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Updated: May 15

By Datta Khalsa, Broker

Local developer Workbench Inc has made it their mission to provide housing opportunities to as many people as possible, with access to programs that benefit both low-income and market-rate buyers. This week at The Dwellings, in conjunction with their partner Firmus Financial they have rolled out a credit for households who have sufficient equity locked up in their homes to be able to participate in a program called Buy Before You Sell. 

Buyers who are confirmed eligible can purchase a home at The Dwellings before they sell their current home without getting a bridge loan, and without needing to put their home on the market over the Holidays so they can enjoy a peaceful transition. This is made possible by the program entity setting up an agreement not as a lender but rather as a standing backup offer. No interest is charged on the equity unlock, with the goal to unlock the equity for the purchase plus up to 4 months' mortgage and moving expenses. 

The up-front cost is 2.4% on the unlocked equity, which Workbench and Firmus Financial cover in full once the buyer is ready to close on their home at The Dwellings.

When you go under contract on your new home, the program entity's agreement stipulates that they will put a backup offer on your current residence to release you of the need for a home selling contingency, and then you have 90 days after you close escrow on your new home at The Dwellings to close escrow on your current residence before they would step in and purchase it, with your existing agent continuing to handle the listing. And provided it sells for more than the unlocked equity amount, you get the additional proceeds per their upside guarantee, less regular selling costs and a 2.5% program fee. 

“We decided to offer this credit after recognizing the majority of people who have purchased a home in The Dwellings needed to sell their current house,” recalls Jamileh Canon of Workbench, “and offering this assistance during the holidays seemed like the perfect time to take the stress out of the process, while also making sense from a tax perspective for us to contribute before the end of the year.”

The program is only available to people who have at least 30% equity in their current home, and there are additional restrictions on the types of transactions that will qualify. And in some cases, buyers will be able to trade down and not need to get a loan at all, while also benefiting from recent changes in the tax laws that allow them to transfer their existing low property tax base into their new home.

To learn more about the Credit to Buy Before You Sell program and explore the various features and models available at The Dwellings, you can visit And to see the homes in person, you can visit the open houses being held from 1-4PM every weekend.

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