Frequently Asked Questions

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Getting Started

We currently serve select metro areas with plans to expand to many more soon.
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Our application only takes a few minutes. Once you’re approved and find a home, we’ll collect your first month’s rent and a security deposit. If you’re in our Savings Match program, we’ll also collect the 2.5% Savings Deposit.

First, you apply and get approved for a home purchase budget. Then, we will connect you with one of our Pathway Agents, unless you have an agent you are already working with to start shopping for a home. Once you find a home and we agree on a purchase price, Pathway will buy the home in cash and get it move-in ready for you. When we're done, you sign a lease and move in. We will be with you every step of the way, from start to close and beyond. Our goal is to create the best experience for you as you begin your journey to homeownership!

We believe in a future where everyone can buy a home. If you are ready and able to purchase a home yourself, we encourage you to do that. We will never push our programs on you if you don’t need them. However, our programs offer a number of benefits:

Try Before You Buy – Becoming a homeowner is a major decision. Our program allows new buyers a less expensive and more seamless way to start their homeownership journey. There is flexibility to move if you decide the home or area isn’t for you.

Easier to Qualify – Whether you are still working on improving your credit score, putting together savings for a down payment, or both – Pathway’s products can get you into a home today while you get mortgage-ready.

We Buy with Cash – In today’s extremely competitive market, sellers are often looking for buyers that come with all cash. Why? There’s less likelihood the deal will fall through, and they can close the sale much more quickly. When you work with us, we buy with cash and are extremely competitive. We won’t overpay for a home, but we will have a much better chance of winning our bid on the home and closing. You’ll also get into the home you want more quickly than if you were using a traditional mortgage or government program.

Before submitting your application, a small application fee will be charged. This fee is non- refundable, regardless of the outcome of your application. Click HERE to understand our minimum approval criteria before applying.

Yes. Both our HomeStart and Savings Match products require a security deposit equal to one month’s rent due at lease signing.

If you are not initially approved, you can re-apply in six months.

Pathway’s Programs

Pathway's goal is to help you buy your home. We believe that 5 years provides a safe and realistic timeframe for our residents to save money and get mortgage-ready. 

There is no requirement to rent the property for five years. Your lease will be for one year at a time, with the option to purchase the property after the first year. 

Pathway’s products require you to sign two agreements: a lease and an option agreement. The lease covers things that you'd see in a traditional rental agreement. The Option Contract is what locks in the purchase price for you. It has all the details that give you the right to purchase the home at the agreed upon price. Your purchase price and rent are spelled out for each year you are in the program, so there are no surprises. Even if property values increase, you won’t pay more than the pre-agreed price.

We understand that life happens, situations change, and people sometimes need to move. We have designed our products to take this into account. You are always free to move out of the home after giving Pathway proper notice based on the terms of your lease. We will not charge you any penalties or fees if you decide not to purchase the home.

We want to help you save money so you can become a homeowner. When you rent with us, you won’t have the immediate costs associated with buying a home (down payment, closing costs, etc.). This allows you to live in the home, while you save money to purchase it yourself. As a renter with Pathway you will also have the flexibility to move into another Pathway home (or move out entirely) if your needs change. 

Savings Match and HomeStart are both programs that lock in your future rent payments as well as the purchase price of the home over the next five years. Savings Match offers an additional feature allowing you to make a 2.5% investment up front which will grow with your property and, if you decide to buy the home, will double in value at the end of the 5-year term.

Pathway's Savings Match program is designed to grow your savings to help you establish a mortgage down payment. Each year you are in the program, Pathway contributes money to your Savings Deposit that can be included in your down payment when you buy the home. By year five we double your 2.5% deposit to 5% of the home’s appreciated value.

The 2.5% investment you make is not a security deposit. It is a savings deposit designed to help you build up to a down payment for a mortgage. Savings Match requires an additional one-month security deposit like you would see in a typical lease.

Application Requirements

We require a minimum household income of $50,000 and a minimum credit score of 600. For households with more than one applicant, we take the average credit score across all co-applicants. We will also do a background check.

Our minimum household income for pre-approval is $50,000. If you fall slightly below that, we would love to talk with you about your options. We will verify the amount of cash that has historically come into your bank accounts on a monthly basis. This is an automated, online process. In most cases, this requires little to no documentation from you.

