Stop me if this sounds familiar: you set out to find a house with some criteria in mind — perhaps you want a certain square footage, a set number of bedrooms and bathrooms, or amenities like a pool or a three-car garage. Maybe you’re looking in a particular area (school district?) or you’d like a house that matches a specific style or era (Victorian, midcentury modern, etc.). And you almost assuredly have a price range. Chances are good that you’ll find a variety of homes that hit some of all the items on your checklist. But once you’ve gone through several you’ll find that they all start to blend together until you can’t remember which ones you liked or why, much less compare them. Anyone who has gone house hunting has faced this issue, but now there is an app that can help you make the most of your search: the aptly named House Hunter.
So what exactly does it do? This Apple app for your favorite iDevice does nothing less than help you to comprehensively catalog the homes you have viewed to create a quick, easy, personal reference guide to complement your house hunting experience. For each listing you visit you can input an address, take photos (including an icon that will automatically appear on your list for a quick visual reference to go with the address), and list features of the home that appeal to you (or alternately, those that stand out as eyesores or future renovation projects). The app also lets you score homes (based on your own criteria) so that your list can quickly reflect the properties you’ve visited that best match your search.
There is also a handy “quick notes” feature that lets you jot down notes as you tour a home so that you can save time during your expedition and enter the info later. And as if this app weren’t good enough, it also features a mortgage calculator so that you can figure out your monthly payments for a particular property on the spot (in case you want to haggle with the seller for a home you really like that is slightly out of your price range). Once you have some info input, you can organize it by address, photo, and score and even view all relevant data on a single-page spreadsheet for quick reference. As a bonus you can send information to contacts in order to get the opinion of an absent partner or family and friends.
This app should be called “my online estate agent“, because it practically does the job of one for you (apart from finding listings for you to look at). It even lets you create custom features for your default list (don’t see an option for “granny flat”? Just add it to the list). Although you’ll have to shell out $3.99 for this app, the price buys you an ad-free experience and you can input an unlimited number of listings to compare. All in all, this comprehensive app is a must-have for anyone on the hunt for a new house.
Thanks to Evan Fischer for this guest post. He is a freelance writer and part-time student at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California.