Inspiration

Fannie Mae, the largest provider of financing for mortgage lenders, faces a daunting task of micromanaging nearly every house in the country. One problem they have is the need to maintain a house property to certain standards when it is foreclosed so that its value does not depreciate significantly; a house that is not inhabited constantly needs maintenance to make sure the lawn is cut, A/C and heating are working, utilities are intact, etc.

What it doies

Our team built a mobile app and web app that help simplify the task of maintaining houses. The mobile app is used by house inspectors, who would use the app to take pictures of and write descriptions for various parts of the house. For example, if an inspector discovered that the bathtub was leaking on the second floor, he would take a picture of the scene, and write a brief description of the problem. The app would then take the picture and description, and load it into a database, which can be accessed later by both the mobile and web apps. On the web side, pictures and descriptions for each part of the house can be accessed. Furthermore, the web app features an interface that displays the repair status for each section of the house, whether it needs repair, is currently being repaired, or is in good condition; users can make repair requests on the website.

How I built it

We used an Angular framework to construct the web app, with Firebase API to upload and download images and information, and a bit of bootstrap to enhance aesthetics. For the mobile side, we used Swift to build the iOS app and Firebase to upload and download images and information.

Challenges I ran into

Since this was the first time any of us had used Firebase Storage, learning the API and even getting basic functions to work was difficult. In addition, making sure the right information was being uploaded, and in turn, the correct information downloaded and parsed was also difficult, since we were not familiar with Firebase. We also ran into a lot of Javascript issues, not only because it was our first time using Angular, but also that we were not familiar with many aspects of Javascript, such as scope and closure issues, as well as asynchronous and synchronous calls.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

We are happy that we were able to accomplish our original goal of providing a mobile and web app that work together to provide information about various parts of the house, and give companies like Fannie Mae the ability to micromanage a large number of houses in a simple and compact way.

What I learned

The team members that worked on the mobile app learned a great deal of formatting data, and grabbing and uploading files onto Firebase. The team members that worked on the web app increased proficiency in Javascript and Angular. Everybody learned a good amount in the side of the Firebase (mobile, web) that they had to work in.

What's next for House Maed

As Fannie Mae is looking to eventually deploy an app like House Maed in the future to make their management of house properties more efficient, we hope our app provides inspiration and is a guide for how such an app can be developed.

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