Homebuying startup makes it easy to buy a house with your friends

Swing at the End of the World, La Casa del Arbol - Baños Canton, Ecuador
Chris Staring/Flickr
Most people view owning their own home as a core part of the American dream. But with house prices rising to increasingly unaffordable levels, it’s a dream that — for many folks — won’t become a reality any time soon. For that reason, it makes perfect sense for those in the crowdfunding generation to team up with friends and other family members to purchase properties which would otherwise be out of their reach.

The reality, however, is that there are still plenty of complexities to this approach. This is where a new Bellevue, Washington startup called CoBuy comes into play.

“When you look at the home purchase process in the United States, it’s a very convoluted process, based on archaic systems,” cofounder Matthew Holmes told Digital Trends. “There are already a lot of moving parts, but when you add in the element of co-buyers it’s just an added layer of complexity. We want to guide people through that process.”

Launching last month, CoBuy helps shepherd nontraditional buying groups (such as unmarried couples or groups of friends) through the labyrinthine house purchasing and ownership journey. In doing so, it asks straightforward questions, and uses the answers it is given to point users in the direction of the right people — whether these be real estate brokers, or experts in lending, law, or insurance.


Holmes doesn’t see what he’s doing as replacing any one existing component of the home-buying process, but rather as holding people’s hands as they navigate that process — a bit like being being BFFs with a real estate guru.

The goal is to make sure that not only are customers able to get the right home for their situation, but also that the i’s are dotted and t’s crossed when it comes to the boring-but-necessary stuff like ownership structures, individual roles and responsibilities, possible changing circumstances, and more.

“The problem of a lack of affordable housing is one that’s seen all over the western world,” Holmes said. “With house prices very high, people are taking unique approaches to how they procure housing. We’ve developed a platform which helps facilitate that; making it easier than ever to co-buy, and to do it intelligently.”

Currently CoBuy covers the Greater Seattle area only, although hopefully it will expand to other parts of the country (and planet) in the future.

Free to try, the service costs $99 per co-buyer if you decide to proceed with a purchase, although the fee is fully refundable if your house sale falls through for any reason.

Smart Home

The C By GE Smart LED Bulbs Work Seamlessly With Google Home

The Smart Light Starter Kit contains a smart lightbulb and a Google Home Mini. For those seeking to try out smart lights in their home, it's a great option and is currently on sale for just $35 through Google.
Product Review

The competition was fierce, and this is the best TV of 2018

With stellar picture quality, excellent ease of use, and rich features, the LG C8 OLED is the best TV you can buy in 2018, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is right for you. Check out our review to learn more.

Turn your desk into a command center with the best ultrawide monitors

Top of the line ultrawide monitors have the deepest curves, the sharpest colors, and the biggest screens on the market. You’re going to want one, sooner or later. So why not sooner? These are the best ultrawide monitors you can buy now.
Smart Home

The best washing machines make laundry day a little less of a chore

It takes a special kind of person to love doing laundry, but the right machine can help make this chore a little easier. Check out our picks for the best washing machines on the market right now.

Best deals on home security cameras to save you from package thieves

Home security camera systems can help keep your home and your family safe. Amazon's deals on Blink security cameras and Ring Video Doorbells also help you save money on devices you can access regardless of your current location.
Smart Home

Google Store sale is on now through December 24!

Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018 may be history, but fans of Google hardware including the popular Google Home Hub, Pixel 3 and 3XL mobile phones still have lots of deals in store -- the Google Store, that is.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Smart Home

Put away that sponge and let us help you pick the best dishwasher for your buck

Tired of doing dishes by hand? Take a look at our picks of the four best dishwashers currently available and let a machine do the dirty work for you. They’ll do a much better job, anyway.
Smart Home

Porch pirate problems? Keep them away with these tips and tricks

The holiday season is fast approaching and the packages are arriving on our doorsteps. Are you worried about porch pirates stealing your gifts this holiday season? Here are some tips to help protect your purchases.

Walmart is offering Google Home starter kits for under $50

If you're hoping to save big on Google Home devices before all the holiday deals come to an end, there's no better time than right now. Walmart is slashing prices on smart home starter kits for a limited time.

This freewheeling Army truck-turned-tiny home is a labor of love

Most tiny homes are models of efficiency but one British metal worker has redefined the idea, converting an old Army truck into a mobile tiny home that comes with a bed, a sofa, a shower, and a beer garden.

Clean up with robot vac, upright vacuum, and spot and stain remover deals

Whether you're gift shopping or need to get your house ready for the holidays, deals on household cleaning appliances are always welcome. We found Walmart's best deals on robot vacs, upright vacuum cleaners, and spot and stain cleaners.
Smart Home

Amazon Alexa enhancements add geolocation, kids’ Routines, and more

Amazon's digital assistant Alexa continues to evolve and its newest features should appeal to busy people and parents on the go, including location-based routines and reminders as well as Routines aimed toward kids.
Smart Home

How to talk to Santa on Alexa and Google Assistant

Nothing say "holiday" like talking to Santa. Here's how to talk to Santa on Alexa and Google Assistant, whether he's helping you create a playlist or checking to see if you've been naughty or nice this week.