Monday, March 17, 2014

Must-have real estate and mortgage apps for home buyers.

If buying real estate is all about location then this neighborhood information app should be your best friend.  It allows you to take a mini tour of almost any neighborhood I the world and learn its history, culture, demographics, and what companies operate there.  Free.

Suburb Scout:
Another indispensible app to investigate your potential new neighborhood is Suburb Scout.  But this one will tell you the bad news that’s hard to find out until your first night – like if there’s an airplane flying low overhead, a landfill or sewage treatment plant down the block, or a prison in your backyard.  $1.99.

Dictionary of Real Estate Terms:
If you’re buying or selling a home for the first time, you might become confused by all of the technical real estate terms – and a little reluctant to stop and ask all the time.  So the Dictionary of Real Estate Terms app will be your favorite resource.  $1.99

Mortgage Calculator:
So you talked to a loan officer and got preapproved, but now as you see home after home with your realtor, all at different prices, you have a tough time calculating your future monthly payment.  If scribbling math on a napkin isn’t a sophisticated enough method and your loan officer is too busy to die along all day, try this app to easily compute interest rates, monthly payments, and even price per square foot and amortization.  99 cents.

Home Buying Power:
This great app goes further than your average loan calculator, allowing you to input different variables like your desired payment, down payment, percentage of your income, and loan term to figure out what price you can really afford.  $1.99.

Magic Plan:
This app allows you to create and manipulate custom floor plans just by moving your phone around and taking photos.  This smart technology assembles and maps the floor plan just by assembling the contents of those photos – pretty neat!  $2.99.

Photo Measures:
Will your massive sofa set fit in this home’s small living room?  This app lets you take a picture of a room and then save the measurements of the room’s dimensions on the photo.  Measure door widths, window placement, cabinet layout, or anything else you’d like and store them right on a photo of the room for easy recall when you’re back at your home.  Free.

Safe Neighborhood:
An unfortunate reality of buying a home is the potential that you live near a registered sex offender.  This app gives you access to the National Sex Offender Registry to research if any live in your neighborhood, and even pill up names and photos so you can be vigilant.  Free.

Crime Stats:
Sometimes looks can be deceiving or the thieves come out at night in an otherwise seemingly safe neighborhood you only toured during the day.  So Crime Stats will give you raw data on violent crimes, arrests, and property crimes nationwide, and allow you to compare against national averages and other cities.  99 cents.

Around Me:
This fun app let’s you know the distance your new home is from important amenities like banks, ATM’s, stores, the post office, restaurants, and coffee shops.  Free.

As you’re shopping for homes you might want some inspiration what remodeling you can do to spruce it up, and Houzz will let you flip through a million photos of redesigned properties with exterior and interior design ideas.  Free. 

Color Smart:
So you love the home but you just can’t get past visualizing the puke green and burn orange 1970’s colors in the living room?  Behr Paint’s ColorSmart app lets you take a photo of a room and then change the wall color to any Behr Paint sample right on your phone!  So cool!  Free.

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