Stairs Financial platform launches to help first-time homebuyers

Mortgage platform provides free mortgage comparison product, tracks real-time changes in DPA programs

Texas-based mortgage platform Stairs Financial launched on Thursday after completing a $3.5 million funding round. 

With first-time buyers accounting for just 26% of all home purchases in 2022 — a 41-year low — the mortgage market place aims to help first-time homebuyers with the right program and mortgage products.

“Thousands of down payment assistance and credit programs have sprung up to help first-time homebuyers overcome the challenges, but these home-buying options are hard for homebuyers to find and evaluate,” said Malcolm-Wiley Floyd, CEO and co-founder of Stairs Financial.

“Furthermore, homebuyers have to find a lender who can underwrite the specific loan program they want to apply for. Stairs helps homebuyers find the right mortgage for them, with lower down payments, grants and flexible underwriting.”

The startup helps connect first-time buyers with lenders and offers detailed down payment assistance (DPA) programs. 

Users are able to get a free mortgage comparison product powered by Stairs’ database of homebuyer programs and mortgage products. 

The Stairs Financial platform is automated, which enables the system to track changes to assistance programs — including fluctuating rates, updated eligibility requirements and new program launches, according to the company. 

The seed funding round was led by Zigg Capital with participation from Y Combinator, its initial investor Antler, Exceptional Capital and others.

“The concept of leveraging technology to navigate the complicated system of incentive programs available to eligible homebuyers is particularly impactful and aligned,” said Ryan Orley, managing partner at Zigg Capital. 

Stairs is licensed in 40 states and plans to expand nationwide in early 2024. 

Going forward, Stairs wants to address the systemic racial injustice in home-buying.

“The Black-White homeownership gap is larger today than it was ten years ago. As banks and lenders create new programs to address this gap, Stairs plans to incorporate them into their platform and help educate homebuyers on their advantages. As a Black founder, it is important to me that our work at Stairs improves equity and access to home ownership for traditionally disadvantaged communities,” added Floyd. 

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