Best Apps for House And Apartment Hunting

Don't let the housing market get the best of you with these apps.

Overview

Trying to find the perfect place to live can make stress run high and your life miserable. You have to navigate through phony listings, endless showings, fees, applications, and contracts. The internet has revolutionized the real estate environment with powerful search engines that can filter housing options in dozens of ways and help you figure out what the neighborhood is like. Stay on top of your hunt with your iOS device and get the perfect abode.

Essential Apps

  • Free

    Realtor.com Real Estate - Homes for Sale and Apartments for Rent

    by Move, Inc.

    Bad news first: this app focuses on listings from agents, so you won't find many (if at all) listings by owners. Heaps of good news: this app is very accurate. It has listings for for-rent and for-sale homes and all of the standard filters you would want to refine your search. Three features put this app over the top: the "draw" option where you can draw your desired search area, its constantly refreshed listings, and its labeling houses by price on the map.

  • Free

    PadMapper Apartment Search

    by PadMapper, Inc.

    I love filters. Apartment hunting is hard, so the faster and more easily I can narrow down my search at the start, the happier I am. Padmapper is one of the best apartment search engines online, with more filters than you can shake a stick at. The app has most of PadMapper's basic filters, but lacks the cross-searches of other sites that their online version offers. However, the ability to have filters for things like full-term leases, rooms/shares, no fee/by owner only, and pets, this app already makes itself stand out from the herd. The downside of this app is its wide-net approach to listings. So, be prepared to contact many locations as the site does not always update listings quickly.

  • Free

    Real Estate - Homes for Sale, Apartments for Rent

    by Trulia

    This app is great. Like many other apps, it lacks the filters that PadMapper gives you, but Trulia's smooth, streamlined interface and useful "Layers" feature make it essential. Pick whether you want to rent or buy a place and the app will instantly pull up a solid amount of listings. Then, go to the lower left hand corner and select "Layers." With this feature, you can look at heatmaps, local boundaries, amenities, and schools. This way, you can get a feel of an area without having to schlep blindly from county to county.

  • Free

    Real Estate by Redfin - Search Condos, Houses, and Homes For Sale

    by Redfin

    Redfin, an app made especially for house hunting, was brought to my attention by Jonathan, one of our readers. He found Redfin to have the most accurately updated listings and noted the app has a great "Favorites" option if you are a (free) member of Redfin. By marking a house as a favorite, you get alerts on the status and any changes that happen to the listing. Another unique feature I have found on this app is its "Open House Times" sort feature. Get your house tours organized and never miss an open house again. In addition, when you save a search, Redfin will keep track of new listings that pop up for that search and email you about new homes. The downside of this app is its availability. As of now, it is only available in certain major U.S. cities.

Notable Apps

  • Free

    HotPads Rentals & Real Estate

    by Hotpads.com

    HotPads is a very popular online housing search engine, but their app falls short and lacks most of the website's features. The best parts of this app are the number of listings that show up when you search for places and the symbols they use on the map to delineate the type of housing. The worst part is there are a very limited number of filters; there isn't even one for square footage. Still, this is an app worth glancing at or using if you have a HotPads account (you can save your searches and favorite listings).

  • Free

    MyApartmentMap Apartments Search

    by MyApartmentMap

    This app is only for apartment hunting, but its innovative approach makes it worth noting. The UI is split into four tabs: List, Map, Data, and Deals. The list and map views are found in most the apps listed, but the latter two tabs make this app great. The data tab shows you the average rent for your area, the rent nearby, and rental trends. The deals tab (supposedly) lists special promotions and deals from complexes, but in my experience, the deals are nothing to write home about. Nonetheless, these unique twists make this app worth keeping an eye on.

  • Free

    Real Estate by Smarter Agent

    by Smarter Agent

    This app has some awesome features. It doesn't have many rental listings (using other apps, I got dozens of rentals in my area, but only one with this app), but its for-sale listings are much better. So, I'd definitely check out this app if you're on the market to buy a house. Now, on to the features. This app draws lifestyle, entertainment, transportation (!), services, education, community, and government locations from the internet and maps it on to the location of your choosing. So, let's say you're a young family who wants to be green and use public transportation as much as possible. Pan the map to your desired area, select "Schools," "Libraries," and "Public Transportation," from the bottom menu and presto! You can plan out your house hunting according to these locations.

Decent Apps

  • Free

    Homes.com Real Estate Search - Homes & Apartments For Sale or Rent

    by Homes.com

    There are a lot of great things about this app, but its listings aren't always up to date and it's littered with ads. The points that make this a decent app instead of a ho-hum one are their "Save Search," monthly payment calculator, and agent search features. If they didn't just rely on agency listings and added a "Recent Listing" sort option, this app would be a real contender.

  • Free

    Real Estate by Zillow – Homes & Apartments, For Sale or Rent

    by Zillow.com

    You would think that such a hugely popular name in real estate would have its programmers develop a better app, but Zillow falls behind in a couple of crucial ways. While it has the cool "Draw" feature that lets you draw where you'd like to live on the map, it lacks filters. As a result, you have to sift through hundreds of listings to see fees and pet allowances. However, it does have a nice interface and lets you differentiate between homes for sale and for rent. The best thing about this app is its ""Listing Type" option where you can filter whether the listing is from an owner or agent and whether it's a new home or foreclosure.

Even More Apps To Help Your Search

  • Free

    Mortgage Calculator FREE

    by Left Coast R&D, Inc

    After you buy your new home, download this app and get your finances in order. This mortgage calculator is great for giving yourself a picture of your mortgage payments. Fiddle with variables to see what your best payment plan is.

  • Free

    Homesnap Real Estate & MLS Homes for Sale

    by Sawbuck

    Ever wish you could find out more about a house by just taking a picture of it? Enter HomeSnap. Take a picture of any house across the U.S. and you can find out its square footage, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, estimated price (if it's not on the market), nearby schools, and tax information. If the house is for sale, the app will pull up lots of additional information and give you the asking price.

  • $4.99

    Genius Scan+ - PDF Scanner

    by The Grizzly Labs

    Real estate necessitates paperwork and parties on both sides of the real estate trade are constantly swapping papers. Turn your iOS device into a portable scanner with Genius Scan+ (free version also available). Take a picture of any document and the app will convert it into a pdf or jpg. Take multiple snaps and the app will automatically combine all the pictures into one document. The interface is simple and eliminates the stress of having to run home all the time to scan forms.

Alternate Versions of Apps Mentioned

Other Apps