits your needs.
After learning more about you, I like to shift the conversation to Landed. Sometimes on our first call, the educator on the other end of the line doesn’t know much about us, and sometimes they’ve done hours of homework and have very specific questions. Either way, it’s important for me to make sure the phone call gives you valuable information about Landed that you need to make an informed decision. Appreciation sharing, partnership terms, the process, and why Landed can give you an edge are all things that I want to make sure to review on each call. We also review any information we have about teacher home loan programs that might be relevant to you. Even if you don’t use Landed, it’s important to us that you know all of your options.
I get every type of question on these calls (educators really ask the smartest questions). Here are some of my favorites and most frequently asked:
How does ending the relationship with Landed work? When and how do I pay Landed?
This is a common topic on many of the calls I have. What’s unique about our down payment assistance is that it is not a loan. There are no monthly payments, and there is no interest paid on the assistance. Instead, when you accept down payment assistance from Landed, you enter into a partnership that can last up to 30 years.
Your relationship with Landed can end in a number of ways: through the sale of your property, by taking out a new or additional loan (i.e. refinancing), by directly buying out Landed, or by Landed exercising its option at the end of 30 years. We refer to the first method as “termination through sale” and the next two methods as “termination without selling.” Homeowners can pursue one of these different scenarios any time before the end of the 30-year Landed term.
So this isn’t an educator home loan program?
It’s easy to confuse what we provide with the different teacher home loan programs out there, but Landed down payment assistance is not a loan. When you receive down payment assistance from Landed, there are no monthly payments, there’s no interest owed, and there are no upfront fees or costs. It’s not that we think other programs that offer home loans for educators aren’t good (many loan assistance programs can be very helpful), but we look at our support as a different option that can be a better fit for many educators.
Do I need to wait 30 years to pay Landed?
Nope! You have up to 30 years, but you can choose to end the relationship any time before 30 years. You can decide you’re ready to exit in just two years, or eight years, or 23 years. It’s your choice, and until you decide you’re ready during those 30 years, you don’t pay the Landed fund anything. At the end of 30 years, if you haven’t bought out the Landed fund, the Landed fund may exercise its option to purchase an interest in the property.
What exactly do I owe you if I end the partnership?
This is where things can seem complicated, but it’s actually pretty simple. Whenever you end the partnership with Landed during that 30-year term, you will always pay the Landed fund an amount equal to whatever was contributed toward your down payment plus a portion of what your home has changed in value over the length of our partnership. If Landed contributes 10% toward your down payment, you will pay us an amount equal to that 10% plus (or minus) 25% of what your home has changed in value over the length of the term. So this number will ultimately depend on how much your home has increased (or decreased) in value. We’re in this together.
Landed seems too good to be true… are you guys really legit?
This is my favorite question. It’s always fun to hear when people are as excited about Landed as we are. But if you’ve never heard of Landed before it’s fair to wonder… is this legit? We are proud of the fact that we have helped hundreds of people purchase their next home, and we are currently working with hundreds more in various stages of the homebuying process. I always encourage people to check out our testimonials page on the Landed website, and we’re even happy to connect you with other educators who have bought a home with Landed support. We’re always proud of the backing we have received from school districts, foundations, investors, and academics.
The majority of people I talk with who are considering using Landed don’t immediately end up buying a home with our support – and that’s okay with us. Our number one objective is to give every educator the edge and extra support needed to help you weigh all of your options, even if you don’t end up using our down payment assistance or other resources. We’d like for every educator to think of Landed as a trusted ally who can help you open every door and explore every option to make your home purchase a reality.