Apps to Support a Virtual House Hunt

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    February 10, 2014

Apps to Support a Virtual House Hunt



A recent article from the Wall Street Journal highlights a new trend in our super-connected world. Shopping for a home has gone mobile; more than half of all page views of listings across the nation are now accessed through a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet.

The writer provides some good information, but the news doesn’t surprise me. These days, almost everyone has a smartphone, putting the Internet at their fingertips. You can take a laptop with you, but it’s not easy.

Your ultra-portable smartphone or tablet can be connected to the Internet at all times and comes with location-based technology. You can learn about a neighborhood with a simple swipe or touch of the screen. You can bookmark houses you like if you’re not ready to make an offer at first sight. And in today’s share-happy society, you can share the home of your dreams with your spouse, kids, roommate or several thousand of your closest friends.

Purchasing a home is a big deal, not to be taken lightly. Whether or not homebuyers are ready to talk to a realtor, there are plenty of apps out there to support a virtual house hunt. Here are some of my favorites available right now:

  • Real Estate by Trulia: This location-based app helps you find homes near you and has different sections for homes to purchase and homes to rent. You can customize your search by lot size, year built and square footage. If you don’t want to judge a book by its cover, you can use this app to search for today’s open houses. If you want an agent, Trulia can help you with that, too. Download for iOS | Download for Android
  • Lovely: This location-based app helps you find homes in the vicinity. You can store your preferences and set alerts, ensuring you’ll be one of the first to know when homes hit the market. Save favorites and link your mobile settings to a web account so you can access them from your computer. If you have a pet, use Lovely to make sure it’ll be welcome in your new home. Download for iOS
  • Homesnap: This gives you the nitty-gritty on a home you already found. Snap a photo with Homesnap to get all kinds of juicy details, from investment potential to whether or not your friends on social networks are looking at it, too. Download for iOS | Download for Android
  • Zillow Mortgages: You found your dream home…but can you afford it? Zillow Mortgages’ affordability calculator can give you the scoop. When you’re ready to refinance, this app can help you figure out how much you need to save and, if needed, review your options. Download for iOS

What are your favorite real estate apps? Let us know in the comments.

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