Questions & Answers
Q: Who is a Housz for?
A: We focus on offering an option to not only alleviate student off-campus housing but to give the families supporting students an option to build equity during the school years. Our rezidents don't have to rent anymore.
Q; How do they "not " rent?
A: They pick out a suite in an OurHousz property they want to live in and buy it. As they pay down the suite they build equity. When they want to move they apply that equity to another suite of their choice in the OurHousz brand. Eventually, they pay it off, and they still have their suite.
Q: What makes OurHousz different? Doesn’t equity follow you anyway?
A: We designed a seamless transfer of equity. Without the difficulty, frustration, and expense of taking equity in the traditional way. And it’s not just the equity that transfers so easily. It’s everything. It’s property taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities. Even the moving is seamless. OurHousz rezidents don’t have to hassle with any of that.
Q: How is moving “seamless?”
A: The utilities are already on. And there is a locker attached to the garage for each rezident. When they move they pack up their belongings, put them in the locker, and call us. The locker detaches, and we come by and pick it up.
Q; How do you make it possible for equity to follow?
A; We transfer the equity and balance of the loan to a new suite in the OurHousz brand. The rezident just moves in and continues with the mortgage.
Q; How does that work?
A: OurHousz facilitates the sale of a rezident’s suite to either a new rezident (preferred) or as a purchase for inventory. The rezident’s loan is paid off, and a new one is written on the new suite, less the equity transfer. (The equity applies as the down payment). It’s seamless, as compared to traditional selling and buying. And it is a lot less expensive, costing a few thousand dollars versus tens of thousands the traditional way. No realtor commissions, no title insurance, no escrow, no prorated taxes, insurance, and maintenance. No appraisals, no home inspectors. Only a small transfer fee. And it is even better than all that, because qualifying the first time when buying a Housz is easy, and re-qualifying for that second Housz is even easier. You just don’t find that in the traditional market.
Q: What is a “Housz” and how come you replaced the “e” with a “z”?
A: A Housz is more than just a suite that has all the benefits of a home in a small space. A Housz feels large, with high ceilings and lots of design, but it is more than that. We know space is a challenge when living smaller, though. But a Housz is more than great design. And sure, a Housz is one part of a larger property, so when you stand out on the front lawn your new home looks like any other home in the neighborhood. That's cool. But a Housz is more than that. A Housz property appears to be a three or four bedroom house, and it’s affordable without being tiny. We can give you that feel by making a Housz suite part of the bigger whole. So it is not tiny. We made it big, with space in mind. A Housz has a large living area separated by a fireplace, for two groups to interact, and a chef’s kitchen that extends to a courtyard, plenty of dining area, and interior hallways leading to your suite with extra private and secure closet space to store all your personal things that you want to keep safe and dry. And there is a laundry, an exercise room, a carport or garage, storage lockers that move with you, and a workshop. But it is still more than that. That is where the “z" comes in. We designed a new way to buy and live and flow. Now you can have your own place and build equity and have the flexibility of renting and not have to rent. No one should ever have to rent. We didn’t just design a new house. We changed everything -The way you buy-The way you flow. Come feel a Housz.
Q: Where do you find Housz’z?
A: You will find some Housz’z in established neighborhoods and some in new neighborhoods. Our plans call for building them all over the country near colleges that have the highest percentages of students living off-campus. Ultimately you will find a Housz everywhere.
Q: How come they are so affordable?
A: Ownership in part of a whole is always more affordable than owning the whole. By owning a part of a spacious, comfortable property, rezident owners at OurHousz enjoy the sensation of living in a traditional home. And many Housz’z are set in established neighborhoods where entrance can be unaffordable. And they were until we came along.
Q: How many people can live in a Housz?
A: Each suite is comfortable for two people, so a three-suite property may have six rezidents, or maybe just three, or a mix, so four or five. The four suite properties can have up to eight. Housz'z are designed to flow with those numbers, so if there are less, well, they flow nicely either way. Stop by and see one and feel the flow for yourself.
Q: Why would I want to live with a bunch of people?
A: You don’t have to. You can choose to. If you live in a “co-living” building, you have a room and if you want to get out of that room you HAVE to share the common areas with lots of people. If you live in a small apartment and you want to entertain your guests in a lobby where 100 other renters may have the same idea you HAVE to share it with as many of them as are there at the time. Housz’z are limited to three or four suites, so the maximum occupancy is eight. And Housz suites are comfortable and spacious. You can entertain in your suite, or you MIGHT use the common area. If you want to be by yourself we designed the suite to feel big and give you everything you need to feel comfortable, even an indoor-outdoor private patio. You have a comfortable choice in a Housz.
Q: Can I keep mine all my life? Can I borrow against it to start a business? Can I rent it?
A: Yes. You own it. You can keep it all your life. Yes. You can borrow your equity anytime. And Yes. You can rent it out and buy more Housz'z and rent those too.
Q: Can I buy the entire Housz and sell suites like the company does?
