Woman Searching On iphone For Houses On Various Apps

The Best House Hunting And Home Buying Apps In The Real Estate Market Right Now

7-Minute Read
Published on May 31, 2021
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House hunting can be a stressful step for any prospective home buyer or renter. Whether you’re looking for something cozy and affordable or an upscaled architectural marvel, sifting through your options can be exhausting. Dozens of platforms are waiting to make your online real estate search easier at the touch of a button, though. It only takes finding the right app to finally connect with your dream home.

But which app is the right one for you? They all might sound similar, but each one offers unique features that could make all the difference in your search. Here’s a quick insight into some of the best house hunting apps available to you.

Best Real Estate Apps For Your House Hunt

We rely on technology for everything, from knowledge hubs to communication to entertainment. Since it’s so pervasive in our everyday lives, it’s only a matter of course that it comes into play for major milestones, like buying or renting a home. According to the National Association of REALTORS® Research Group, not only is tech on the rise on the buyers’ and sellers’ end, but the agents’ as well.

You see, around 44% of potential buyers took the first step of their home buying process online by searching for properties there. But still, for the majority of buyers during 2018, around 87%, they relied on a REALTOR® to help them find the perfect home. In turn, real estate firms are trying to keep up with the demand for a streamlined house hunting process. At 92%, the most common feature on a firms’ website was property listings. So, services designed to support the search are improving every day.

If you are looking for the right online platform, some of the best house hunting apps for 2021 include:

  • Rocket Homes Real Estate LLC
  • Redfin Real Estate
  • Realtor.com
  • Trulia
  • Zillow
  • Homesnap

Redfin Real Estate

Redfin Real Estate, or more simply Redfin, has a mission: to pair you with the perfect Redfin agent. However, that’s not the only thing going for them. The online real estate company was an early implementer of the search-by-map feature, and they pride themselves on using up-to-date technology and data to inform their users. According to their 2020 fourth quarter results, the website and mobile apps combined reached over 42 million users on average per month.

Best For: Many home sellers and buyers rely on a mix of technology and in-person guidance. Redfin accommodates both needs by offering both their online services and their own real estate agents.

Other Pros: Redfin claims to update its listings every five minutes to help keep you on top of the search. Additionally, the accuracy of their data is competitive, with only a 2.43% median error rate for on-market homes. 

Realtor.com

This is the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) affiliated website. As such, it caters to REALTORS® and real estate agents in particular. It’s one of the more well-used sites, and for good reason. Thanks to that relationship between the platform and real estate agents, the site is linked to the MLS, or multiple listing service, which makes for a data-prioritized site.

Best For: Finding important information right away is easy with Realtor.com. You can use the Sign Snap feature to take a photo of a live real estate sign and learn about the property. Additionally, a property’s profile can include the details that matter most, such as whether the home sits in a danger-prone area.

Other Pros: There might be a bit of a learning curve with the specific filters, but the comprehensive nature of the platform will serve you well. It’s a reliable source for important property information overall.

Trulia

Trulia is another big name when it comes to the real estate game, although it’s actually owned by the Zillow Group. So, you might see some similarities between the two. You’ll see comparable listings and robust data, as well as a “Trulia Estimate,” which works similarly to a Zillow estimate (called a “Zestimate”). However, the main difference is the service’s focus on the local community.

Best For: Trulia is your best option when you want to search for rentals, whether it’s a cozy apartment or an elegant home. One of its best features for this is its 1-Click Request. Thanks to this convenient tool, you can contact landlords or property managers in seconds. All you have to do is click. When you’re looking through listing after listing of possible rentals, that can make all the difference in simplifying and speeding up your search.

Other Pros: Trulia’s emphasis on local communities helps users learn more about potential properties’ surrounding features. For example, users can get information on nearby schools, crime rates, and more.

Zillow

With Trulia, Zillow is one of the household names when it comes to real estate sites. According to Statista, it’s the leading real estate website in the U.S., with around 36 million monthly users. It appeals to individuals looking to buy, sell or rent real estate. It showcases tech-savvy features like 3-D home tours, which allow you to explore a home along a floor plan.

