The True Life Companies: Making the American Dream More Accessible

Written by: Todd Shriber

For decades, one of the pillars of the American dream has been home ownership. While the concept of the nuclear family has evolved considerably and the era of white picket fences is bygone, home ownership remains a cornerstone of wealth building.

However, that dream has become almost unreachable for many working families. Consider the following. At the end of the third quarter of 2022, the median price of an existing home in the U.S. was $392,000, which represented a staggering $140,000 increase over six years. While economists are forecasting a decline in home prices this year owing to the Federal Reserve’s 2022 interest rate increases, housing costs remain out of reach for many prospective buyers.

One way of looking at that scenario is that unique solutions are needed to make home ownership more accessible to broader swaths of buyers. Enter The True Life Companies. The True Life Companies (TTLC), which was, coincidentally, founded in 2008 amid the carnage of the real estate-driven global financial crisis, works with property owners, investment partners, and municipalities to broaden access to residential real estate.

How the firm accomplishes that objective is pertinent to a variety of stakeholders, including cities and towns, would-be homebuyers and registered investment advisors (RIAs).

Inside The True Life Story

The “why” behind The True Life story is easily conveyed – more approachable housing for more buyers. The “what” and the “how” are equally as important and are intimately linked.

The True Life Companies repurpose distressed or obsolete commercial real estate. Say a strip mall that’s been done in by the e-commerce boom or an office park that lost relevance as folks migrated to work-from-home. On that note, it must be acknowledged that The True Life’s core competency is NOT low income housing. Rather, the firm’s residential estate efforts are driven by accessibility and attainability at price points attractive to first time buyers but also in-line with market averages.

“In 2014, we launched our current investment thesis, which is all around attainable for sale housing,” said The True Life Companies Chairman and CEO Scott Clark. “We believe that the American Dream of home ownership is alive and well.”

Expounding upon the “how” – and this noteworthy to advisors – The True Life is not a traditional real estate investment trust (REIT) or homebuilder. In fact, the company typiclly doesn't build homes. Rather, the company identifies an antiquated commercial property that is ripe for conversion to residential, goes through a 24- to 36-month permitting process with the municipality and ultimately sells the blueprint to marquee homebuilders. In that process, the original owner of the property and The True Life investors are compensated upon sale of the real estate to a builder.

How Advisors Partner with The True Life Companies

For years, large-scale residential real estate developments, whether it be apartments, condos or single-family homes, have been dominated by institutional investors and private equity companies. That’s kept many retail investors at bay, precluding them from accessing an attractive asset class.

The True Life Companies democratizes the process. By prioritizing relationships with RIAs, a broader swath of everyday investors can participate in The True Life offerings.

“We really wanted to bring our thesis to ordinary investors in America and the advisory community allows us to do that,” added Clark. “Our ‘why’ is to create economic opportunities for others. We do that through this delivery of attainable housing. Mirroring that with advisors that allow them to bring our strategy to their clients and create economic abundance for them.”

The point: Attainable housing for first time buyers is a massive opportunity set particularly when focusing on younger demographics, such as millennials and Gen Z. Demand far outstrips supply, but by emphasizing new thinking and what works, The True Life is doing something about this problem. That implies an element of “doing right,” which could be compelling to advisors when factoring in today’s increasingly values-driven clients.

To learn more about The True Life Companies and their approach to creating attainable housing, please visit

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