How to use a smartphone app to buy a house
A few months ago, I bought a house in a quiet area in Sydney.
I had a few months of savings in my bank account, so I could afford to buy the house and rent it out.
I also had access to a number of cheap housing agents who advertised in local media, and I’d also been talking to people on social media about their experience of buying a house.
At the time, I didn’t really understand how it was possible to buy affordable housing in Australia.
But I soon realised I could easily get the house on a credit card.
It would cost me $800.
And I could do it from anywhere.
“It’s not that I have no experience of owning a property, it’s just that I didn [understand] how the process worked,” says Simon Smith, a freelance writer who lives in Sydney with his partner.
“I was so confused by how it worked that I had no idea how I’d get there.”
Smith has a PhD in urban planning and had previously worked for the City of Sydney, but was unemployed when he got his first job with a property company.
He started off by looking at a number, including the cheapest of the options, and finding out how they worked.
“After a couple of hours, I realised I was making a lot of money, but I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into,” he says.
Smith decided to use Airbnb to rent the house.
The company’s website lets you check if a property is available in your area, and allows you to create a listing.
“We didn’t get a ton of interest from the house-buying market, but a lot was happening online,” he adds.
Smith says that while he didn’t understand how the system worked, he had plenty of money saved up in his bank account.
“The system works very, very well.
I don’t have to go to the bank and tell them I’m not eligible to rent a property.
You don’t even have to fill out a form to do that.
It’s super easy,” he tells The Verge.
“You can just walk up to any house in the area and you’re up to $800 in the bank.
It can be a real game-changer.”
Airbnb has since added a feature to its platform, letting people buy properties without having to go through the hassle of finding an agent, and is allowing users to sell properties online and rent them out.
“They have been great to us,” says Smith.
“People have told us how helpful they have been, and that they’ve had success with it.”
When I spoke to Smith, he was keen to emphasise that the system was only for people who wanted to rent.
“If I was looking to buy, then I’d be much more interested in renting.
It allows people to buy property that’s available, but it doesn’t allow them to rent it,” he said.
Airbnb has also been working on adding an alternative payment method to the app.
“With credit cards, you can use your credit card to pay for things like flights, hotels and parking.
But with Airbnb, we’ve been looking at ways to do things that are more convenient and more secure,” says Airbnb spokesperson Alex Mair.
“When you’re trying to make a purchase, there’s no point in using your credit cards.
We want to make it easier to use the credit card you have when you’re making a purchase.
So, if you’ve got a credit or debit card, you could sign up for an Airbnb payment card and just use your mobile phone to pay, without actually having to do any banking or doing any transactions at all.”
Mair says the new payment method is coming in a couple weeks, and will allow users to buy and rent houses from their phones, without the need to use an online platform.
“There’s a lot more that we can do to make our platform even better and more efficient for everyone,” she says.
“But for now, it really works.
There’s a really good sign up process and we’re very excited to get this going.”
The idea of renting out a house is popular in Australia, but Smith says there are some issues with the way it is currently handled.
“In some cities, the government’s policy is that you can only rent out a property for one year,” he explains.
“And so if you’re renting out your house and it’s not ready for occupancy, it will be gone.
So you can’t put it up for rent for two years.”
Smith says the policy is problematic because people often rent out properties without paying rent, and are then forced to leave them empty for months on end.
“One of the reasons we’ve always been open about it is that the government is not doing a good job of protecting properties against the short-term rental market, because that’s a problem we’ve seen with other cities, as well,” he continues.
“That’s why Airbnb has been very good at