The Home Features People Are Swiping Right On With This New App
Like Bumble, but for house hunters.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 6:23 AM
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Swipe left. Swipe right. Swipe left. Dating from your phone isn’t just a popular thing to do—it’s muscle memory at this point. We’ve trained our thumbs to think fast and answer the important question: Do I see the potential? But what if all those people, those potential relationships, were homes? That’s the idea behind Casa Blanca, a just-launched, swipe-friendly app that brings listings to your fingertips, allowing you to set criteria around your style preferences and priorities so you find your perfect match faster. It’s like Bumble or Hinge, except you get to skip the awkward small talk.
The swiping system isn’t just for kicks; it actually solves some common house-hunting problems. For starters, you aren’t zooming in on tiny thumbnails. You also don’t end up looking at the same empty, white-box apartment twice, asking yourself, “Did I see this already?” When you reject a property, it goes away (don’t worry, you can track it down if you want to go back). When you like a place, it saves it for you. From there, you can set up a viewing, link said appointment to your calendar, and even make an offer—all from your phone. Right now, Casa Blanca is only available to residents in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn, but will likely be expanding to the Hamptons, Aspen, San Francisco, and Los Angeles in the next couple of months.
How It Works
When you set up your account, you’ll be prompted to answer a questionnaire about your budget, location, housing type, and amenities preferences. Then you’ll see a series of photos of spaces. You check off the ones that speak to you, telling the app if you’re attracted to prewar details, prefer a renovated space, or are looking for, say, a loft with large windows. This process helps curate and filter your feed.
As a bonus for going through the DTC brand, all buyers get 1 percent cash back at purchase. “We felt the system was broken,” says Casa Blanca founder and veteran real-estate agent Hannah Bomze. “Instead of paying for that other layer (a brokerage firm), we give that back to you so you can make your new place feel like a home.”
What to Look Out For
During the testing phase, Bomze’s team saw a lot of people searching for places with either an outdoor space or an extra bedroom that can be used as an office. After all, we’ll need all the square footage we can get come winter. “As far as design trends, buyers are looking for homes they can remodel and make their own,” she shares. A fixer-upper with a dated kitchen, exposed ceiling beams, and century-old floors is the kind of match that gives us butterflies.
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