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Leading rent-to-own operator flips the switch on a valuable – but misunderstood – strategy

A business woman holding a key to a house.

Real estate investors looking to maximize their returns in 2018 could be in for a bumpy ride. January 17 saw the Bank of Canada raise its key interest rate for the third time in eight months; new mortgage guidelines, introduced on January 1, are projected to make financing a property impossible for tens of thousands of Canadians; and rapidly increasing prices in many of the country’s prime markets continue to push cap rates in the wrong direction.

These factors have led a growing number of investors to consider rent-to-own as a stable, incrementally higher-yield alternative to typical buy-and-hold investments. But the rent-to-own space is littered with small-time operators whose promises to both investors and tenant buyers have historically gone unfulfilled, leading many to wonder where the reputable players are – the established companies with unquestionable corporate, legal, and financial pedigrees who demonstrate an understanding of both real estate and risk management.

Homeowners Now has established itself as one such company: a nationwide authority in rent-to-own with a success rate of 100%.

Key to Homeowners Now’s success has been its corporate background, evidenced by co-founder, Dale Monette. Prior to starting the company, Monette spent considerable time as a Chartered Accountant, garnering experience with private equity, investment banking and real estate clients. Monette’s insight into how professional, profitable, businesses operate is one of several factors setting Homeowners Now apart from its competition.

“We know how to manage and mitigate risks beforehand,” says Monette. “That’s the reason for our success rate.”

Prior to starting Homeowners Now, Monette and his fellow co-founders spent months researching the rent-to-own space, discovering the flaws that had contributed to the industry’s bruised reputation.

“At the time we started, the underlying purpose behind most rent-to-own operators was only to provide a return to their investors,” Monette says. “That might sound good on the surface, but what we saw a lot of, especially in markets where prices were appreciating astronomically, was a great incentive for these operators to influence their tenants to default on their transactions.” Once these tenants had defaulted, their rent-to-own companies would often “double dip” – keeping the tenant’s down payment funds and re-selling the property at its new, higher market value.

“People were losing their life savings and not even getting into a home, which contributed to rent-to-own getting a bad name as an investment strategy.”

Monette says Homeowners Now, in addition to being highly analytical and fiscally sound, sought to differentiate itself by putting much needed emphasis on the tenant buyer side of rent-to-own transactions, creating a customized and comprehensive program for each applicant that puts them firmly on track to purchase their chosen property after a three-year lease period.

The company’s team of mortgage, credit and tax experts is unprecedented in the industry. Despite the numerous changes to Canada’s lending guidelines, Homeowners Now has protected their 100% success rate through risk mitigation strategies, sound planning for their tenants and strong management across  their program.

“We have always wanted to flip the switch in the rent-to-own industry,” says Monette. “We want to serve investors and maximize their returns in as secure a way possible, but we also want to help deserving Canadians get into homeownership. We find that our investors don’t strictly want to make money. They want to help. They truly want to make Canada a better place. So we’re teaming up – and it really is a team in every sense of the word – with our investors to give hard-working families a home while also providing our investors the opportunity to make an above-average return on their investment.”

For more information on Homeowners Now, on the opportunity to make up to 12% on your next investment or on how you can help Canadian families realize their dream of homeownership, visit https://www.homeowners-now.com/

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