A: Yes. We'll show you how and manage them for you in the brand.
Q: Can I invest in other Housz’z?
A: That's called "Enterprizing" in the OurHousz system. When a rezident owner of a suite in the system wants to refinance or when a prospect wants to purchase, their profile is distributed to current OurHousz rezidents who have expressed an interest to invest. If you have, you will get a notice on your OurHousz app. The funds are then Enterprized and each rezident investor is distributed a return based on the portion of his or her investment. And in the event of a default, the investors have the option of buying out the remaining equity and renting or selling the suite. OurHousz facilitates the transaction and manages the enterprized note. And those notes are sellable instruments, giving rezidents the opportunity for liquidity.
Q: What is PIMU?
A: Property taxes, Insurance, Maintenance and Utilities.
Q: How easy is it to move to another OurHousz? What if there is not one where I want to move to?
A: It’s really easy. Your storage locker goes with you, so most of your things, at least that stuff you never unpack and don’t know you have, will already be packed. And the built-in furniture is the same in the next suite, so you just take your cushions. Moving is about as easy as it gets. You don't have to turn off your utilities and the utilities are already on in your new suite. We take care of all that. And your equity goes with you. Our plans are to have Housz’z everywhere, so hopefully one will be where you are going. If not, you can sell your Housz suite in an easy transaction, not like those expensive kinds tied to traditional houses, and you are always welcome back.
Q: What if one of my rezident neighbors are jerks? What if a rezident neighbor wanders around the common area in his underwear? What if he/she plays drums until 2 am every other night?
A: There are very clear CC&Rs for those issues. And there are a lot more people who no longer want to rent then there are Housz'z for. We'll buy that suite back to preserve the harmony of the OurHousz brand. The jerk's suite will be easy for us to sell quickly.
Q; What happens when a rezident defaults?
A: We know people go through times. If there is equity we’ll buy it back, after applying the deposit to costs. We can sell that suite again, right away. There is always someone who would rather own than rent. If the person can leave their equity and deposit in the OurHousz brand we’ll apply it to financing the next rezident and pay them a return on their investment. And they are welcome to buy again when they get their feet back on the ground.
Q: Can I remodel my Housz?
A: The suites are configured for optimal use of space. You can add shelves, bookcases, counters, or furniture. But you probably won't want to because we make them really nice.
Q: Can I paint my Housz?
A: You can paint the interior of your Housz suite any way you want. After all, it's yours.
Q: Can the rezidents get together and install a pool at their Housz?
A: We recommend against that. But an endless current pool in the courtyard on a nice above ground deck would be cool - if the rezidents all want to pitch in and get it built. But consult us first.
Q: Who takes care of a Housz?
A: The "M" in your PIMU is for maintenance. OurHousz, Inc. maintains the property landscape, all the structures, and all the fixtures on those structures, including your individual suite. So if a very small meteor falls on the roof, a crew from OurHousz, Inc. comes out right away to fix it. All you have to do is to tap your OurHousz app and request a repair.
Q: Who pays the property taxes, insurance, and maintenance?
A: The rezidents split the amount of the total bill between themselves. Carrying those costs on the full value of a home can be expensive. Divided among rezidents it becomes affordable.
Q: What if the washer machine breaks?
A: That is also in the "M" part of the PIMU, so just tap your OurHousz phone app and select "repair," then describe the problem. We'll come out and fix it.
Q: What if I need a plumber?
A: There is an icon on the app for that. Failure due to abuse will be charged for. Plumbing failures and defects will be replaced under warranty.
Q; Who cleans the Housz? Am I responsible?
A: We send a crew in once every ten days to do deep cleaning in the common areas - the living rooms, dining room, kitchen, outdoor kitchen, and patios, including the hallways, laundry, and exercise areas. Rezidents are responsible for picking up after themselves in those areas during the week, and of course, cleaning their own suites. Rezidents can arrange to hire our cleaning staff to clean their private suites when they are there during scheduled cleaning for a really reasonable fee.
Q: Can I work on my car in the driveway?
A: Local regulations take precedence. Some communities prohibit everything including washing cars in the driveway. The OurHousz CC&R's state that mechanical repairs are not to be performed in the driveway. Water fights on a hot day in which the cars get washed are okay with us, though, as long as it's okay with the community, too.
Q: Is the Housz insured for fire?
A: Yes. And so are your belongings. We recommend you have your own policy for unique valuables.
Q: Who REALLY owns the whole Housz?
A: There is no "whole" in terms of ownership. The Housz is owned in part, each owner with an equal share. OurHousz, Inc. owns one part equal to the other number of parts, so if there are three suites in a Housz, each rezident owns 25% of the property and OurHousz, Inc. owns 25%. Should the property increase in value the rezidents can elect to sell their parts for a gain separately or in unison. Rezidents not only get equity and the freedom to transfer that equity but they participate in appreciation, too. Rezidents are owners, not renters. Stop renting. Come own a Housz.