More than 77 percent of people own a smartphone.1 The average person (whoever that is) checks a smartphone about 50 times a day, with people under the age of 25 checking it an average of 74 times.1 We check it while we’re waiting in line and in our leisure time.  Whether we’re scrolling through social media, reading emails or getting breaking news, we are on our phones.  It’s a wonder we still call them phones!

With the apps which I am going to share, you can use your phone to get organized (whether you plan to buy or sell or just to have a better quality of life), save money, learn about homes in your neighborhood and be inspired for your next home renovation project. Since 81 percent of people, have a smartphone handy during waking hours it might as well make your life easier.3

Apps For Homeowners: Get Inspiration and Assistance

These apps offer ideas for the next remodel or home decorating project. And you might even get to preview it before it’s done!

 1.) Houzz (Free)
The Houzz app is the number one for home design.  Well, it’s not a surprise. You get access to inspiration, blogs and design ideas on your phone or tablet. That alone is fabulous.  But the app also features “View in My Room 3D” to allow you to view products in your home before you buy. Take a photo of the space and a 3D version of the product appears. So like The Jetsons!  You can browse products, save designs you’d like to view later and even connect with local professionals in your area!  Love the Houzz app.
(Android, iOS)

 2.) iHandy Carpenter ($1.99)
Hanging photos, shelves, mirrors or artwork? Keep themeven and aligned with this powerful app. This is an all-in-one tool with a plumb bob, a surface level, a bubble level bar, a ruler and a protractor. Hold your smartphone to the wall and the app will take care of the rest.  Who knew?  So amazing…
(iOS, Android)

3.) Color911 ($3.99)
For a fresh color scheme in your home or to find the right shades for rugs, lamp shades or throw pillows, the Color911 app provides pre-selected color palettes to match your color scheme. Take a photo of your room or whatever you want to match and the app will create a beautiful palette full of complementary colors. You can write notes about your palette and organize it all into folders for sharing with family, friends or your design professional.
(iOS)


Bonus Apps for Homeowners:

AroundMe (Free)
Want a great restaurant? Planning to meet friends for coffee shop nearby? Desperate for the nearest ATM? AroundMe searches for restaurants, banks, gas stations, hotels or movies near where you live. Simple to learn more about the neighborhood! (iOS, Android, Windows)

 BrightNest (Free), Brightnest has suggestions on how to make your home a better place to live, from keeping things clean to making them colorful. Created by Angie’s List, categories of customized tips (money-saving, eco-friendly, healthy, cooking, cleaning, creative) will provide information and inspiration. BrightNest offers easy-to-follow instructions, a personal schedule and helpful reminders. (iOS, Android, Web)


Apps For Sellers: Get Your Home Listed and Sold More Quickly

Are you thinking of selling? There are a lot of tasks to complete before putting your home on the market. These apps manage your to-dos so you can prepare your home more efficiently with fewer distractions.

4.) Homesnap (Free)
Use the Homesnap app to snap a photo of any home, nationwide, to learn about it. When you’re ready to sell, snap a few of the homes in your neighborhood to compare valuation. This app isn’t perfect, which is why you should always consult with a local real estate agent. However, it can give you a general idea of the value of your home compared to others in the neighborhood. (iOS and Android devices)

 5.) Docusign (Free)
Use the DocuSign app to complete approvals and agreements in minutes—not days—from anywhere on any device. If you’ve done a transaction with Four Corners Real Estate Group, you have probably signed your documents using this tool. You will receive push notifications when a document is waiting for your signature and you can view and organize all your docs on-the-go from your phone. Use this easily downloadable app to receive and sign documents for free. You will need a paid account to send documents; pricing starts at $10 a month. (iOS, Android, Windows, Web).

6.) Wunderlist (Free)
For use on the Web and mobile devices, Wunderlist is a really clever to-do list and task management program to make it easy to create a list and add tasks, reminders and due dates. You can organize your ideas into separate lists and create tasks within that list. You can then email them to whomever you collaborate, such as a spouse or your Four Corners Real Estate Group real estate professional. (Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Web)


Bonus App for Sellers:

Real Estate Dictionary (Free)
Not sure what all those industry specific terms mean? Now you can search thousands of words and phrases from real estate, mortgage, and financial dictionaries for clear and in-depth definitions. This is a handy app for anyone who’s buying or selling and wants to learn more about the process. That is if you don’t want to ask your agent.  (iOS, Android)

Apps For Renters: Get Ready to Buy

Not ready to buy a home just yet? These apps will help you get into the perfect rental while you save money, build a budget and get on track for homeownership.

