Soft benefits (nontraditional employee perks) are becoming mainstream. In recent years, that meant things like working remotely, educational assistance, family counseling services, and wellness programs like a gym membership, but now help with homeownership is rising to the top of the list. Assisting employees with buying a home is taking the corporate benefits package to a whole new level. These are some reasons why homeownership as an employee perk is becoming more popular.
Buying a home is a significant milestone for many employees wanting to make their “American dream” come true. By being an active participant in that process, companies help build loyalty with their employees. Maybe they will think twice before sending their resume out again.
Many studies show that homeownership has a positive mental impact on a person, including increased self-esteem and a better sense of involvement in the community. When an employee feels more attached to a community (or company), they are likely to stay put for a more extended period.
Home buying can sometimes feel like an overwhelming process. From filling out a long stack of forms to looking at properties, it can be time-consuming and tiresome. Employees appreciate the reduction in the “hassle-factor” when their employer steps up and helps out.
No one enjoys a long miserable commute to work. By making home ownership more possible, employees might be able to live closer to their workplace and therefore reduce their commute times, which can improve overall job satisfaction.
Attracting Good Talent
Many employees say that soft benefits are more important than salary. Some are even willing to make a small sacrifice in pay if the employer can help provide a better work-life balance and improve their quality of life.
When a person owns their home instead of renting, it’s often easier to budget their long term increases in living expenses. They no longer have to worry about skyrocketing rents, or worse, fear receiving a notice to move out due to circumstances beyond their control.
How Does it Work?
Different employers have offered a host of programs, but generally, the employer provides some sort of lump sum to help with the required down payment. The amount of money might be a fixed sum or a percentage of income. They also typically require that the employee is with the company for a specified length of time, generally a couple of years, and is a full-time employee.
If you’re an employer thinking about rolling out a similar benefit program to your employees, talk with your Human Resources department and your favorite loan professional to work out the details in a thoughtful manner. It’s important to think it through and document the aspects so that you’re consistent and compliant with any specific loan programs.
Note: Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views of my employer