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The Gender Spectrum Collection

Homebuying season has arrived, bringing with it a laundry list of activity for buyers and sellers. Organizing all the moving parts can be challenging, but now there are apps designed to offload some of the burden and save you time and money on your real estate journey.

For homebuyers, the to-do list includes checking your credit score, getting your down payment together, finding an agent, looking at houses and securing a mortgage. The list is a little different for sellers — especially if they forgo an agent and try to sell their house themselves.

To help you get organized, budget your spending and do some house hunting, developers have created apps for just about every stage of buying, selling and even owning.

One such app is Vimvest, a savings app that allows people to split their deposits so they can save for multiple goals, including house-related costs, such as a down payment, property taxes or a new pool.

Users can choose to invest the money, with options that range from conservative to more aggressive investments. The app will automatically calibrate the investments to maintain your preferred risk level.

One out of every seven goals created on Vimvest are aimed at putting money toward a home, according to Justin Bailey, co-founder and chief technical officer of Vimvest. A substantial majority of these goals are created by women between the ages of 18 and 40. The target amounts range from a few thousand dollars to over $100,000, while the average amount is around $65,000.

“Most people keep the recurring deposit schedule amount consistent, as it fits into a particular percentage of their budget,” Bailey says.

On the other end of the real estate spectrum are homeowners who want to maintain their investment and even monitor their equity. For this group, a new app called Manor can help them keep their home in tiptop shape, says Manor’s Chief Marketing Officer Mike Darne.

“For the average American of retirement age, their home equity represents about 70 percent of their portfolio,” Darne says. “So, we wanted to give homeowners a sense of what they have in their home and how much it will cost to replace major appliances and systems should they break. The Manor app makes it easy for them to know what’s going on and what they should expect down the road.”

The right app for your home goals can help you save time and money. Here we compiled six apps that people of all stages of homeownership might find useful.

Apps for homebuyers

Homesnap

iTunes rating: 4.8 out of 5

20.3K ratings

Available on: iOS, Android, desktop

Like many homebuying apps, Homesnap provides basic information and search functionality. Homebuyers can filter searches by price, school district and open house listings. What makes this app unique is that it when you take a picture of a house — in-person — the app uses the sensors on your phone to identify the property and deliver important information, like value estimates, the number of beds and baths, interior photos, school ratings, taxes and more. If you want to compare home values on the same street, simply snap a photo and you’ll get the data. This makes doing neighborhood drive-bys so much easier. Now when you see a home you like, you simply take a picture (right from your car if you want) and Homesnap delivers the data.

Helpful features include:

  • The map layers feature supplies school zone information.
  • Users can use Siri to send messages to real estate agents.
  • Listings in the same building are grouped together to make comparison shopping easier.
  • Organization feature allows you to save homes you like, so that you can easily keep track of several properties.

TransUnion Credit Monitoring

iTunes rating: 4.7 out of 5

2.1K ratings

Available on: iOS, Android, desktop

For many people, a major part of buying a home is securing a mortgage, but you have to meet certain credit requirements. The TransUnion Credit Monitoring app allows users to not only check their credit score but also monitor credit fluctuations, discover what’s affecting their score and how they can improve it and freeze their credit if cards are stolen or there’s suspicious activity on their accounts.

This app is handy for homebuyers who want to improve their credit to get a lower interest rate or those who have been pre-qualified for a home loan and have to maintain their credit score.

Users will have to create a TransUnion Credit Monitoring membership, which comes with a 30-day free trial and is $19.95 per month after that.

Helpful features include:

  • Alerts when your credit score is being requested.
  • Identity theft insurance up to $1,000,000.
  • Customized alerts, which include important changes to your credit reports.
  • Access to public records that are associated with your name.
  • Personalized credit tips that use your information to make suggestions.

Apps for home sellers

Xome’s Super Seller

Google Play rating: 4 out of 5

1,213K ratings

Available on: Android, desktop

The way people sell real estate is changing, in part because of apps like Xome which make it easier and cheaper to put your house on the market. One of the major draws of these DIY selling services, like Xome’s Super Seller, is that it allows homeowners to bypass costly commissions in favor of a flat fee. Super Seller users, for instance, pay a one-time fee of just $599. This is in contrast to the 2.5 to 3 percent fees sellers usually pay in broker’s commission. On a $300,000 sale, the seller would have to pay $9,000 to their agent in commissions.

Helpful features include:

  • Sellers don’t pay a sales commission.
  • Sellers are connected with a local Xome agent, who will help you with all aspects of selling your home, including: coordinating professional photos, pricing, listing descriptions, professional signage, a lock box, market analysis, MLS listing, open house coordination and hosting, managing showings, placement on the Xome Offer Marketplace, and help negotiate any offers you may receive.
  • Guaranteed listing on the MLS.
  • Your listing is included in all the major search portals.

DocuSign

iTunes rating: 4.9 out of 5

90.1K ratings

Available on: iOS, Android, desktop

DocuSign is a convenient way to send, receive and e-sign paperwork all from your smartphone, tablet or desktop. This free app allows homebuyers and sellers to speed up the paperwork process by exchanging important documents digitally, rather than in person. And best of all it’s free. There are no limits on how many documents you can sign, send or receive.

Helpful features include:

  • Send, receive and e-sign documents free of charge.
  • Access and manage documents from any device.
  • Use email, Evernote, Google Drive, Dropbox and other tools to send documents.
  • Create a personalized signature on your device.
  • Access and sign documents even when there isn’t an internet connection.

Apps for Homeowners

Houzz

iTunes rating: 4.7 out of 5

17.3K ratings

Available on: iOS, Android, desktop

Time to remodel? Add on to your house? Change the landscaping? The Houzz app is a one-stop shop for homeowners who need inspiration, ideas, products and crew. This app is brimming with ideas and sources for your next project, so it’s a great starting point for homeowners with projects big and small.

Helpful features include:

  • Access to millions of exterior and interior high-resolution home photos to help you with design. Users can filter images by style and room.
  • The sketch feature allows you to add notes right on the images.
  • Shop for products and materials right on the app.
  • Access to more than 2 million professionals, including architects, contractors and designers.
  • Get updated information on the latest trends via articles by designers and editors.

Manor

iTunes rating: 4 out of 5

13 ratings

Available on: iOS

Think of Manor as the digital version of an estate manager. It will keep track of the equity you have in your home and show equity projections over time. It also helps homeowners protect their investment by keeping track of systems and appliances in their home. Users simply snap a photo of the appliance and Manor will use its database to identify what it is and how old it is — so you don’t have to do research or input the data yourself. It then provides information like how much life is left in the system and when these things will have to be replaced. Manor has even partnered with big-box retailers so that users can comparison shop for similar appliances right from the app.

Helpful features include:

  • An equity forecast calculator.
  • Appliance analysis to help you gauge when it needs to be replaced and how much it will cost.

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