Long gone are the days of having to go visit a real estate brokerage and flip through a huge book of listings to find what homes are on the market. Now all a buyer has to do is go online! Advances in Smartphones and real estate apps have made house hunting an on-the-go activity. Here’s a list of must-haves to check out for this year’s open house season.
1. Trulia – this app lets you read through user generated reviews of neighborhoods that you might be interested in. You can use their custom search to narrow down your selections, and then save the notes you make on the different locations. Also sign up for email alerts that let you know when new property is available.
2. Mobile apps with GPS capabilities – finding these apps will help you have a more organized plan of action when you’re looking for open houses near you. Easily add the listings to your calendar and then use the GPS to get you there. Move around the interactive map to discover new neighborhoods, and mark off what properties you have been to.
3. Gadgets – use your Smartphone like a pen and paper. Write down notes right in your phone so they’re always conveniently near you. You can also take photos and videos.
4. Social Networks – put Facebook to work! Post photos of the open houses you go to to get friends’ feedback. Also the Trulia app will connect you with Yelp so you can check out what shops and restaurants are in the neighborhood.
5. Message Boards and Blogs – on the Trulia Voices site they offer a community of agents and locals that can answer your questions.
These new technologies are making home buying a much more enjoyable experience. It’s fun to keep track of all the places you look at, get feedback from friends, and compare pictures. It’s a great time to be shopping for a home!