How Lease Purchase Began
When the Great Recession of 2008 hit, the mortgage market changed forever. Thousands of people across the country wanted to purchase a great single-family home, but were unable to as a result of the tightening credit requirements. Current Home Partners CEO, Bill Young, began strategizing a solution to this problem by providing access to capital that allowed people to move into communities and homes they previously didn’t have access to.
Instead of renting a house via a standard lease, an innovative new idea was proposed. By underwriting applicants similarly to if they were purchasing the house, residents were able to choose a home for sale that they wanted to live in and rent it. With the model of buy, lease, and Right to Purchase, the Lease Purchase Program was created.
The First Homes
In 2012, the Lease Purchase Program Pilot was launched in 22 markets. This was made possible by the backing of lenders and investors that believed in the importance of accessible homeownership. The first home was purchased in November of that same year, with the Program later expanding into new markets across the country. Through the advice of real estate experts, the company secured a large equity investment in 2016 to further grow the Lease Purchase Program.
Growth and Expansion
By 2017, Home Partners was active in 40 metros and had helped get over 10,000 households move into a home they love through the Lease Purchase Program. To manage the thousands of properties and residents, Home Partners has an exclusive property manager. The company, Pathlight Property Management, is based in Plano, TX. Their knowledge and resources in general property management were crucial to the ongoing success of the Lease Purchase Program.
The Pathlight team is dedicated to providing an excellent experience for residents, with friendly and professional staff and dependable home maintenance services. They also facilitate the leasing and renewal of standard rental properties to households in retired Lease Purchase Program homes.
Now and into the Future
Since July 2019, Home Partners has been headquartered in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago to accommodate over 100 employees and incoming new hires. Pathlight also relocated to a larger office in response to continual company growth.
Home Partners and Pathlight work together as one team to provide people an exceptional Lease Purchase Program experience in one of the most important aspects of life – their home.
In partnership with Realogy, the leading provider of US residential real estate services, Home Partners launched RealSure. This is an innovative alternative to traditional home selling and buying that went live in October 2019. RealSure Cash Offers provides certainty to sellers that their current home will sell for the best price and provides options to make buying their next home easier.
In September of 2019, Choice Lease was launched to provide lower cost housing to moderate income consumers in the form of a rent subsidy or reduced rent, using the same model as the Lease Purchase Program. For this project, Home Partners was selected by Ivory Innovations as a winner of the inaugural Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability.
Although Home Partners is a young company, it is rapidly expanding and reaching new milestones each year. As of the end of 2020, we have bought over 20,000 Lease Purchase Program homes for people across the nation. We hope this blog can showcase the Home Partners mission and dedication to our employees, real estate agents, and residents.