Young and Nestless helps first-home savers
Would-be homeowners may soon be able to harness crowd power to help get them in the door of their first properties.
Start-up Young and Nestless is launching a crowdfunding campaign to help it get its house-buying coaching system off the ground.
It wants to provide online support and guidance for those saving for a first home, primarily using KiwiSaver.
In its first stage, savers will sign up to the online dashboard platform and receive advice on where their KiwiSaver money is invested. They will also be sold insurance policies to protect their savings if they are unable to work due to sickness or disability.
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Savers will receive a $1000 grant towards a deposit after two year's membership, and can track their progress day by day.
Spokesman Mike Major said many young buyers lacked access to advice or a plan.
Most did not know how to choose the right KiwiSaver fund or provider, he said.
"To get a home, you have to have a system. Most people think [all KiwiSaver funds] are all the same but they are not. Most people don't know how much to put in."
Eventually, the company wants to be able to help those savers get good deals on everything from mortgage rates to the construction of their properties when they "graduate" from saving to buying.
Major said, once people had been in the scheme for a couple of years and built up deposits, representatives from Young and Nestless could approach providers such as mortgage brokers and negotiate better interest rates on the strength of the numbers of people involved.
Eventually it might be able to negotiate with developers, too. "Or if we have 200 people about to graduate we can go to the carpet store and say 'these kids are going to be in a home of their own in six months' time, we want a 20 per cent discount for our members'."
Major said savers would go through a vetting process to make sure they could achieve their goals.
Young and Nestless promotes use of the Government HomeStart subsidies for buyers using their KiwiSaver funds to purchase a property – but there are house price and income caps on these, which vary according to region.
Major said those backing Young and Nestless wanted to see young people getting into their own homes - and to avoid "generation rent".
"It doesn't have to be a four-bedroom mansion but their own home is a first step on the ladder and gives them the opportunity to upgrade later."
The online community would also benefit those who wanted to talk to others in the same situation, he said, and commiserate about living a leaner lifestyle while they saved. "If you know what you want to do and have the right support, you can get a home."
There will be no fees for savers - Young and Nestless will be paid commissions from the insurance and KiwiSaver providers.
Money raised through the crowdfunding campaign will be used to complete the online dashboard and promote the scheme. The campaign starts on AlphaCrowd next week.