Life in Portland

What Are the Best Apps to Use When You're House Hunting in PDX?

How to Navigate House Hunting in PDX With Mobile Technology

Are you preparing to buy or sell a home in Portland? With winter months just around the corner, now is the time for serious buyers to come out of the woodwork. Many real estate professionals claim that the selling season normally associated with spring, actually starts at the beginning of the year. People, it seems, have merely been waiting for the holidays to be over! With home listings about to ramp up, it's important to gain a competitive edge in the real estate market.

Some of the best tools for house hunting in today’s market are mobile, and eager house hunters can start an efficient home buying process by using real estate apps. Whether you’re buying or selling, mobile apps are now indispensable resources for getting real time information, checking for new listings, and streamlining the buying process.

If you’re ready to stay ahead of the curve, check out five of our favorite house hunting apps to guide your Portland home search now.

1. Redfin

While this app is not available in all U.S. cities, Redfin is one of the best apps to use when you're house hunting in Portland. A real estate app designed for buyers, sellers, and agents alike, Redfin is known for its accuracy and efficiency.

House hunters can optimize their searches as home listings are updated every 15 minutes. With such accurate listings, Redfin is great for comparables. Whether you're interested in tracking the last sale price, the home's age, the lot size, or the number of bedrooms, this app does it all.

You can even create "favorite" homes that you can track with alerts to changes to the listing; you can be the first in line to open house tours, by accessing the "home house times" app feature.

The Redfin database is extensive, as it includes over 70 million addresses in 83 major U.S. markets. Accessible to both iOS and Android platforms, this house-hunting app is a must-have if you're searching for a home in Portland.

2. Zillow Real Estate

Another go-to house-hunting app comes from Zillow, which offers a home searching app that is a highly ranked tool for navigating the real estate marketplace. An alternative and supplement to more traditional MLS listings, Zillow allows prospective buyers and renters to browse over a million listings of homes for sale and for rent.

Many real estate professionals turn to the Zillow app as one of the most popular and useful tools in the house search process, and it’s easy to see why.

Recently, Zillow updated its app to include a new virtual reality feature, Video Walkthrough. Offering a 360-degree preview of the home’s interior, this app feature provides buyers with realistic expectations of the property. With a clean interface, the Zillow app is a great tool for house hunting in Portland – download it on iOS or Android to try it today.

3. Homesnap

We live in an age where technology makes nearly all ideas possible, including this one: thanks to GPS technology, you can now use your smartphone to snap a photo of a home and you will instantly receive the property's information. Think snapchat, but for real estate.

The Homesnap app provides buyers and sellers with instant information on a home's estimated value, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, property tax records, census data, and whether or not the home is for sale.

As a Realtor, this app can be particularly useful. You can send private messages through Homesnap to clients to show them potential properties of interest. The best part: clients don't even need to have the app downloaded to receive the 411 on these homes – although we'd recommend downloading this great app anyway.

A text comes through, showing a property photo with details, without or without the app, making Homesnap an ideal house hunting tool. Available for iOS, Homesnap is changing how buyers and sellers access the real estate market in Portland, so why not join in?

4. Houzz

Many house-hunting apps immerse you in the game of selling or buying a home, but what apps are available to help sellers prior to listing their homes? Our answer: Houzz.

The Houzz app is a minor miracle for those looking to remodel and renovate their homes prior to selling. The app makes the home renovation process easy, by providing sellers access to over 9 million interior design photos, style inspiration, and home décor tips.

Even better, the Houzz app includes a category for Real Estate Agents, as well as sellers, that offers agents the ability to list themselves with a free profile. Available for iOS, you can download the Houzz app to help get things across the finish line before you list your Portland home on the real estate market.

5. Mortgage Calculator by Quicken Loans

With an increasingly virtual home buying market, it's easy to get caught up in aesthetics or wish-list items. Images of dream homes float to the top of our app searches, and the press of a button contacts an agent.

It’s easy to practice a little cognitive dissonance when you’re searching through home listings on your phone, but the Mortgage Calculator app from Quicken Loans is the perfect reality check for your Portland home buying search.

An easy to use tool, the Mortgage Calculator app lets users estimate interest rate, loan amount, terms and conditions, and monthly payments – all with a simple tap to a screen. Streamlined and simple, the Mortgage Calculator app is a great gut check for how much you can afford, and the ideal tool for understanding what your home investment will look like and cost you over time. You can try Quicken Loans’ Mortgage Calculator app exclusively on iOS.