Looking For A Home? Look To Your Phone
In February, we revealed the top home improvement and maintenance applications for smartphones, computers and tablets. In addition to improving your own home, there are dozens of apps that can aid in the selling and buying process. As the inventory crunch eases, we discuss the best real estate apps that can make your home search more efficient, fun and less stressful.
The online residential real estate site Trulia has four free apps in the App Store and on Google Play to aid in many aspects of real estate for renters, buyers and Realtors.
- Trulia Real Estate allows you to search for homes, apartments or open houses on this top-rated app while you’re pumping gas, on the treadmill or watching television. Each home comes with a fact sheet of property information and vivid photographs. Interactive maps give alerts when a new home comes on the market, provides local information such as school zones and crime, allows you to save homes, connects users to agents and much more.
- Trulia Rentals works the same way as Trulia Real Estate with rental properties.
- Trulia for Agents points agents to prospective buyers and sellers and allows agents to close a deal from anywhere.
- Trulia Mortgage’s easy-to-use mortgage app provides extensive financial insight into the complex mortgage process. Users can use the affordability calculator to determine which home price they can afford, view a refinancing calculator and use a mortgage calculator that will break down monthly payments factoring in interest, property taxes and insurance.
Homesnap is a creative, social and easy way to receive real estate information when looking to purchase a home. The free app was recently named “Best Mobile Tool” by Realtor Magazine and “Most Addictive Real Estate App” by HGTV Magazine. Though the Internet is filled with thousands of online listings, many people still prefer driving around in their preferred areas looking for red for-sale signs. Using the Homesnap app, powered by real-time MLS listings, users snap a photo of a home and are then greeted with valuable information like home values, interior photos, property taxes and school information. If users aren’t in front of a home, they can also browse through for-sale homes in the directory.
An innovative aspect of Homesnap is the ability to have a network of friends to collaboratively come together to assist in your search process. Every time a friend saves a home or writes a comment, the action gets sent to your newsfeed.
With today’s tight lending restrictions, having a good credit score is more important than in past years. The free, simple Credit Karma app provides an estimated score from TransUnion, without entering any credit card information, unlike other credit-checking platforms. Using the score, you can determine if you qualify for a loan, at which rate and for how much. An additional bonus of Credit Karma is users can see problem areas in their credit and be able to dispute it before meeting with a mortgage lender. Another feature is free credit monitoring where users can receive daily notifications of important changes to their credit report.