HomeScore is here to help you get the house you’ve been wanting.
This kiwi startup has created an online tool that will aid with this daunting and increasingly difficult process of buying your first home.
They understand the tension between the importance of securing that first home and the housing affordability crisis, hence created a digital companion, homeScore, to help you relieve that tension.
A digital companion
Like a trusty map, homeScore will accompany you on your journey towards that first home you’ve wanted to buy.
The digital tool will offer you smarter saving and decision support towards being mortgage ready. It will automatically track your income and regular expenses from your bank accounts to help you plan your savings. They will also guide you on how and when you should be engaging with initiatives such as KiwiSaver.
The advice will be given in a timely manner on what step to take at each point of your journey.
All that will be on a consolidated dashboard, and homeScore will also combine the housing market to help to visualise everything better. You’ll be able to see how the housing market is doing in your area, how soon you can get that house you wanted as well.
And when you’re close to achieving that goal you’ve set, they will tell you so you can act quickly.
Using a combination of community and Ai suggestion, homeScore is that guru you need when it comes to dealing with the anxiety of buying your first home.
They are here to help you achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself.
A real issue for everyone
Housing affordability is a major issue in New Zealand.
According to NZ Herald, a recent survey said that housing accessibility and affordability are the top concerns selected by 41 percent of people. It also showed that house concern was felt across all income groups.
The increase in housing prices plays a massive role in this decreasing trend of home ownership. Coupled with the process of getting a home and financial security, making this largest financial decision can be very daunting and overwhelming.
Buying a house is one of the biggest financial decision we will make in our lifetime for most of us, that pressure alone can make buying a house stressful. For many first time buyers, we are bombarded with things we should do, or things we should consider if only there is some guide that is personally tailored for us to make that decision.
That’s where homeScore comes in and save the day.
We caught up with Jake Crouchley, COO of homeScore to get more insights on the importance of homeScore.
Why did you come up with homeScore?
We saw that it’s getting harder and harder to buy a home in New Zealand and globally, with a 60 year low on homeownership rates. This is affecting communities and their families. We’re out to bring the “Kiwi Dream” of owning a home back to being a realistic goal for everyday New Zealanders by building a tool to guide them on their journey.
We’ve found during customer interviews that there is a real problem with people finding it hard to get started and not knowing about initiatives like the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant. Government data backs this up as well: over 25% of HomeStart grants were declined in 2017. homeScore is your digital house-buying tool, assisting on your journey from starting to save to being mortgage-ready.
What is the value of having an online tool to help with making a big decision like buying a home?
Buying a home is likely to be one of the largest financial decisions during your lifetime, so it makes sense to get as much help as possible. We’ve found that people delay talking to real estate agents or banks and consequently aren’t making the right financial decisions early enough.
With the way that the housing market works, timing can be critical. By providing a consolidated dashboard, homeScore can visualise where your stand and motivate families to save. Additionally, homeScore notifies when you are nearing your goal so that you can act swiftly. Home-buyers will be supported by a combination of the community and AI suggestions. With this, we can intelligently prompt when it is good to make KiwiSaver contributions.
What’s the plan for 2018? Do you guys have any plans on expanding overseas?
We founded homeScore in February, our focus at the moment is to help as many New Zealanders as possible and build our community forum, a place for home buyers to share experiences and avoid common pitfalls. We will be raising seed funding in the near future to support the roll-out of the initial version of homeScore.
We are also actively forming partnerships with relevant players in the property and finance industry. We aim to become the ultimate trusted platform for first-home buyers, demystifying the housing market and helping home-buyers to move in sooner. As we grow, the UK and Australia will definitely be on our radar.
We’re excited to see their full launch on the Kiwibank Fintech Accelerator demo day on 17 May.