Mortgage

This homeownership investment startup wants to help teachers buy homes

Landed helps teachers afford down payments so they can live near their work

The homeownership investment category has been picking up steam lately thanks to solid home price appreciation nationwide.

Companies like Point, Hometap, Unison and Equifi all offer homeowners cash in exchange for a chance to share in their home’s appreciation. In most cases, homeowners gain access to cash and when they decide to sell, their investor gets a piece of the profits.

Now, one startup is taking the concept further – creating an investment program designed specifically to help educators afford homes in the communities in which they work.

It’s called Landed, and it has some major backers.

The company launched in 2015 with capital from startup seed-funder Y Combinator, affordable housing policy experts, union organizers, philanthropists and Stanford economists, according to Landed’s site.

In 2017, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative hopped on board, pledging $5 million in funding to support the startup’s efforts to help teachers afford homes in the Bay Area.

And last week, the company announced that it raised $7.5 million in a Series A funding round led by Initialized Capital, which also invested in Reddit and iBuying company Opendoor.

Landed said it plans to use the new capital to accelerate its plans for growth.

Currently, the company offers school teachers in grades K-12 and college professors and staff the opportunity to take on an investor to afford a down payment.

Landed offers to pay half of the standard down payment, realizing a return on its investment by taking 25% of the appreciation gain when the property is sold. If the home doesn’t appreciate, Landed shoulders the loss.

But Landed’s services reach beyond just down-payment assistance.

The company has worked closely with Fannie Mae to help educators access a broader array of competitive loan products, and it offers teachers financial coaching and home buying guidance.

It currently operates in Colorado, California and Washington, with plans to expand to more than a dozen markets by the end of the year, including Austin, Boston and Honolulu. 

“With the continued support from existing partners, such as the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and our recent collaboration with Fannie Mae, Landed is on a new trajectory to provide increased access and expanded homeownership options to the dedicated school teachers, college faculty, and staff who uphold our communities every day,” said Landed Co-Founder Alex Lofton. 

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