With the number of owner-occupied homes exceeding 80 million in the U.S, many aspiring homeowners are looking to purchase their first homes as well. However, the homeownership is only 65% in 2019, based on the data from Statista.

Purchasing a house can be quite a challenging and confusing journey for many new buyers, and many of them lack the financial backbone to attain a mortgage from a lender, but it does not have to be this way.

That is why we created Homies to educate and boost up the buyer’s financial bandwidth and confidence to get the key to their first home.

What it does

Homies is the one-stop-shop, all-you-need resource hub featuring articles, FAQs, and free consultation for first-time homebuyers in the United States. In order to encourage home buyers to learn more about owning a home, there is also an interactive quiz that users can take to either earn cash rewards or donate money to the charity of their choice after they answer all the questions correctly.

Ethical Statement

We vowed to protect the integrity and privacy of all our user's personal data. For users to collect the cash rewards after passing the quiz, users need to enter their names and valid email addresses in order for us to send them the money. We will not sell this information to other companies, including but not limited to advertisement, insurance, health care, etc.

How we built it

We initiated our design on Figma to make sure that each page serves as an integral part of the web app. The frontend is built with React, which we take advantage of the stateful and reusable components. The backend uses Node and Express for API endpoints to call the Checkbook API, which makes the prize distribution and request for donation an efficient and fast task.

Challenges we ran into

  • Researching for the resources and quiz questions
  • Integrate the video chat feature for free consultations

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • Identified a niche challenge in homeownership and linked it with an instant cash transfer platform to create a solution
  • Connected market value with social good
  • Developed a fully functional minimal viable product within 36 hours

What we learned

  • Being our first time using APIs, the Checkbook API is seamlessly easy to use and we are encouraged to explore more about APIs from now on!
  • The well-being of an individual’s personal finance is a critical prerequisite of purchasing a home, and there are ways to educate and incentivize the person to improve his/her financial behavior

What's next for Homies

  • Add forum functionality to increase engagement of this niche group of community
  • Dynamically scrape and render the articles
  • Use OAuth and add user workflow for aspiring homeowners and admins/consultants
  • Add the functionality to allow admins to edit the quiz or create new quizzes
  • Use Twilio API or other video servicing APIs to create an in-house video solution

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