Buying a house is an intricate process, and there are many moving parts. If you’re purchasing a home for the first time, it’s easy to get lost amidst the many steps involved. Even if you’ve purchased a home before, going through all the motions can easily become frustrating. While technology doesn’t replace the benefits of having a real estate agent, it can certainly make your part in the process that much more bearable. Here are a few ways modern technology can make the home buying stage a little easier:
The Home Search
It’s no secret that the majority of home searches start on the Internet. While a real estate agent can certainly get you connected to properties that aren’t listed, searching online for properties gives you a rough idea of the current market, and how features and criteria align with your budget. It also helps your agent better understand the type of homes you’re looking for.
With that in mind, there are several intuitive mobile apps that will help you locate dream homes in your desired area. These include Trulia and Zillow. Trulia is a well-rounded app that not only offers comprehensive details about a property, but also includes financial details that are helpful to use as a starting guide. For example it offers an affordability cost breakdown tool and mortgage calculator.
Zillow is one of the highest-rated home search apps and uses its proprietary Zestimate tool to assess accurate home values (though it isn’t always accurate, so be sure to double check with your agent before clinging to a Zestimate).
Home Decorating & Buying
If you’re looking for a new home, you might be on the prowl for some new furniture. If this is the case, Wayfair is one of the most comprehensive and largest marketplaces out there. With the Wayfair app, not only can you browse millions of pieces of furniture and decor, but you can see how those items will look in your house.
For example, you might take several photos of a prospective property, and then upload a chair into the image to see how the resulting design would look. Even if you aren’t necessarily on the market for new furniture or decor, you can use the app to place similar furniture in images to gain a better grasp on your interior design plans. This level of augmented reality takes visualization to new levels.
Similarly to Wayfair, Houzz offers virtual room staging. But one way that it differentiates from Wayfair is that it makes it easy to connect with professionals when you need home improvements and other services. This is one of the reasons why CNN referred to this app as the “Wikipedia of interior and exterior design.” You can also create a profile and share your designs with the Houzz community, getting feedback on different layouts, budgets, renovation plans, and decor ideas.