First, consider this statistic from Nielsen: the average person spends one hour and 39 minutes each day on their smartphones, or over 25 days a year. And that’s just from consuming media!
Needless to say, we’re really attached to our phones, which is why there’s been such a surge of real estate apps created for Android and iPhone users over the last five years. To help you navigate through the dozens of available tools, we’ve highlighted the best home buying apps that could be valuable to you.
The Truila app allows users to peruse millions of listings nationwide, providing everything from updated listing of homes for sale, apartments for rent and open houses, to high-resolution photo galleries and comprehensive information like school ratings and crime rates in the area.
Homesnap might be the most fun home buying app available, especially if you’re a fan of taking pictures. With the snap of a camera (hence the name), you get access to all you need to know about a house. You can unlock sales history, interior features, market information, school district ratings, and the good folks at Homesnap will even give you its perspective on the property’s “investment potential.” Oh, we should probably mention you can save any photos you snap and send them straight to your realtor, or anyone else. The messaging capability allows you to communicate with anyone, whether they have the app or not. It even pulls the responses that come via text or email into the message thread on your app.
As the leading real estate marketplace, Zillow is another of the must-have real estate apps for professionals in the industry. Designed to put you and your house on the map with the click of a button, the app allows users to seamlessly browse homes for sale and rent, including access to more than one million listings not on MLS.
Zillow recently integrated a new video feature into the app, Video Walkthrough, which gives buyers a more realistic view of what to expect from a home. Sellers can even create their own video walkthrough by visiting the app. However, an agent will have to approve the video before it goes live.
Tied to the Redfin real estate company, Redfin’s app is a map-based interface that allows you to focus in on any neighborhood, tap on a listing, and see the specifics of the on-the-market house. Additionally, the app allows you to search for open houses, message listings to your realtor and set up various alerts. The home data comes directly from the MLS real estate listings, and is refreshed very 15-30 minutes. With the connection to Redfin Real Estate agents, you’ll also get realtor-based insights including candid comments from realtors who have toured the home. And Redfin even discounts its services with 1.5% commission, versus the typical 2%-3%.
What REALLY sets Redfin apart is its ‘Hot Homes’ feature. What would be considered a Hot Home you ask? Calculated by Redfin’s algorithm, it’s a house that has an 80% chance of accepting an offer within two weeks of going on the market. So these are homes you’ll need to see quickly, because I don’t know if you’ve heard, but it’s a seller’s market.
One of the more under-the-radar homebuying apps, Dwellr is the information hub for city and neighborhood statistics, and more. The U.S. Census-run app matches its data with your location preferences to give you a list of potential relocation towns that best fit your lifestyle—especially when you’re making a big move. Dwellr considers home value, desired schooling, and how you get to work, allowing you to explore a wide range of potential landing spots. So after you answer a number of questions about your preferences, the app displays the top 25 cities that meet your criteria.
Realtor.com Real Estate is the ultimate app for potential home buyers. Available for Android and iOS, the real estate app provides property listings sourced directly from over 800 MLS — refreshed everything 15 minutes — and offers everything from detailed photos of properties, intimate details such as property tax and sales history, combined with easy-to-use search options. In terms of real estate apps, it’s a no brainer for investors and professionals alike.
Specifically designed for agents, “The Find” app by Realtor.com is the perfect app for real professionals on the go. The app provides unique options like cross-sharing of private listing data between partner MLSes, member directory, and even a showing scheduling service which enables agents to easily schedule showings from the app.
Preparing to list or remodel your house? Houzz will streamline the renovation process for you. Launched in 2009, this real estate app is a revolutionary new way to design a home, providing prospective buyers and sellers access to more than nine million interior design photos, home decor, decorating ideas and home professionals online. Making things even sweeter, Houzz recently added a Real Estate Agents category in their directory that offers agents the ability to list themselves with a profile, for free.
In terms of real estate apps, something to consider about Houzz is: 15 percent of “Houzzers” are planning to buy a home in the next two years, and 10 percent of them are planning to build a custom home in that time frame.
The Premier Agent app from Zillow is the definition of efficiency. Unlike other real estate apps, it provides realtors instant access to property listing inquiries from both Zillow and Trulia, as well as the ability to manage listings, profiles and reviews in one central location. A new version of the app also includes a video walkthrough feature to bring listings to life.
Mortgage Calulator by Quicken Loans:
Crunch numbers on the go with Mortgage Calculator by Quicken Loans, an easy to use app where users can estimate their loan amount, interest rate, and term or monthly payments with the click of a button. As the nation’s number one online lender, Quicken Loans recently launched another mobile app called Rocket Mortgage, where customers can reduce their mortgage application process down to a measly eight minutes.
Whether you’re buying or selling a property, ZipRealty will help you achieve your goals. Not only can you physically draw boundaries on their state of the art map to set a location for where you want to buy, but also, you can create text notifications that will inform you when the house that meets your specifications hits the market. But the best part about the ZipRealty app is its augmented reality feature. Use augmented reality to see homes nearby for sale, including upcoming open houses. Get a feel for the home from the comfort of your couch.