For a lot of people, buying a house is not just an investment – it is the biggest, most fulfilling purchase of their lives. However, the home buying experience can also be filled with extra roadblocks, drawn-out time commitments, and stress. At least that’s the way it worked out for Vishal Garg who turned his bad experience into a new company called better.com.
In an interview with Bold Business, Better Mortgage’s founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Vishal Garg talked about the frustrations he encountered at every step of the process. His home-buying journey began with a three-week wait for a pre-approval letter from his national bank.
“Our bold idea is reimagining homeownership,” Garg affirmed. He believes Better.com’s mortgage platform evens out the playing field for all interested buyers. It helps give people a good chance of getting a home loan approval, thus allowing borrowers the same chance of getting a home as cash buyers do.
Better.com is Overhauling Mortgages
“I said, ‘if it is so bad for me, how is it for the other Americans out there that are trying to buy a home for the first time?’” Garg recalled.
Garg’s envisioned a digital mortgage lender able to drastically cut the time it takes for a homebuyer to complete the applications steps. Better.com claims they cut the process from three weeks to just three minutes.
Launched in 2016, Better Mortgage is a full-stack mortgage lender digitizing every step of the financing process. They were created by a group of engineers from Google and Spotify committed to putting consumers back in control of the most important financial decision of their lives.
To accomplish that, the company cuts out several steps involving third-party brokers, substituting a carefully guarded artificial intelligence program to ensure accurate as well as timely processing. Fewer steps and fewer people involved in the process also means the company saves money that it shares with the homebuyer in the form of lower fees. This is also how they differentiate themselves from competitors such as Rocket Mortgage (by quicken loans) and conventional mortgage brokers.
“There should be no difference between sort of people who have a lot of money and can buy houses like they are buying handbags and an average consumer that wants to buy a house that they actually want to consume.”
Better Mortgage from a new Digital Mortgage Platform
Launched in 2016, Better.com has backing from both Goldman Sachs and Kleiner Perkins. The New York City-based company is one of the fastest growing in the country. So far they have made over $600 million worth of home loans.
Garg doesn’t believe Better.com is just digitizing the traditional mortgage process as competitors as Rocket Mortgage does. He believes that by streamlining the process as they have, they are creating a “frictionless” buying experience.
“What we are doing is eliminating all the transactional friction that traditionally happens with the homeownership process whether it is finding the right house, finding the right realtor or finding and figuring out how much you can afford,” Garg told Bold Business. “We are taking that and all the complicated math, all the paperwork and we digitize it and we turn it into a process that you can understand and that you can afford.”
Better.com is aiming directly for the younger homebuyer by making the tiresome and often confusing process easier and more certain for buyers.
Home Ownership Made Easier
“We are on our path to making home ownership easier for a new generation of Americans that has never understood the idea of walking into a bank branch and never had to deal with a mortgage loan officer. Today’s ecosystem is just not built for the way that younger people want to transact finances,” Garg explained
The early stage venture is already on its Series B funding, amounting to a total of $45 million. “We have done about 10 million of those mortgages today, one-day mortgages,” said Garg. “And our goal is to make that 10 billion and then 10 trillion.”
Through a bold idea stemming from the founder’s own experiences and difficulties, Better.com has built a simple product that respects not just a person’s time and efforts, but also their circumstances, attracting even more people to the idea of finally having a place they can call their own home.