The “401(k) for homeownership” helps first-time buyers achieve their goals on the way to homeownership with 4.51 percent APY high-yield savings accounts, as well as educational tools and matching opportunities with agents and lenders.

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A new real estate startup called Foyer aims to help first-time homebuyers simplify and accelerate the process of saving for a home.

Through the company’s savings platform, homebuyers can gain competitive interest yields on their savings while also receiving tools for support, transparency in understanding the homebuying process, and the opportunity to build connections with local real estate agents and lenders.

“It was after I tried to buy my first home last year, and saw interest rates move multiple percentage points in that process, when I realized that the prospect for homeownership was now in crisis,” Foyer founder Landy Liu said in an email to Inman. “So I put my own home purchase on pause and started Foyer — the 401(k) for homeownership. It’s my dream to reinvent the approach to homeownership in the same way that other major life goals, like saving for retirement and college tuition, have dedicated accounts.”

Credit: Foyer


Foyer was founded by former general manager Landy Liu and is starting its operations in Michigan, although the company plans to expand its platform throughout the United States in the next year. The next markets to launch will likely be Colorado and Oregon during the first quarter of 2024.

Dubbed as a “401(k) for homeownership” by its founders, Foyer provides 4.51 percent APY, high-yield savings accounts for first-time homebuyers. There are no minimum deposits required, and no service fees for accounts with balances of up to $5,000. After homebuyers meet the $5,000 threshold, Foyer charges a $7.99 monthly fee on accounts.

Foyer also provides tax support for registered First Time Homebuyer Savings Accounts (FHSA) so that homebuyers understand all the tax benefits available to them when buying their first home, particularly in states that allow first-time homebuyers to build up their savings without being taxed.

The company also matches 1 percent of savings account deposits up to the first $20,000 of deposits each year. In order to withdraw those matching funds — which can be done at any point in an account’s lifecycle — a buyer must purchase a home with any agent or lender of their choice, whether partnered with Foyer or not.

Educational tools provided by the platform also help homebuyers make sense of how much they can afford to spend on a house, additional expenses involved besides a down payment, how mortgages work and a real estate agent’s role in the process.

Additionally, the startup will connect homebuyers with local agents and lenders who have expertise in serving first-time homebuyers, without any obligation to enter into a contract with these professionals. However, affiliated agents and lenders will often provide discounts to Foyer customers in exchange for what they see as high-intent, asset-qualified buyers.

Once Foyer homebuyers meet their specific goals related to their homebuying journey, like determining where they want to live, price preference and savings progress, they will be matched with the appropriate professional to help them continue their progress, if they choose to work with Foyer’s matched professionals.

The savings program is specifically for first-time homebuyers; however, anyone who would like to contribute to a first-time homebuyer’s home purchase can do so by creating an account with Foyer.

“My experience as a general manager at allowed me to work with hundreds of first-time homebuyers,” Liu said in an email. “Watching them transact, taking them through the lending process, helped me truly understand the biggest questions they have as they enter homeownership.

“Today, I’m also a Foyer user, saving alongside our customers for my first home.”

Email Lillian Dickerson

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