Best For: One of the biggest selling points for Zillow is its “Zestimates,” or a home value estimate model for both buying and renting. The estimates are generated through an algorithm that uses large amounts of data, including market and user-submitted data. According to Zillow, the group has data for over 110 million U.S. homes and publishes Zestimates for over 97.5 million of them. So, it’s a great starting point for potential buyers and renters, although it can’t replace a comparative market analysis (CMA) or a professional appraisal.

Other Pros: While it might not always be accurate, the user-submitted data and for-sale-by-owner listings together with official listings make it a massive database. And it’s free to buyers and sellers, who can take advantage of its search features.

Rocket Homes® 

Rocket Homes is a real estate app that allows you to stay up-to-date on home listings. Moreover, it takes care of some of the less considered parts of home buying. For example, it gives you access to a free TransUnion® credit report with regular updates, on top of connecting you with a real estate agent.

Best For: The platform is suited for one-stop-shop needs. It promises you an inclusive site with a thorough database and the ability to link you with local real estate agents as well as lenders.

Other Pros: Rocket Homes can help you connect with individuals who make the home search easier. So, the best moment to use the service is during your search, after you’ve done some personal digging on your own.

Homesnap 

Homesnap boasts an easy-to-use platform, similar to its competitors, Zillow and Trulia. The user-friendly online real estate service includes a solid range of features, like a map-based search option and a comparable amount of information for individuals to search through.

Best For: Homesnap is perfect for on-the-go real estate searches thanks to its mobile app. With it, users can simply take a picture of a property currently on sale, and the app provides all the accessible information for the property listing. So, you have access to real-time MLS data on the road or from the comfort of your home.

Other Pros: The lack of a desktop or web browser interface allows Homesnap to focus all of its innovative energy on the app itself. That comes with a sophisticated search function, mapping, and even private messaging capabilities.

Best Real Estate Apps For Budgeting

Everyone builds up big, beautiful dreams about their future home. So, no one blames you if maybe you’ve scaled the price filter a little high once or twice during your housing search. But basing your hopes on things you want won’t lead you to a happy end result. That’s why it’s essential to look for homes that reasonably fit within your price range.

Mortgage Calculator By Quicken Loans App 

The last thing you need is ambiguity or confusion during your home search. The Quicken Loans mortgage calculator takes the guesswork out of the process by helping you estimate your monthly payment. All it takes is some information, such as your home price, down payment and loan term, to give you an estimate with a cost breakdown, including taxes, HOA fees and insurance.

Best For: The mortgage calculator is a great tool in your belt when you’re narrowing down your options before consulting an agent. With it, you can determine whether a home is affordable and fits well into your lifestyle. So, you’ll find the make the most use out of it earlier on.

Other Pros: The great thing about the Quicken Loans mortgage calculator is that it helps make the hard decisions for you. You may not want to say no to a house, but the calculator will tell you plainly whether the monthly payment is something you can afford or not.

Rocket Mortgage® 

The Rocket Mortgage app currently holds a 4.9 out of 5 stars on the Apple store and 4.8 for Android. It’s designed to support you and make mortgages simpler. Whether you’re just signing up for one or already have one with Rocket Mortgage, the app offers ways to minimize the stressors that come with a loan.

Best For: The Rocket Mortgage app is unique on this list because it helps individuals who already are in the purchasing process. So, if you need a mortgage, the app makes it easy to track your spending and electronically sign the application. Or, if you already have one, the mobile application helps you manage your payments and bank account, on top of providing access to any important documents.

Other Pros: In general, the app is a solid support network for individuals in the process of or already owning a loan with Rocket Mortgage. It cleans up documentation and puts your payments at your fingertips.

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Ashley Kilroy

Ashley Kilroy is an experienced financial writer. In addition to being a contributing writer at Rocket Homes, she writes for solo entrepreneurs as well as for Fortune 500 companies. Ashley is a finance graduate of the University of Cincinnati. When she isn’t helping people understand their finances, you may find Ashley cage diving with great whites or on safari in South Africa.