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Owning Review: Refis, Zero Down Purchases, Cash Offers, and Real Estate Rebates

pending sale

A new company named “Owning” is looking to shake up the mortgage and real estate industry by offering a variety of tools to take the stress and enormous cost out of the transaction.

They actually double as a mortgage lender and real estate company, offering mortgage refinancing at low rates and a variety of home buying and selling tools including iBuying.

Owning focuses on existing homeowners who are interested in securing a lower rate on their home loan or considering a sale and/or move to a new property.

Aside from making the process easier, they also offer discounts on things like real estate commissions whether you’re buying or selling or both!

Update: In early 2021, Owning was acquired by Chicago-based Guaranteed Rate, and will act as its lead generator going forward.

Owning Fast Facts

  • Direct-to-consumer mortgage lender and real estate brokerage
  • Founded in 2018, located in Orange, CA
  • Only licensed to lend in the state of California
  • Specializes in low-rate mortgage refinances and real estate services like iBuying, home trade-ins, and reduced commissions
  • BBB accredited with an ‘A-‘ rating at the moment
  • 4.9-star rating on Google based on over 1,400 customer reviews
  • Acquired by Guaranteed Rate in early 2021

What Owning Offers

The Orange, CA-based company offers four core products to consumers that cover virtually all aspects of home buying and selling, including the following:

– A no cost refinance
– A zero-down home purchase
– An iBuyer service
– A real estate agent rebate

Let’s discuss each in detail to see if they’re something that would beneficial to you.

Refinance It – Their No Cost Solution

Their mortgage refinance product, known as “Refinance it,” is a pretty straightforward no cost refinance program offered by many other banks and mortgage lenders.

Similar to CashCall’s No Closing Cost Mortgage, Owning will refinance your existing home loan with no closing costs, including third-party fees like appraisal, credit report, escrow, title insurance, and more. And they aim to close in as few as 14 days.

Because there are no closing costs, they advertise identical mortgage rates and APRs, so it’s easy to understand what you’re getting.

The only costs a borrower might pay are existing lender payoff fees, prepaid interest, property taxes, transfer taxes, insurance, inspection fees, and discount points (if applicable).

So if you’re shopping your mortgage rate, you can easily determine if the deal from Owning is better than others because there are no costs associated with the interest rate.

As noted, most lenders offer this option, even if it doesn’t have a fancy name because a mortgage can pretty much always be structured as no cost.

Nothing too exciting here, but if the mortgage rate is low, it could be a good option for an existing homeowner.

How About Zero – Their Zero Down Home Purchase Solution

Next up we have Owning’s zero down purchase mortgage program, which as the name suggests, allows you to buy a home with no down payment.

However, this product is only available in California, and as you might expect, the property must be your primary residence (the one you occupy full-time).

Additionally, you must use Owning as your real estate purchase agent, and the maximum purchase price is the conforming loan limit, currently set at $726,525 in high-cost regions.

Home buyers with student loan debt can also qualify for this program, with up to $50,000 maximum paid off by Owning during escrow.

There is a Zero Down Payment Fee of 3.5%, which is based on the sum of any student loan consolidation and the original purchase price of the property.

So it could be costly, but if there’s no other option available, it might make your home purchase dreams come true.

Rebate it – Get the Buyer’s Agent Commission Back

Staying in the home purchase realm, Owning also has a feature known as “Rebate it” that offers the buyer agent’s commission back, less $4,000.

The minimum purchase price via this program is $300,000, and the agent commission must be 2% or more in order to receive the rebate.

To provide an example, if you buy a house for $500,000 and the real estate agent is paid 3% commission, they’d normally receive $15,000.

If you used Owning as your real estate agent, they’d rebate $11,000 back to you, which they say is paid out after you close escrow on your new home.

Similar to their refi product, many companies offer real estate commission rebates these days, including major players like Redfin.

Sold it – The iBuyer Program

Finally, Owning has a solution for existing homeowners looking to unload their properties in its “Sold it” program.

Instead of listing your home via traditional real estate agent channels, you can sell your home to Owning instead and skip many of the hassles involved.

This includes the ability to close in as quickly as seven days, or as long as 45 days, with the certainty of a cash offer. They also offer lease back options for up to 90 days if you want to stick around for a while.

The way it works is relatively simple. First, an appraiser visits your property to determine a value using nearby comparable sales.

Next a home appraisal is completed and shared with you, with the purchase price based on that valuation. Their offer is then valid for five days.

Owning says it’s doesn’t provide low-ball pricing, though there is always a cost for convenience, which is no different than what you’ll find with other services like Zillow Offers or Redfin Now.

Additionally, they still charge a 6% commission plus a 3% seller concession. However, they pay all the seller’s typical non-recurring closing costs.

Anyway, there’s no cost or obligation to participate, so it’s one route to go if you have no interest in getting your property “ready to show,” or if you simply need to sell quickly, perhaps to qualify for a subsequent purchase.

Note that this program is also reserved for properties located in Southern California, including single-family homes, condos, and townhouses (no manufactured homes or homes in age-restricted communities).

They set a max purchase price of $700,000 in Orange and Los Angeles counties, $467,000 in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, and $666,500 in northern San Diego county.

All in all, the mortgage/real estate hybrid company offers a lot of interesting stuff to suit a variety of different situations.

Assuming their mortgage rates are competitive, they could be a good option for those refinancing or for those looking to buy a home without a down payment.

Just be sure to take the time to compare Owning to other companies to ensure you get the best deal, regardless of the service you are interested in using.

17 thoughts on “Owning Review: Refis, Zero Down Purchases, Cash Offers, and Real Estate Rebates”

  1. I have a house in San Diego that is worth about 750.000. I owe 500,000. I heard your ad on the radio that I could invest in another property to rent out using my house as collateral, Is there a way I could do this?

  2. Pat,

    They might mean pulling out cash from your current home and using it for a down payment on an investment property.

  3. I would not recommend using for financing. We began working with James “Tony” Buesing out of Orange, California. His customer service skills are highly lacking and he was not knowledgeable about his own company’s contracts.
    He did not follow up on our questions.

  4. I own a house on the Monterey Bay. I refinanced it with Chase about 18 months ago. I have at least 6K in equity. I have a 4.75 rate 30 year fixed. My credit score is above 700. What can you do for me? It looks like I should refinance to get a lower rate. Susan

  5. Would like to see about combining the Hero Program and my home loan together and possible some cash out….

  6. I, too, had a problem with Owning customer (dis)service. James Chang acted as if he was doing me a favor by talking to me. I chose Churchill Mortgage.

  7. Do you do refis without owning a home? We own and live in an RV and want to refi our vehicle. Is this possible?

  8. My primary home is almost paid off. I owe $9,000.00
    I do have a 2nd SBA loan on it from the earthquake.bal owe 7,000,
    I would like to remodel. I have average credit score 650 –

    My rental property I owe $700, it is worth 1.1.

    Should I pay off my primary home and refinance the rental? Or refinance my primary home?

  9. Bertha,

    Rates will always be lower on a primary residence vs. a rental due to lower risk, but it does depend on personal preferences/plans, etc.

  10. I would not use this company. I already signed the documents sent the hundreds of documents. Had the notary public come to the house. Only to be told a day later that my loan is on hold. How can underwriting not do their job to look for loopholes to see if a customer is qualified or not.

  11. Pathetic company. They first agreed on a date of closing and then told they need a new appraisal. If that was not enough they set a second date of closing (2 months later) and then requested additional documentation after sending notary and collecting the closing fee

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