No, apps aren’t essential. Neither are smartphones. But you’ll be hard-pressed to argue that they’re not nifty time-savers, especially when you start using these apps while looking for your dream home.
Just starting out? You’ll save space and time with this app instead of clipping, piling, and filing newspaper listings, but still be up-to-date on what’s for sale, what’s been sold, and the details of everything in between. You can also share your favorites to get a second opinion (or five). It’s free for iPhone, iPad, Windows, and Android.
2. House Hunter
When it comes to comparing your finalists, it can get as simple as listing pros and cons or, in this case, a scoring system. House Hunter costs $3.99 on iTunes, but your money will be well-spent. Take your phone with you on a walkthrough of the house and score each feature—the living room, the windows, insulation—and get an overall score of each house, including its age, location, square footage, price, and more.
3. Mortgage Calculator by Quicken Loans
This app deals with the nitty gritty pricing of your dream home, and comes well-equipped (for free) with five calculators to compare and assess your options.
4. Sex Offender Search
The safety of a neighborhood should be one of the first questions any homebuyer asks. This app—free for both iOS and Android—scours registries for sex offenders in your area and gives you access to their dossier and address. You’ll be alerted through email if there’s new activity in your area.
5. Around Me
For free on iTunes and Google Play, Around Me shows you the nearest bank, post office, gas station, trendy coffee shop, and more. You’ll even know how long it’ll take you to get to these places so you can make informed decisions before you slip into your shoes.
This app is free, addictive, and now mobile. Find and re-pin fixer-upper ideas, home decorating themes, and DIY handyman techniques in specially assigned folders so you never miss a thing. Pinterest is a highly visual app full of inspirations, so you can bring it with you and sigh dreamily at the new house or at the hardware store while picking up the right color paint.
About the Author:
Carmen Guzlas is a writer and manager for Movoto, where she has recently been researching Homes for Sale in San Jose, CA. Her main hobbies are making soup (daily!) and hiking with her dog.