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June 13, 2016

Buying a home? You'll need these four apps

Real Estate Mobile Apps

Content sponsored by Anne Koons - Native 020715

For most people, there is no decision in life more important than purchasing a home. If you want to make the right choice, then you need to have all the knowledge you can get your hands on to make an informed decision. While the best answer will always be to look to a professional for guidance and advice, there are a few mobile apps that you can use to help you along the way as you pinpoint the perfect place to settle down. Let’s take a look at four great ones:

1. Walk Score

Walk Score is your one-stop shop to learn everything you need to know about commuting from any particular neighborhood. No matter where you’re looking to live, they provide scores from 0 to 100 based on three criteria: walking, transit and biking.

For example, if your neighborhood or street qualifies as a “walker’s paradise” (90+) that means you can run all your errands without a car. Bike-ability is measured on the quality of the terrain and access to bike routes; transit is measured on the convenience of accessible options for all forms of travel to as many destinations as possible.

When you look up your neighborhood or street, it will give you a breakdown not just of the scores in these three criteria, but also offer recommendations like your ideal bus route, subway stations, and nearby parks. Hoping to move to a new city? Walk Score can even show you how other neighborhoods compare to your current community.

But wait, there’s more. Walk Score also provides two separate crime grades, one personal and one property. Personal crime grade will help you determine if it’s safe to walk around late at night. Property crime grade gives you a sense of the safety of your home itself.

2. GreatSchools Finder

If you’re hoping to find a neighborhood perfect for your family’s future, GreatSchools Finder provides exactly what the name promises. With detailed ratings, reviews, and test scores from every school across the U.S., it’s the best tool out there to help you pinpoint the quality of schools in your area. If you’re looking to move your family to a new location, this is a tool you can’t ignore.

All schools in the database are rated and reviewed by parents and educators, and it’s a great place to start if you’re looking to find the perfect school in the perfect neighborhood for your kids.

But don’t think this isn’t a tool for you if you don’t have any children. Surprisingly, mapping out the best schools in the area is also an important part of the house hunting process for families without kids. School performance can have a real impact on home values, so it’s something every savvy homebuyer should keep in mind.

3. Houzz

When you’re searching for a home, your picture of what it’s going to look like with all your furniture and accouterments on display is radically different from what you’ll first see. It’s helpful to imagine what it’s going to look like after you’ve moved in, but this app takes the process a step further.

If you have a property in mind, but aren’t quite ready to commit, Houzz provides professional advice on interior design, decorating, and landscape ideas. If you don’t want to speak directly to a professional, you can browse their catalog of 10 million photos and filter based on your particular tastes.

Once you’ve got the perfect picture of what each room in your new home is going to look like, you can use Houzz to begin shopping for all the pieces that are going to turn your dream into a reality.


The mobile version of this excellent house listing service puts all that you need to find a perfect home right into your pocket. Not only does this app provide regularly updated listings for homes nearby, but it also allows you to filter by all the criteria that will help you determine the type of home you want — pet friendly, parking, amenities, etc.

Simply draw your search area on the provided map, and you can browse to your heart’s content. Every listing is loaded with all the details you would need to know about your future home including great pictures of the interior and exterior.  

If you’re still not exactly sure what kind of home you want, also offers a sister app perfect for your particular situation. Doorsteps Swipe is the so-called “Tinder of real-estate,” but its services go well beyond the “swipe right if you like, swipe left if you don’t” functionality.

Just like the main listings app, you can filter by specific criteria like rent vs. buy and number of bedrooms. Once that’s done, you can swipe right for all of the listings you like to help narrow your search down to the best options for you.

Finding the perfect home is no small task, and every ounce of help you can get is worth considering. With these apps and a trusted real estate agent, not only will locating the right home be much easier, but it can also be more fun than you ever expected.