8 Free Real Estate Apps to Simplify Your House Search

8 Free Real Estate Apps to Simplify Your House Search

The following article was witten by Anjerika Wilmer and published in the May/June 2015 issue of iPhone Life magazine. Learn how to get the most from your iPhone by clicking here to subscribe.

Ready to look for a new home, but don’t know where to start? Forget spending countless hours online or checking your newspaper’s local listings—there’s a quicker, more efficient way to find your dream property. As well as posting photos and prices, many of the following apps list previous sale prices of neighboring homes, local crime rates, and even rankings of nearby schools. All of you potential new homeowners can now breathe a collective sigh of relief as these eight free apps simplify your real estate experience. 

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Looking to Buy

Real Estate by Redfin (Free)

Redfin is one of the most sophisticated real estate apps on the market, claiming the most current listings (updated every few minutes) and 20 percent more agent-listed homes than competitors. While limited to larger cities, Redfin makes finding a new home a cinch for those searching within the 32 US metro areas it serves. The app’s user-friendly interface, collection of aesthetically pleasing photos for each residence, and ample supply of details—including open houses and tours—sets it apart from the pack. If the property you’re viewing is flagged as a “Hot Home,” act quickly! This simply means someone will likely snap it up within 10 days.

Real Estate by Zillow (Free)

From brownstones in urban neighborhoods to sprawling countryside estates, Zillow boasts the most comprehensive listings of homes for sale. A quick search of your targeted city will yield instant results, thanks to the app’s fast-loading maps. Included in each listing you’ll find the property’s sale history, values of neighboring homes, information about local schools, and the estimated monthly cost of utilities. Sign up for Zillow’s notifications to stay informed of any new market listings or price drops in your area.

Homesnap (Free)

Well, here’s a revolutionary concept in the world of real estate apps: just snap and go. Thanks to Homesnap, you can take a photo of the home you’re eyeing, and with the help of GPS, the app will pull up the listing for the property. Along with all the common features you’d expect in a real estate app, Homesnap also features prices for similar and recently sold homes. Social media enthusiasts will find Homesnap especially convenient, as it allows you to share your snaps with friends, send recommendations, and leave comments and feedback.

Trulia Real Estate (Free)

Trulia flaunts a friendly, visually pleasing interface that ensures easy usability. One feature that sets Trulia apart from the competition is its detailed overview of nearby amenities and schools. If you’re moving to a completely new area, then the app’s interactive map, crime rate information, and projected seasonal weather conditions will keep you informed. To further simplify the process of buying a home, a built-in calculator will help estimate your mortgage rate.

Looking to Rent

HotPads (Free)

If you’re in the beginning stages of your hunt for a home to rent, HotPads is great for getting a sense of what’s out there. While the fine print about each house or apartment is pretty standard, where this app really shines is with its detailed photos that are great for browsing. Both the app’s property listings and overall usability are straightforward, so you won’t have to worry about being overwhelmed with too many options. And with the added ability to mark your favorite search results, it’s easy to keep track of what you like.

Lovely Apartments and Houses for Rent (Free)

If you’re looking for a no-nonsense rental app that gets the job done without all the bells and whistles, then Lovely is the company you’re looking for. First off, the app has you specify the address, city, or neighborhood where you’re looking to rent. Through its filters, you can then select your price range, number of bedrooms, and pet requirements. Best of all, once you set your rental preferences, the app will send you updates when new apartments hit the market.

realtor.com rentals (Free)

Similar to Lovely, realtor.com uses an easy search tool based on home specs to help you narrow in on your dream home. Because the app is updated every 15 minutes, you’ll never have to worry about a lag in new postings—its accuracy is that on-point. Out of all the real estate apps, realtor.com contains the most detailed information about local schools. If you have children, then knowing the local school system (think all the way down to the student–teacher ratio) may be a selling point for you.

Homes.com Real Estate Search (Free)

This app for both renters and buyers boasts every property type that you can imagine—from residential homes and townhouses to available lots and land. Quickly toggle between home values and rental price, and the tabs will quickly yield these all-important digits. Set your desired price range and specify home details, like the number of bedrooms and baths you require. A nice function of this app is that it offers a grid view in which you can see snapshots of multiple homes at once. As you can imagine, this greatly streamlines the search and find process. 

Top Image Credit: yu_tsai / Shutterstock.com

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iPhone Life Team