Our program is designed to help anyone become an owner of a home, even non-US citizens. Permanent residents with a green card and non-permanent residents with a valid work visa are allowed to participate in the program. Additionally, participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program – also known as Dreamers – are eligible for participation. Any other types of unlawful presence in the United States are not permitted under the program.

No, you do not need to know which program you’d like to join when you apply. You can decide if you’d like to join HomeStart or Savings Match at lease signing.

Approved applications are valid for 90 days after initial approval. If you have not selected a home within 90 days of your approval we will need to validate your income, credit, and background checks again. 

If we are unable to make a favorable decision we will email you a notice of Adverse Action which explains the reason for our decision. If your circumstances have changed since our last decision, you are encouraged to reapply in 6 months.

Home Search and Purchase

Pathway homes will purchase single-family homes where rental prices are in good alignment with the purchase property of the home. This covers homes that generally cost between $200,000 and $600,000 in most markets.

Because Pathway Homes has deep expertise in maintaining homes over time, we are able to identify if homes are likely to incur significant cost over the five-year lease period. We believe it is in your best interest, as well as ours, to avoid these situations and focus on homes without red flags.

Pathway Homes has access to real-time market data that helps us determine the price. Our goal is to offer enough to get an accepted contract on the home, while not overpaying. We want your future purchase price to be reasonable and a good value for you, and to make sure we have a safe investment, should you decide not to buy.

We inspect all the homes that we purchase to ensure that they meet our quality and safety standards.

A major part of your Pathway Agent’s role will be ensuring that the price we bid for your home is reasonable, and that you are comfortable with it. We will not bid more for the home than we are both comfortable with.

The homes we purchase will be move-in ready prior to you moving in. All work will be completed by our experienced make-ready team.

As soon as we close on the property and get it move-in ready, you can move in with a signed lease agreement.

Yes. Pathway Homes will pair you with one of our licensed real estate agents.  If you already have a real estate agent you are working with, we will gladly work with them as well.

The timeline will be heavily dependent on market conditions and the competitiveness of the home you are interested in. Generally speaking, count on a minimum 60-day process from start to finish, including searching for the home, making an offer, closing and making any move-in ready repairs.

If you need to move-in sooner, ask your real estate agent about Pathway’s current inventory of move-in ready homes. 

Renting with Pathway

Residents are responsible for all utility costs. If requested, we can provide an estimate of these costs. Traditionally, these utilities may include: Electricity, Gas, Internet / Cable, Water, Sewage, Trash. These may vary if your home is within an HOA that covers some of these costs.

The annual rent for each year will be detailed in your lease. You will know exactly what your rent is for each year so there are no surprises!

If you are in the HomeStart program, you will pay your security deposit and first month’s rent payment when you sign your lease agreement. For Savings Match, your security deposit, first month’s rent and 2.5% Savings Deposit are due upon lease signing.

We allow for certain types of pets as outlined in the terms of the lease. Dogs that meet the lease criteria require an additional deposit, monthly fee and liability insurance that covers dog bites.

Because we hope you become the owner of the home, we encourage you to make it your own. However, if you decide not to buy the house, the home must be returned to the original condition.

The maximum number of occupants will be dictated by the number of bedrooms in the house, as well as local codes and ordinances in the area in which you are buying.

You do need to maintain your own lawn, unless your home is within an HOA that does this for you.

While you are renting the home, Pathway is responsible for major maintenance of the home. Once you purchase the home, you are responsible for all maintenance as you would be normally.

Pathway will work with you to determine the steps needed in order to fix any damage to the home.

They will need to be added to the lease and go through a background screen if they want to reside in the home full time.

You are required to acquire personal liability insurance and renter's insurance. Additionally, if you have a dog, your liability insurance will need to cover dog bites. We can help you get the insurance you need if you'd like.

Buying Your Home

Let us know when you’re ready, and we’ll get to work! It’s as easy as that!

After your first year in the home, each year you will have the option to renew your lease for an additional year, purchase the home at the price specified in your option agreement, or move out.

The cost of purchasing the home from Pathway is simply the cost of the property outlined in your Option Agreement. However, if you need to get a mortgage to finance the purchase, you can expect to pay typical mortgage and buyer’s closing costs. If you need assistance identifying a mortgage provider, we can help.