If you’re a prospective home buyer, renter or property investor, you now have dozens of ways to do research right in the palm of your hand, on a smartphone or tablet.
Here are just a few mobile apps that are changing the way people sift through thousands of property offerings across the country – and doing it very quickly. Keep in mind that most are free to download, but some require added fees for certain features, services and subscriptions. Confirm the details before downloading from the Apple App Store or Android Market, or from the software provider’s website.
Realtor.com Apps – The National Association of Realtors has Apple, Android and Windows-compatible apps that give mobile access to more than 3 million homes for sale, along with rental and other investment properties. There are GPS-based search functions to locate homes in specific neighborhoods, and users can take notes and rate properties right on the smartphone or tablet. Listings can be saved to a free Realty.com account, and also sent to friends via Facebook and Twitter.
HomeSnap – This app from Sawbuck Real Estate lets users take photos of a home, and then get info like current value, recent sale price and square footage on that property from the app’s GPS functions, which are linked to the company’s database of 90 million homes.
Revestor – The free iPhone app lets rental property investors collect data on variables like estimated rents and future cash flow. The company has so far made the app available in about 10 major U.S. markets, with more on the way.
RentCafe – Another rental-focused application, this one from Yardi Systems enables searches for homes and apartments available for rent, with recently added features letting renters make online payments and submit maintenance requests to landlords.
HomeFinder – The makers of this iPhone and Android app tout the ability to sync data between mobile devices and computers, in addition fast access to property details.
Zillow Apps — This real estate data provider has several offerings available on Apple, Android, Windows and Blackberry mobile platforms. Users can access values on more than 100 million homes, get the latest mortgage rates by community, and also search for apartments and homes available for rent. This company also has apps geared specifically to real estate agents.
House Hunter – From Cre8tive Apps, this helps house-hunters organize and sort through the tons of information they gather during a typical week’s visit to multiple properties. For instance, there are features for ranking homes based on the importance of specific features or factors.
Trulia – This company’s apps also use GPS-enabled search features to keep the home search precise. There are high-res photo galleries, neighborhood information and other key details on properties. Users can also get customized alerts telling them when properties on their wish list have dropped to their sweet-spot price point, and when new homes have gone on the market in desired neighborhoods.
ZipRealty – This company touts apps with features such as a StreetSketch, which lets you draw your desired search area directly on a map; and StreetScan, where you can see the homes for sale around you, no mater where you are at the moment. There are features that display comments from sales agents related to properties, and others to help house-hunters connect with agents best able to help them find their dream home.
Suburb Scout – There’s something to be said for technology that helps you weed out undesirable properties from your search. This Android app from 9:15 Software lets you determine whether a home is located near things that could cause it to lose value in the future. Choose a search radius, and find out whether the neighbors include things like power plants, prisons, sewage plants and noisy airports.
Nathaniel Sparks has been living in New York all his life. Being the sole heir to his father’s garments company Nathaniel dreams of having a quiet life with an estate that would cover large horse barns and sleeping quarters. Of course, he prefers to share this with a family of his own.