House Hunting: Theres an App for That
Adulthood comes in sprinkles and tidal waves: from paying on your student loans, to buying your first house, it’s a terrifying and thrilling experience. While you probably want to think finding the perfect home is as easy as browsing the Internet, or handing your wish list to a realtor, you might be surprised. Ahead of you is a long road of endless house tours, bidding wars, and redecorating (if not total remodeling).
Luckily for you, you’re living in the digital age, and you don’t have to house hunt alone. Forget about the notebooks to keep detailed lists of homes and employ some of these apps instead:
For House Hunting:
- Zillow is your own personal realtor: it can show you homes up for sale or rent in a general area. It also shows tax histories, estimated values, and information on the surrounding properties. This is a free app available for Apple and Android. The app lets you view important listing information such as price, number of rooms, square footage, etc. With built-in GPS, you can view home details right as you’re walking or driving through the neighborhood.haha.
- HomeSnap will cut back on scheduling viewings and help you manage your time better. Just take a picture of the home’s exterior and the app searches the internet for any available interior pictures and information. If you like what you see, you can call the realtor; if you don’t, there wasn’t time wasted!
- Ditch the notebook altogether and download House Hunter instead. This app keeps track of all of the house’s details so you don’t have to. Modeled after a scorecard, House Hunter allows you to rate the available home on 80 different available features, as well as make detailed notes. Keep track of your favorite features of each property as you go, and score them along the way. This app is worth the $4 just in the time (and ink) that it saves.
- Instead of looking creepy scouring the neighborhood slowly in your mommy van, use AroundMe instead. This free app uses your GPS location to show establishments located in the same area as your potential new home: from retailers to restaurants, AroundMe provides all the information you’ll need about the community. Also use it to find restaurants, activities, etc. AroundMe basically combines a ‘yellow pages’ type directory with GPS, so you can see what’s closest to you.
- Don’t let the real estate jargon overwhelm you: use The Dictionary of Real Estate Terms. This handy app contains more than 3,000 terms and their definitions to ensure you understand what your realtor is saying. At just $2.99 to download, it could save you from hassle later.
- Mortgage Calculator helps you determine exactly how much you can afford. The free app expertly figures out, based on the home’s sale price, what your down payment, monthly mortgage payments, and interest rates will be. While it’s not exact, this app is great for giving you guidelines.
- After you figure out how much you’re home goes for, shop for the best rate on Mortgage Rates. This app compares mortgage interest rates based on other users’ financial situations. Instead of immediately going through a big bank, consider the smaller, local banks that are competing for your business: once you find the rate you want, contacting the lender is entirely up to you.
- It wouldn’t be your home if you weren’t picking out new decorations: Houzz is the Pinterest of redecorating apps. With over 500,000 high-resolution photos of unique home designs and remodeling techniques for you to view, you’ll have no problem coming up with a great room theme. Browse by style, room, or location and save your ideas to a virtual idea book to get started. Husbands, you might not want to clue your wife in on this one. She is likely to spend hours browsing the redecorating apps. And guess who gets to do the work when it comes time. Honey-dos straight ahead!
- Handy Man DIY was made with the new homeowner in mind: all of those projects you want to do to improve your home aren’t going to do themselves. Instead of hiring an expensive contractor, download the $1.99 app to view calculate room dimensions and create project shopping lists. There are also project guides available for those in need of an extra hand.
- If you’ve ever wanted to duplicate the color of your favorite shirt, search no further. The Sherwin-Williams Color Snap app allows you to take a picture of a great color—whether it’s on a shirt, in your friend’s house, or at the beach—and match that to a paint color. You also have the freedom to browse hundreds of available colors and adjust them to the perfect shade.
For selling your own home, here are 5 easy steps, including tips on defining a room’s purpose, first impressions, and curb appeal. After all, if you’re a current homeowner, you need to sell your house as you buy your new home.
House hunting doesn’t have to be a hassle: instead of panicking over a long to-do list, let your smartphone work for you. These apps have you covered from the discovery to the decorating. You’ll be moved-in in no time. Now is there an app that will pack boxes for me?
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