The 6 Best Real Estate Apps and Sites for House Hunting

Gone are the days of combing through newspaper ads and aimlessly driving through neighborhoods in search of real estate opportunities. Thanks to technological advancements, finding and purchasing a new home has never been easier. There...

Real Estate

Gone are the days of combing through newspaper ads and aimlessly driving through neighborhoods in search of real estate opportunities. Thanks to technological advancements, finding and purchasing a new home has never been easier. There are numerous real estate apps and websites available to help you navigate the market and find your dream home. We've done the research for you and handpicked the six best platforms for house hunting.

1. Zillow

When it comes to real estate, Zillow is a name that needs no introduction. It is widely regarded as one of the best homebuying apps available. Zillow offers a one-stop platform for buying, selling, and renting homes. With over 100 million listings in its database, you can easily filter your search based on various criteria such as residence type, neighborhood, price range, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and parking spaces. Each listing comes with a Zestimate®, which is an approximate value of the house generated by Zillow's proprietary home valuation algorithm. Zillow also provides an extensive real estate agent directory and mortgage tools to support you throughout the homebuying process. The app is free to use for both buyers and sellers, with revenue generated through real estate agent fees and advertisements. Zillow also offers insightful market research data, including regional home value forecasting and rental rates.

2. Realtor.com

Supported by the National Association of REALTORS®, Realtor.com is undoubtedly one of the top real estate sites available. With millions of listings from nearly a thousand listing services, this platform offers two unique features: Street Peak and Sign Snap. These features allow you to use your smartphone camera to capture a picture of a home or For Sale sign and instantly access the listing on the site if it is in the Realtor.com database. Each listing provides comprehensive information about the property's history, surrounding neighborhood, schools, and crime rate. Realtor.com's filtering options include not only square footage and price range but also specific amenities like tennis courts, flooring style, and fireplaces. Although Realtor.com doesn't conduct its own home value estimate and doesn't allow direct contact with home sellers, it connects you with licensed REALTORS® to assist in your home search. In select markets, you can even earn money through their Buyer Cash Rewards program.

3. Trulia

Similar to Zillow and Realtor.com, Trulia offers users access to millions of residential property listings, including single-family homes, condos, and townhouses. What sets Trulia apart is its video walkthroughs and 3D tours, providing you with a virtual in-person tour of your dream home. The platform allows you to create a customized feed and receive personalized notifications for homes that match your unique requirements. Trulia stands out with its simplistic site design, monthly property cost visualizations, and map overlays that offer insights into specific neighborhoods. With these features, Trulia undoubtedly ranks among the best real estate sites available.

4. Redfin

If you're looking to save money on real estate agent commission fees, Redfin is the app for you. It offers lower commission fees for users who both buy and sell with Redfin. Additionally, Redfin offers the Redfin Refund program, where you can receive a portion of the Redfin Agent's commission back after purchasing a home. This money can be applied to your closing costs. The app and website are user-friendly, allowing you to easily schedule virtual or in-person tours with a Redfin Agent. Before going on a home tour, be sure to check out Redfin's recommended questions to ask your REALTOR®.

5. Homesnap

If you enjoy combining photography with your house hunt, Homesnap is the ideal platform for you. By simply taking a picture of a home through the app, Homesnap uses real-time data to provide you with information about the property, its history, and price range. The app utilizes multiple listing services and public records, taking your search beyond what Realtor.com offers. Homesnap's built-in messaging tool enables easy sharing of home listings with friends and family. The app also provides details on commute times and public transportation options. With its user-friendly design, even those less tech-savvy will have no trouble finding their dream home using Homesnap.

6. Rocket Homes

Rocket Homes is a great choice for those who require financial assistance in their house hunt. The platform offers a variety of home listings while guiding you through the mortgage application process. The app even provides a free credit score tracking report, allowing you to gauge your readiness to invest in a new home. Although Rocket Homes doesn't offer significant reductions in lender fees or mortgage rates, its streamlined documentation process and financial tools make it valuable for anyone in the market to buy a home.

Once I Choose a Home, What's Next?

Using one of these top real estate sites to find your new home is just the beginning. Check out the Home Matters blog from American Home Shield® for tips and extensive resources for first-time homebuyers. Their helpful guides cover topics such as expected pre-paid costs when buying a home, using home equity loans, and buying a home while dealing with student loans.

Remember, finding your dream home is now easier than ever before with the right tools at your fingertips. Happy house hunting!

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