Buying your first home can be a daunting process, but thanks to Kiwi app First Home Coach, property buyers can now be supported through every step of the journey.
Founders Matt Taylor and Jonathan Curtis, says Kiwi first home buyers are often confused, overwhelmed and are taking advice from the wrong places. Demystifying the house buying process, their app offers free tools, jargon-free language, and step-by-step guidance to cracking that first home purchase.
“We launched First Home Coach after hearing time and time again how first home buyers fundamentally didn’t understand the process of buying a home, leading to stress, anxiety and making decisions under pressure,” says Taylor.
He adds that he was worried to learn that many first home buyers were asking their real estate agent for advice.
“Clearly, they have a vested interest. Some buyers were so confused about fluctuating prices, property reports, LIMs, and engaging lawyers that they gave up on their dream altogether.”
To navigate the app, users enter where they are in their house hunting journey, their location, what type of home they’re after, their income and their general budget that they have in mind. First Home Coach then delivers a tailored property buying plan that clearly demonstrates how much the buyers will need to save for their deposit, legal expenses and other costs, a time frame for purchase and how much they’ll need to save each month to get there.
So far 6,000 Kiwis have downloaded the app, with some well on their way to home ownership. Curtis says the data coming through is interesting and shows the realities for first home buyers in New Zealand.
“While the majority of our users are couples earning over $100,000 per annum combined, and are more than ready to service a mortgage, they are deposit-poor,” he says.
“Their average deposit saved is around $50,000, and while this is a reasonable sum of money, most banks won’t even consider lending unless the potential buyer has a deposit closer to 20%. With the median house price at $725,000, they’re nowhere close.”
This is where the app comes in handy, as it works out the best way to maximise a deposit, shares up-to-date data on interest rates and what government assistance might be available. First Home Coach also gives advice on how to make a strong offer on a home, explains what going unconditional means and helps users pick insurers and moving services.
Feedback for the app so far has been hugely positive. Taylor says the digital coaching First Home Coach offers has really resonated with Kiwis.
“There really hasn’t been a one-stop-shop for first home buying advice like this until now and buyers were very much relying on absorbing info from parents, extended family, the banks, and their real estate agents. Our advice is independent, accurate, practical, and the platform is fun to use.
“Our mission is to help fix the broken home buying process so that anyone who wants to buy their first home can achieve that goal.”