About to become a homeowner? Currently house hunting?
There are plenty of apps available now that can make finding and personalising your first home easier.
Here are some of the best property apps to help first-time buyers. If you think we’ve missed any out, be sure to let us know your thoughts over on Twitter!
Starting your search – house finding apps
Let’s start at the beginning, here are our top picks of property apps for the house hunting process.
Remember, though, you may want to do more digging than this. Sites that act on behalf of sellers are unlikely to give the downside of a property or neighbourhood.
You need plenty of help as a first-time buyer!
Nestoria indexes estate agent adverts across the UK, saving you from trawling hundreds of websites for your dream home.
It’s got a lot of other useful tools and even lets you swap between property for sale or for rent in the same location – great if you toying between buying or renting and maybe want to ‘try before you buy’.
Get access to private property sales via Hoffr, which provides a private marketplace where it’s free to browse properties for sale. You’ll need a Facebook account for verification. After that, you can find properties you like, request to attend open homes and even submit an offer via the app.
This offers a good starting point to help you search for properties, compare house prices and give you a better understanding of where you’d like to live.
Property apps to help when viewing
Viewing a property for the first time is tougher than you may think. There’s plenty you need to consider!
Remember, during this process, an app alone isn’t enough. First-time buyers should ask plenty of questions to both the estate agent and the seller.
However, these apps can offer guidance, helping you get to know the area better:
AroundMe can be a useful tool to find the nearest bank, supermarket or park, complete with maps and user ratings – it can help pinpoint those all-important requirements.
Add to your local knowledge with Crime Map (with data from the police). This gives a detailed breakdown of local crime levels and compares it to the national average – offering peace of mind and an idea about what your future insurance premiums may be!
It’s not always possible to see a property in its best light – literally. Viewing on a wet, grey day makes it tricky to imagine how things could look in better weather. The Sun Seeker app enables you to check the path of the sun and exposure of a property to help visualise on the greyest of days.
House apps to get you organised on moving day
One common first-time buyer mistake is not getting organised before moving day. These apps might help avoid this issue:
When it’s time to move, web app Wunderlist lets you create multiple lists as you lead up to the big day.
You can share it, set helpful dates and reminders and assign to-dos for the people sharing the app with you.
Taking an inventory before you move is a good idea. The Sortly app creates a visual inventory of your belongings.
Insurance for first-time buyers, (or indeed anyone buying a house) is extremely important. Keeping a picture catalogue of your possessions can make it easier if you ever need to make a claim.
Housing apps to help you make a home
Can technology help you settle in?
You may want to start measuring on a viewing – see if the space is really going to work for you. Plus, once moved in, there’ll be plenty of measuring up for curtains, furniture and carpets.
These apps may help:
The Air Measure app turns a smartphone into an augmented reality-powered tape measure. With additional tools including a floor plan tool, spirit level and stud finder this is a handy app to help with those DIY projects in your new house.
Dulux Trade Paint Expert
Dulux Trade Paint Expert, designed for professional decorators, has useful tools and information, including the ‘Paint Expert Visualiser’ helping you see a room in any colour, live. It can even help work out the amount of paint you’ll need!
When you’re looking for ideas to decorate the new place, the Houzz app lets you browse for images to pin on to mood boards for inspiration.
As well as this, it enables you to browse more than 16 million photos of home interiors and exteriors, find, view and buy products for your home and get advice from professionals such as architects.
Smart technology, smart home
What to run your home as energy efficiently as possible? Apps may be able to help you save money:
If you like the idea of a smart home, check out the Hive App and its associated family of intelligent devices. This a British Gas initiative that lets you control your heating, lights, sensors and plugs.
Not only can it make your home more energy-efficient and help reduce bills, you can also make it appear you’re home, or even see who’s at your front door when you are not there, helping deter unwanted visitors.
Of course, you will want as much information as possible – more than apps can provide!
A property report gives a detailed review of the property itself as well as its surrounding area. There’s vital local area data on crime rates, schools and local amenities as well as advice on how to use the information to your benefit. Get yours below.