Buying a home can put you in a more stable financial position. Once you own a house, you might even choose to look into something like home equity for debt consolidation. Leveraging your property in that way is not an option when you’re renting.
So, are you considering buying your first home? In this article, we’ll look at three of the best home buying apps if you have never been through this process before. Each of them tries to simplify your life and reduce potential hassles as you zero in on your dream home.
Trulia is nice because when you look at any listing, you will see the name and contact information of the listing agent who’s in charge of showing the property. If you identify a home that seems perfect or at least merits a showing, you can quickly reach out to the realtor and arrange a visit.
The app allows you to see when there are open houses and highlight homes that interest you. If the price on those homes ever drops, you can get an alert on your phone.
Some users have a gripe with the app. When they look at pictures of a property, the platform prompts them to email or call the listing agent. That gets in the way if all you want to do is browse casually.
Zillow is possibly the best-known home buying platform. One of its key features is that you can look at both realtor-listed and owner-listed properties. If you want to avoid involving a realtor, this app might be right up your alley.
You can find more than 135 million listings on Zillow, on average. Over 36 million home buyers and sellers use the app monthly.
That’s impressive, but take the “Zestimate” of what a property is worth with a grain of salt. The algorithm uses tax records to estimate home values. And it’s sometimes nowhere near market value.
Realtor.com is the search portal used by the National Association of Realtors. However, you don’t have to be part of that organization to take advantage of it.
Its listings and updates are probably the most accurate you’ll find. It refreshes every 15 minutes. That’s helpful if you’re looking for a home in a hot market and you know other home buyers are doing the same.
One potential issue is that if you click the “contact agent” feature on each listing, you won’t actually reach the listing’s agent. You’ll be put into contact with a local real estate agent instead. They’re the ones who pay for this lead service.
These Are Three of the Better Home Buyer Apps
As a first-time home buyer, check out all three options to see which one works best for you. Realtor.com is a solid choice because it has the most accurate listings, and it updates every 15 minutes. It has its detractors, though, since clicking on the “contact agent” feature does not necessarily take you to the agent for that listing.
Zillow is the biggest and best-known home buying and selling app, though the Zestimate for each house is sometimes off-base. As for Trulia, most users agree that its best feature is being able to quickly get in touch with the listing agent for each property. The app is a little pushy about wanting you to reach out, but you can easily ignore those prompts if you want.