Preparing millennials and other potential homebuyers will be easier with HOME by Fannie Mae, a mobile app that provides information on the steps and responsibilities of buying and owning a home.
“HOME by Fannie Mae is part of Fannie Mae’s ongoing efforts to help prepare borrowers — including tech-savvy millennials — for sustainable homeownership,” says Jonathan Lawless, Fannie Mae’s vice president for affordable housing strategy. “It provides our lender partners an effective, easy-to-navigate mobile app that they can share with their customers.”
By mid-September, roughly two months after its introduction, the app has racked up 75,000 downloads and those numbers continue to grow.
The app is easy for people to share over personal Android or Apple mobile devices. Fannie Mae makes it easy for lenders to promote the app using an online toolkit with sample messaging, flyers, and ads.
Early feedback from both homebuyers and lenders has been positive, notes Lawless.
Strength In Numbers
The app addresses the entire home buying process so potential homebuyers can understand what they can afford, estimate their mortgage payments, get tips on saving for a down payment, and dispel popular myths on the process.
“We wanted to let buyers know they don’t necessarily have to put 20% down or have perfect credit,” says Robert Greenbaum, Fannie Mae’s senior director of communications and marketing services. “We hope this app will help lenders better inform credit-worthy homebuyers who think they won’t quality for a loan because of their income, credit history or amount of savings they have to put down.”
With the improving economy, and many renters thinking about purchasing their first home, this is a good time to get homeownership information into the hands of potential home purchasers. Fannie Mae is well positioned to provide unbiased, factual information to prospective homebuyers, much of which it draws from its Know Your Options and The Home Story websites, Greenbaum points out.
In the aftermath of the Great Recession, many millennials may have had a tougher time establishing a firm financial footing than their parents, but they still aspire to someday own a home just like previous generations.
Surveys in 2014 and 2015 by Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) Group find that a majority of renters age 25-34 say they think homeownership makes more sense than renting, both financially and from a lifestyle perspective. A full 91% say they are likely to own a home at some date, suggesting potentially strong demand from a generation that by some estimates is the largest in U.S. history.
ESR’s survey research finds that most renters, including a majority of millennial renters, think they would have difficulties obtaining a mortgage in today’s marketplace, citing financial hurdles like their incomes.
With HOME by Fannie Mae in the palm of their hand, they can begin to explore options that can improve their opportunities for sustainable homeownership.
“The app consolidates a lot of basic information into a step-by-step checklist with interactive tools to estimate payments and affordability,” says Greenbaum. “We see considerable interest out there in owning a home, and we built this app to help people get better prepared for getting a mortgage and buying a home they can afford for the long-term.”