7.) Mint (Free)
Do you know where your money goes each month? Manage your bills, budget and credit score all in one place. Mint is a free app to view your complete financial picture and track your spending. Anyone can use it, but it’s especially useful for renters who want to curb their spending to save for that down payment. Mint helps you cut spending in order to save a little extra each month. (iOS, Android)

8.) Acorns ($1 a month to start)
Acorns saves your loose change with an automated savings tool. The app rounds up your purchases on linked credit or debit cards, depositing the change into a computer-managed investment portfolio. Acorns is free for four years for college students.  Everyone else pays $1 a month until the account balance hits $5,000, then 0.25% of their account balance per year. This is a fabulous tool for anyone having a hard time saving.  You know who you are.  (iOS, Android)

9.) Apartments & Rentals by Walk Score
Designed for the rental hunter, this app finds your next home or apartment in a specific area, or near things you love to do.. They aggregate listings from top rental sites. At Four Corners Real Estate Group we like for walkability scores, determined by access to public transit, things to do, bike trails, short drivetime, etc. (iOS, Android)

 Credit Karma (Free)
Preparing to buy?  Credit Karma is a free app that allows you to safely monitor your score and receive updates on ways you can improve your credit score over time. Financial calculators and educational articles help you understand what credit truly is. It doesn’t hurt your credit when you check on it. (iOS, Android, Web)


Apps for Buyers: Find the Perfect Home

When you’re ready to buy, there are several apps that can help you stay on top of the process. Whether you’re browsing online at different neighborhoods and homes and can’t seem to remember where all your saved data and information went or you want to save an important task or a neighborhood or listing clipped from the Web, these apps help you keep it all straight.

 10.) Dwellr (Free)
Dwellr is run by the U.S Census Bureau and provides demographic information about the neighborhoods you are considering moving to. A variety of education/school, real estate, transportation, and population statistics give you an overview of living there. For the feel of a potential neighborhood, Dwellr may just be the app to help you find your next city or neighborhood. (iOS, Android)

 11.) Evernote (Free for the Basic version, $34.99 per year for Plus and $69.99 per year for Premium)
Collect ideas, images and notes in one place to access later on any of your devices. Categorize your notes so you can find them quickly and share them with others in a group notebook. The Web Clipper feature added to your browser will clip and save articles, blogs and images from the Web. For collecting research on a business idea or looking for inspiration for a home renovation, Evernote can help you keep it all together.  It totally does away with the yellow sticky notes most of us use to organize.  (Web, iOS, Android)

 12.) Mortgage Calculator (Free)
There are a lot of free mortgage calculators available for download that will help you quickly determine what your monthly payment will be while you’re house hunting. We recommend picking your favorite and using it to help you shop in your price range. These numbers should be used as a guide, work with your agent and mortgage professional to learn exactly what type of loan you’ll qualify for. (Web, iOS, Android)

13.) Google Maps (Free)
Google Maps is a must-have for anyone, especially when house hunting. To visit a property or check out a neighborhood use Google Maps to get turn by turn directions to the house. Use the satellite view to get a good idea how far important things like schools, parks, shopping, bus stops, and restaurants are. You can even check out your potential neighbor’s house! (Web, Android, iOS,)

Ready to move beyond these apps?

So, I’ve gotten you started down the road.  But when you’re thinking of buying or selling your home, or when you know someone else who is, give us a call.  We provide a Five Star Experience.

Sources:

Pew Research Center, January 12, 2017 http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/01/12/evolution-of-technology/

Deloitte, 2016 global mobile consumer survey: US edition https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/technology-media-and-telecommunications/articles/global-mobile-consumer-survey-us-edition.html

Gallup, July 9, 2015 http://www.gallup.com/poll/184046/smartphone-owners-check-phone-least-hourly.aspx