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Noah vs. Unlock: Home Equity Sharing Comparison

Updated Jul 17, 2023   |   6-min read

Note: Noah is no longer in business.

Most homeowners are sitting on a substantial amount of equity. One way to tap into that equity is through a home equity sharing agreement, which lets you turn equity into cash without taking on more debt.

Several companies offer these types of agreements, including Noah and Unlock. Use this Noah vs. Unlock guide to see which company might be right for your needs as a homeowner.

In this comparison:

Noah vs. Unlock: At a glance

About Noah

Noah, formerly known as Patch Homes, is a home investment company based in San Francisco. The company offers home equity sharing agreements (called “home equity access”) for existing homeowners and down payment assistance for new homebuyers. The company has been in operation since 2016. Check out our full Noah review for more information.

About Unlock

Unlock is also based in San Francisco. Unlike Noah, it only offers home equity investments (no other products) and was launched last year. See our full Unlock review for more details.

Does Noah or Unlock have better reviews and ratings?

Reviews and ratings can help you gain valuable insight into a company and its typical customer experience. Here’s a look at how Unlock vs. Noah measure up on popular review sites:

Rating SourceNoahUnlock
Trustpilot4.3/5 stars4.6/5 stars
Better Business Bureau (BBB)3.67/5 stars4.92/5 stars
LendEDUN/A4.7/5 stars

Both Noah and Unlock have largely positive ratings, though Unlock’s are slightly higher across the board. A whopping 93% of past customers say their experience was either “excellent” or “great,” and the company’s speed, accessibility, and easy process are noted by many.

Noah’s Trustpilot rating is slightly lower, with only 88% calling their experience “excellent” or “great.” On BBB, its 3.67 stars are based on just three reviews (two of them five stars), so it’s not too indicative of the company’s business practices. As one review reads, “everyone was responsive, straightforward, professional, and likable.”

Is a home equity investment from Noah or Unlock more accessible?

State availabilityCA, CO, MA, NJ, NY, OR, UT, VA, WA, DCAZ, CA, CO, FL, MI, MN, NC, NJ, NV, OR, SC, TN, UT, VA, WA
Minimum credit score580550
Maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratio 85%80%
Type of homeMost residential property types, including single-family properties, condos, and townhomes

Both owner- and non-owner-occupied allowed
Most residential property types, including single-family homes, condos,  2-4 unit properties, and townhomes

Both owner- and non-owner-occupied allowed
Investment amount$30,000 – $500,000$30,000 – $500,000
Term10 years10 years
Fees3% transaction fee (or $2,000, whichever is higher), appraisal costs, and third-party settlement costs3% transaction fee, appraisal costs, and third-party settlement costs
Get an estimateNot currently availableFree Quote

Home equity sharing companies have varying service areas, so the first step is to find one that operates in your state. Unlock operates in more states than Noah but does not offer services in certain states like Massachusetts and New York.

If neither company stands out geographically, consider other factors like credit score requirements, loan amount stipulations, and maximum LTV to choose the right option. Unlock allows for lower credit scores than Noah, but Noah offers higher LTVs, which benefits those with an existing mortgage loan.

Unlock’s partial buyout option is worth noting, as it allows you to buy back your equity over time rather than in one large transaction at the end of your term.

Scenarios in which Noah or Unlock is better than the other

If you’re still unsure which home equity sharing company is right for your goals as a homeowner, we’ve broken out a few scenarios where one option clearly outweighs the other. See if you fall into any of the below categories to determine the best company for you.

If you want to buy back your equity over time: Unlock

A major standout between these two is Unlock’s “partial buyout” option, which allows you to buy back your equity in smaller increments over time. This can help you spread out your costs and avoid a considerable expense at the end of your term. As with most other home equity sharing companies, Noah does not offer this buyout option, so it’s worth noting.

If you need fast funding: Noah

If getting your cash quickly is a priority, Noah may be your best bet. The company claims it can close investments in just over two weeks (15 days, to be exact). Unlock, on the other hand, quotes around 30 days.

If you want the lowest fees: Unlock

This one might be splitting hairs, but with Noah, you’ll be charged a 3% service fee or a flat $2,000, whichever number is higher. With Unlock, the number is capped at 3%, so depending on your investment amount, there’s a chance it could save you a few hundred dollars.

If you have a large existing mortgage balance: Noah

With a home equity sharing agreement, you’ll have a maximum LTV ratio, which indicates how much of your home’s appraised value your investment amount, plus your existing mortgage balance, can take up.

Noah allows for an LTV ratio of 85%—meaning your existing loan balance and your home equity investment can equal up to 85% of your home’s total value. Unlock’s LTV is lower (80%), which might prove difficult if you still have a hefty balance on your mortgage loan.

If you have a low credit score: Unlock

Both Unlock and Noah offer low credit score minimums, but Unlock provides the most flexible requirements. The company will consider scores as low as 550 but recommends a credit score of 600 for easier qualification.

Which company is our choice between Noah and Unlock?

When it comes down to Noah vs. Unlock, Unlock comes out on top, according to our analysis. The company has a wider geographic reach, and its partial buyout options make it a more flexible option for homeowners. Unlock also allows for lower credit scores, making it easier for some consumers to tap into their home equity.