Few things in life combine excitement and stress quite like buying a new home, whether you’re searching for the first time or buying your tenth house. From discovering fantastic listings to calculating exactly how much that mortgage will cost you, smartphone apps help you simplify the process so you can focus on searching for houses and submitting a flawless loan application. Each app on this list is free to download and works on iOS and Android.
Zillow Real Estate
No real estate search begins without the perfect house-seeking mobile app. Zillow offers lots of search criteria, tons of listings, and extensive information about the homes you view. Along with tax information and sales histories, Zillow also gives you the Zestimate, their take on the value of the houses you’re looking at, which they compute using a variety of factors such as the neighborhood, public property data, and the current market. Save your favorite houses straight to the app so you have a ready-made list to share with your real estate agent.
The US Census Bureau created Dwellr to give people easy demographic information about US towns and cities. Dwellr is an indispensable app if you’re trying to decide where to move, choosing between a few locations, or simply exploring where you’d most like to live. You begin by building a profile. The app asks you questions about yourself, like what region of the US you prefer, what kind of view you want (mountains, coast, etc.) and what climate you prefer. Then it recommends cities it thinks you would like. You can edit your information and assign importance to different factors, like education and the average age of the city’s residents.
My LendingTree Mobile
Finding the best mortgage rates and comparing lenders is one of the most stressful parts of buying a new house. My LendingTree Mobile is a fantastic resource when you’re looking for a new loan. The app helps you shop for the best mortgage rates and offers you a free monthly credit score. You answer questions about your budget, your down payments, and your current income, and LendingTree comes back with lenders most likely to offer you the lowest rates. You can choose which ones you want to apply for. Be warned: lenders will probably start calling you if your credit score is good!
Mortgage Calculator by Quicken Loans
With an idea of the interest rates you can expect, you need a way to calculate what your monthly payments will be to truly understand the impact a mortgage will have on your finances. The handy Quicken Loans app offers four calculators that will help you figure out how expensive of a house you can afford, how much you’ll owe in interest over the life of your mortgage and more.
While these apps don’t replace valuable professional help, each on this list helps you with an important step in the home buying process. You can’t plan for everything, but you can find your dream home in a city that suits you, and ensure you’re getting the best interest rate on your mortgage!
Image via Flickr by MarkMoz12