If house hunting is on your to-do list for 2013, you might
want to consider one or more of these smartphone apps.
CNET's Daniel Terdiman said that the best thing about these
apps is the fact that they use your smartphone's
global-positioning system to figure out where you are, and then
provide a wealth of information about nearby homes.
All, except HomeSnapare available in both
) iOS and
) Android versions. The Android version of HomeSnap is "coming
soon" according to the developer.
Redfin is a property-listing app from the web-based real
estate firm of the same name. Simply enter a ZIP code or the name
of a city or neighborhood you want to check out, or type in your
location to see listings near your present position.
Terdiman says Redfin does an excellent job of indicating
whether a home for sale is already under agreement. This is
important because homes under agreement, while technically still
for sale, are nor worth spending time on unless the deal falls
) is an app that provides mobile access to the Zillow website,
one of the most popular listing sites on the Internet. One unique
feature of Zillow is the "Zestimate" feature, which uses special
algorithms to come up with a suggested value for the home.
"Zestimates" are more useful for comparison than as bargaining
data, since the listings are not always up to date and the values
are not based on a professional real estate appraisal.
As with the website, the app includes calculators to help
estimate whether you can afford a given house or whether
refinancing your existing mortgage makes sense.
HomeSnap (iPhone/iPad only)
HomeSnap is unique due to its ability to let users take a
snapshot of a home using their smartphone's camera and instantly
get information about the property.
The app uses the phone's GPS to match up coordinates with
available properties. The photo is more for the benefit of the
That said, GPS recognition is reasonably accurate and provides
access to the home's estimated value, along with whether it's for
sale and other details.
This app, designed by the National Association of Realtors,
offers the normal search features, allows you to find nearby
upcoming open houses, and pricing data on properties that have
recently changed hands.
Another unique tool is Realtor.com's "Area Scout." It provides
a neighborhood's current average asking price, average available
square footage, and average price per square foot.
) is similar to other apps in many ways. It shows nearby
properties that are for sale, for rent, have upcoming open
houses, or have recently sold.
However, only Trulia includes a button that filters out all
properties except those that have had recent price reductions - a
useful feature for bargain hunters.
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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