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drAVEst is a homeownership program for renters who want to become homeowners but need help to prepare for a mortgage. You can rent your dream home for up to two years until you’re ready to buy it. During that time, you will build your credit and down payment savings with the help of a drAVEst Homeownership Coach. As soon as you are ready for a mortgage, you will buy your home and instantly become a homeowner without moving again!

  1. Apply to drAVEst. You’ll find out within 24 hours whether you prequalify for our program.
  2. Once prequalified, you submit income verification documents to tell us more about you so that we can design a personalized program to fit your needs. Learn more about these documents here: salaried, self-employed, passive income.
  3. Find your dream house with the help of a drAVEst realtor or one of your choosing. drAVEst will buy it with an all-cash offer.
  4. Move into your new home and start renting from drAVEst. While renting, you will build your credit and down payment savings with the help of a drAVEst Homeownership Coach.
  5. As soon as you are mortgage-ready, you buy the house at a pre-set price and own your home!

It’s free to apply to drAVEst. Once you’re approved and have selected your home, you’ll contribute a minimum of 2% of its price as an initial down payment. This money is used to kickstart your down payment savings, which you’ll use to buy the home when you’re ready for a mortgage.

While you’re renting, your monthly payment is based on fair market value for rent in your city, plus your monthly contribution to your down payment savings fund.

If you buy your home within the first 12 months of the program, you’ll pay a buyback price that’s 4% higher than the home’s original appraised value. After 12 months, the price climbs by 1% every 3 months, reaching 8% in 24 months.

In the state of Maryland specifically, the buyback price will be 5% higher than the home’s original appraised value, and will climb at a rate of 1.25% every 3 months, reaching 10% in 24 months.

There are no hidden costs when you work with drAVEst. To get a sense of what you could pay each month, try our home calculator.

It generally takes a minimum of 4 weeks between hitting the “Apply” button and moving into your new home. Oftentimes it takes our clients a bit longer to find the home of their dreams, so we recommend beginning the process at least 2 months before you’re ready to move. This includes the following steps:

  1. You submit your initial application. We will let you know if you’re pre-qualified within one business day.
  2. You upload documents to verify your employment status and income. We’ll let you know if anything is missing or we need any additional information.
  3. The drAVEst Underwriting Team performs an analysis of your file to create a budget and program tailored specifically to you. Your budget will be the maximum amount that drAVEst can spend on your new house.
  4. You find the home of your dreams!
  5. drAVEst will close on your property in approximately 21 days – this process includes an appraisal and inspection.

You can expect the drAVEst Program to last 1-2 years, but if you reach mortgage eligibility sooner, you can purchase your home early at any time!

With drAVEst, you rent your dream home until you are ready to buy it with a mortgage. You will build your credit and save for your down payment with the help of a drAVEst Homeownership Coach so that you can get a mortgage as soon as possible. Owning your home costs less than renting, so we’ll work together to help you become a homeowner as soon as possible!

drAVEst is not a lender and does not provide mortgages. In the drAVEst program, you will work individually with a Middle Credit Score Homeownership Coach to build your credit and down payment so that you will qualify for a mortgage.

You should be fully committed to owning your home. In the case of an unexpected event, drAVEst will do our best to help you continue your homeownership journey. If you choose to leave the program, you will receive a refund of your down payment savings minus an exit fee (3% of the selling price) to cover our costs.

We make money from the rent you pay us and the appreciation of the house during the rental period.

To make sure we’re always on your side, we don’t take any commissions or fees from our agents. We also never sell your data to anyone.

We currently operate in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Maryland, Ohio, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia. Click on your state for an interactive map showing zip codes where we operate extensively (blue areas) and on a case-by-case basis (orange areas).

If it comes time to buy your home and it’s appraised at a lower value, you have a few options.

  • You can submit the appraisal report to drAVEst and allow us to contest the results.
  • You can seek a second appraisal opinion or a different lender for your mortgage.
  • You can postpone the buyback process and allow the home to continue appreciating in value, or cover the difference in cost yourself.
  • You can also simply walk away from the home and pay the 3% relisting fee.

Become a homeowner.

Apply for our drAVEst program and see how we can help you on your homeownership journey.