Published July 18, 2012
When it comes to staying organize and efficient during the home-buying process your best tool might already be in your pocket: your smartphone. Whether you are buying a house, getting a mortgage or doing some remodeling, here are 10 must-have real estate apps.
If you’re checking out a potential neighborhood and stumble across a home for sale, this free app for the IPhone allows you to upload a picture of the home and it will display available interior pictures, selling price, and previous sale history. The app culls data from Multiple Listing Service and allows users to schedule showings.
It’s hard to keep track of all the details when house hunting, but House Hunter does all the hard work for you by providing a scorecard that organizes notes and photos of potential homes. You can choose from more than 80 different home features to score potential homes and access a quick note feature to enter information about the homes.
When it comes to real estate, it’s all about location. AroundMe shows retailers, restaurants and other establishments located in the immediate area to give you a sense of a potential neighborhood. The free app uses a GPS to determine your location and identifies the closets bank, bar, gas station, hospital, hotel, movie theater, restaurant, supermarket, theater and taxi.
The Dictionary of Real Estate Terms
Buying a home can be confusing, especially if you aren’t familiar with real estate jargon. The app, which costs $2.99, has more than 3,000 real-estate specific terms to help navigate conversations with brokers and real estate agents.
Eager to sell your home but not sure where to price it? This app lets you view property values, foreclosure information and housing trends in neighborhoods across the country. The app lets you analyze housing data by ZIP code, provides 12 month median home price trends, foreclosure rates and home sales trend activity that can help you properly price your home.
The first step to the house-hunting process is determining how much home you can afford. The Mortgage Calculator from Left Coast R&D is a free app that lets you figure out your monthly mortgage payments based on the price of the house, the down payment and the interest rate.
Once you know how much home you can afford, it’s time to shop for mortgage rates. This app, also brought to you by Left Coast R&D compare mortgage interest rates based on users’ financial situations. The lenders that are competing for your business aren’t the Bank of Americas or Wells Fargos of the world-- instead its’ the smaller banks. If you find a rate you like, don’t worry about calls from mortgage brokers--you decide if you want to be contacted to start the loan process.
It’s hard to picture a fixer-upper in its final state, but Houzz will do all the imagining for you. Claiming to be the largest database of home design ideas on the Web, the Houzz app has more 500,000 high-resolution photos to give you remodeling ideas for out-dated homes. You can browse by style, room and location and save them to a virtual idea book.
Handy Man DIY
For many home buyers, a new home comes with a list of required improvement projects. If you don’t want to hire a contractor you can get your own virtual one with Handy Man DIY and it’s only going to cost you $1.99. This app lets calculate and store room dimensions, figure out floor and wall square footage and create shopping lists for projects. The app also has how to videos and instructions to guide you through various projects.
Sherwin Williams Color Snap app
Picking out paint colors can be tough but the free Color Snap app makes it a little bit easier. See a color you like in a photo, someone’s house or in a flower, all you have to do is snap a picture and the app will show you colors of Sherwin Williams paints that match. You can also browse hundreds of colors and adjust them to get the shade you want.