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Yardsworth: Transforming Backyards into Cash Cows — The California Startup Making Waves

Home Business Magazine Online

Matt Lucido

Do you know what your yard’s worth? If you live in California, just 30 feet could translate into six figures. That’s because revolutionary real-estate company Yardsworth is paying plenty of green for unused green space.

“Our state has a housing crisis and needs millions of homes,” says Matt Lucido, founder and CEO of Yardsworth. “For many families, their home is their largest financial asset. Historically, the only way to monetize that asset was by selling it and moving, typically to a worse area. But that’s displacement and gentrification.”

Lucido launched Yardsworth to help people stay in their homes while earning money. “Yardsworth is the opposite of displacement,” he explains. “We pay historically under-banked homeowners six-figure sums to stay in their homes, while creating thousands of new homes. We want to enable all people to live better lives in high-cost housing markets.”

How Yardsworth works

Many homeowners don’t realize how much money could be parked in their empty backyards because restrictive zoning laws used to make it impossible to build on that land. But with the recent passage of the California HOME Act (also called Senate Bill 9 or SB9), lots may be split into two, and new homes — either for sale or rent — can be constructed on them.

“Because of SB 9, homeowners could be sitting on more than a hundred thousand dollars of saleable value,” Lucido says. “Yardsworth not only shows them what their underutilized backyard space is worth, but also helps them access that value.” Toward that end, Lucido’s enterprise buys empty backyard space.

Yardsworth also takes care of all the necessary paperwork and red tape, so that homeowners don’t have to. “We handle the lot-subdivision process from A to Z,” Ludico says. “For instance, we apply to the city for parcel map updates, apply for SB9 Urban Lot Split approval, help homeowners communicate with their existing mortgage lenders, and record the final transaction. We also pay all of the fees that applicants would typically incur — which can quickly add up to approximately $75,000 — on the homeowner’s behalf.”

As Ludico explains, Yardsworth’s experienced team covers every aspect of the process, so you don’t have to. “We engage experts such as surveyors, land use consultants, architects, utility consultants, lawyers, underwriters, engineers, and data scientists, among others.”. With knowledgeable professionals in charge, every parcel is cared for and personalized with sensitivity and good taste.

For homeowners who have thought about building an income stream by adding an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU), Yardsworth presents an opportunity to outsource the work of permitting and construction, as well as the ongoing headaches of being a landlord or vacation rental host. By selling part of your land instead of building an ADU, you can front-load decades of returns while unloading the hassle.

What’s your yard worth?

With Yardsworth, it’s easy for homeowners to learn what their yard could be worth — think of them as the “Zestimate” of backyard land valuations. All you need to do is enter your address at to get a valuation.

“If your backyard qualifies, we’ll send you a no-obligation, fixed-price offer for a portion of it,” Lucido explains. “If we haven’t launched in your market yet, you can get added to our waiting list.”

According to Lucido, your little patch of land may be worth a lot. “Our offers are often far more than the average median income of a family in the neighborhoods we serve,” he says. “In other words, we give them more than a year’s income for their entire family to stay in their homes. This money is usually tax-free.”

If homeowners accept the offer, they get a portion of the total as an immediate advance, and the remainder at the close of escrow. “These payments are cash and don’t require any ongoing relationship with Yardsworth,” Lucido says. “We’re not a lender. This isn’t debt. You don’t ever have to repay it.”

What will happen to the new lot?

“By law, we can only build one thing on new backyard lots: housing,” Lucido says. “We construct a small home on the new lot, usually a single-family house. If there’s enough land, we may be able to do a house plus an ADU or a small duplex. The maximum is two units in total.”

Rest assured that the law does not permit short-term or vacation rentals like VRBO or Airbnb. “The idea is to preserve neighborhood integrity,” Lucido explains. Yardsworth will either sell the new property or rent it on a long-term basis.

Similarly, Yardsworth ensures you can keep your private driveway. They typically use an alley or sideyard setback to create new access to the second lot. Sometimes new tenants might park on the street. Yardsworth also protects your privacy with a new fence that will run along the lot line.

Revitalizing urban areas

To gain access to a large infusion of cash quickly, you no longer need to contemplate selling your home.

Yardsworth promises to put hundreds of millions of dollars into homeowners’ pockets, essentially paying them to stay in their homes, while also creating the housing stock that California so desperately needs. This innovative approach will not only save existing communities, but also make housing affordable for new residents. In this way, Yardworth is turning the Golden State into gold.

The post Yardsworth: Transforming Backyards into Cash Cows — The California Startup Making Waves appeared first on Home Business Magazine.

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