When Daniel Dubois did the research, he realized that it takes an average of 27 years for the typical first-time Canadian urban home buyer just to save up for the recommended 20% down payment. That's when he and his co-founder decided to do something about it. They launched Key, a patent-pending two sided marketplace with a co-ownership model allowing people to move in and start building home equity, without being locked into a mortgage. Oh, it only takes $15,000 to start.
Growing up in Vancouver his entire life Daniel knew how unaffordable real estate could be. He saw it first hand living in a co-op in False Creek and his parents would often talk about a woulda, coulda, shoulda situation of getting into the market. It hasn't gotten any easier. Young people are stuck on the proverbial rental treadmill where their income isn't going up at the same rates as housing prices and they're locked out of being able to build wealth with home ownership.
As Daniel discussed with me, Key sets out to offer a new option, a model where someone can have most of the benefits of owning, but with the freedoms and flexibilities of renting. They call it "homeownership as a service". It's a new form of home ownership where one can consume real estate incrementally. If a condo is worth $600,000 in downtown Toronto, one can become a co-owner with just $15,000 down and every month in their app, choose to purchase more of the home. After three years the buyer has the option to purchase 100% of it. So anyone can own a home years sooner, continue to build equity, have the freedoms of renting, and after three years have the option to purchase it. Oh, and at any time, the purchaser can give a couple of months notice and leave and buy a house somewhere else, or move to a new city for a job opportunity. Total flexibility.