How Gravy Works: Buy Your First Home Faster

How Gravy Works: Buy Your First Home Faster

You know you want to own a home someday. What if “someday” could arrive sooner than you think?

Gravy is an app that turns renters into homeowners — faster. No matter where you’re at in the home buying process, Gravy helps you get one step closer to closing. You’ll also earn thousands in Gravy Rewards to make buying your home more affordable.

What is Gravy?

Gravy is an app built with one purpose: to help renters buy their first home. 

When you download the Gravy app, you will:

  • Earn rewards by paying rent: every month, you’ll earn Gravy Rewards equal to 5% of your rent payment.
  • Save with a purpose: you can choose to open a Gravy Savings Account and keep your growing down payment in one place.
  • Track your goal: get a personalized plan based on when, where, and how much house you want to buy.


Step #1: Download the app

You can download Gravy on either iPhone or Android. It only takes two minutes to set up your account. And it’s free to get started.

Don’t worry: no credit check is required to get set up as a Gravy user. Anyone who wants to own their own home someday is welcome. It doesn’t matter where you live, how you pay your rent, or where you want to buy a house. 

Gravy in the app store


Step #2: Report your rent payments for rewards (no landlord account needed)

Next, tell us about your lease. We need to know the address where you rent, your monthly rent amount, lease start and end date, and when your rent is due. 

We don’t need to know who your landlord or property manager is, and they don’t make an account or get involved at all. You continue paying your rent the usual way. We don’t verify your lease or rent (you agree to honest self-reporting per the Gravy app terms).

Earn rewards on rent payments


Every month when you pay rent, we give you 5% cash-back on your rent payment in the form of Gravy Rewards. When you buy your first home, you can redeem Gravy Rewards with our partner lenders and realtors. (Our realtors and lenders are the best of the best, but more on that later.)

When you partner with one of our lenders, your Gravy Rewards translate to a credit on your closing costs. You’ll save up to 1% off the loan principal. We call this Closing Cash.

In addition to Closing Cash, you can also earn a Homebuyer Bonus. You’ll get a check in the mail after you move in! The amount you’ll get depends on the price of the home, and it ranges from $225 to $5,400. This bonus comes out of the realtor’s commission, not your pocket, and you’re free to spend it however you like. 

Do I need to log my rent payments every month? 

Nope! Gravy Rewards are automatic. Set up your lease one time, and watch the savings pile up. Just keep your lease updated if you move, or if your rent payment changes.

Rewards calculator to determine your potential savings


Want to see how much you could save on your home purchase? Download the app and check out the Gravy Rewards calculator. The longer you use Gravy, the more you’ll earn, making it possible for you to close on a home sooner!


Step #3: Set the right down payment goal

Do you know how much you need to save based on your house goals? 

Set up a house goal

Tell us about your market, your budget, and your current ability to save. We will help you set the right goal based on estimated closing costs and your timeline. Your very own house savings tracker will show you at a glance how you’re pacing towards your goal.


Step #4: Open a Gravy Savings Account 

Where do you currently keep your down payment savings? You can open a Gravy Savings Account if you want to (not required). You’ll earn additional rewards, and there are no fees and no credit check. You’ll be able to see your savings and your goals all in one place.

You earn $250 in Gravy Rewards when you open a Gravy Savings Account. This is more than you’ll get from even the best high-yield savings accounts. You can also set up automatic deposits and watch your savings grow without lifting a finger. Soon you’ll even get a Gravy Rewards Bonus when you hit saving milestones.

Can I access the money I deposit in my Gravy Savings Account?

100%! This is your money and you can deposit and withdraw any time, for any reason, for free. There are no fees (ever), it’s way easier to use than your average bank account, and designed for just one reason: to help you save for a down payment. 

We’re also FDIC-insured and maintain lockdown security. Your stash is safe with us.

Coming soon: we’re working to make it easy for others to contribute to your house down payment fund. You will be able to easily invite friends, family, and even your employer to make contributions to your house account.

Gravy review


Step #5: Ask us all your home-buying questions

Gravy’s Home Advisor team is available in the app when you have questions. Just text us! 

Where do I even start? When should I start talking to a lender? Do I really need to put 20% down? We are in this together to make your home purchase a reality. 

Gravy home advisor team is available via chat



Step #6: Find the best realtor and lender for you

When the time is right (and we’ll help you figure out when that is), we’ll connect you to the ideal realtor and lender for you, based on your market and your goal.

A knowledgeable realtor and a smart lender are worth their weight in gold. With that said, a top-tier realtor and lender are paid the same as a new one with no experience. Wouldn’t you rather work with the best?

We only work with realtors and lenders that specialize in helping first-time homebuyers and meet our high service standards. Our partner network operates in all 50 states, plus D.C.

Together, our lender partners rank top 5 nationally. They have a 96%+ customer satisfaction score and 4.9+ out of 5 stars on Zillow. To learn more about our lender partners, go to the Buying section of the Gravy app's Main Menu and tap 'Find a Lender'.

Our real estate agent partner is the #1 brokerage in the country, which includes the best agents from your local Coldwell Banker, Century 21, Better Homes, ERA, and Corcoran offices. 97% of their clients would recommend their agent to friends and family. To learn more about our agent partners, go to the Buying section of the Gravy app's Main Menu and tap 'Find an Agent'.

Get matched with a Gravy real estate partner

It’s okay if it takes years, and it’s okay if it takes months. We’re here to help you no matter how long you’ve been using Gravy. 


Why should you sign up? 

Gravy is free to get started. Buying a home is complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Don’t go through the process alone. You deserve a tool that helps you reach your goals faster.

Do you have $50,000 in the bank, a 750 credit score, and want to buy a home in the next three months?

A real estate agent and a mortgage lender will help you make that happen. And if that’s you, we are happy to introduce you and help you save money.

But the truth is, almost no one fits that description. About 60% of renters have $0 saved for a down payment. And 85% have less than $10,000 saved.

Maybe you don’t have that much (or anything) in savings, your credit score could use a little work, and you’re planning to buy six months in the future, or even in a year or two. It’s not time to talk to a realtor or a lender yet. Gravy is here to bridge the gap. 

Are rent rewards legit? 

5% in rewards on rent? This doesn’t sound like it’s possible. (We get this a lot.)

Don’t worry, Gravy Rewards are real! You just don’t get to “cash in” until you purchase your first home.

This is how it works: every year, the real estate industry spends billions of dollars on advertising to find customers like you.

We decided to create Gravy Rewards to put that money back in your pocket instead. You earn real cash-back by doing what you’re already doing: being a good renter and saving for your first house.

We support you along the way, and when you’re ready to buy, work with our amazing mortgage lenders and real estate partners and see those rewards make an impact. Altogether, a typical Gravy user earns a total of 2% back on their home price (that’s $6,000 on a $300,000 house).

Gravy wins when you win: the moment you close on your first home. 

Why does Gravy exist? 

The average homeowner’s net worth is 40 times greater than that of a renter. And it’s no wonder. By the time the average renter turns 30, they’ll have paid almost $100,000 in rent

Owning a home is the single most impactful way Americans build wealth, but it’s never been harder to buy, and too many people are locked out. 

Gravy’s mission is to make homeownership more accessible — for everyone. In doing so, we believe it will have a positive impact on the socioeconomic inequality in America today. 


Start your journey 

Download the Gravy app and take the next step towards owning your first home today.