Live Smart: 25 Apps For Homeowners
There’s a lot that goes into buying a house.
You have to prepare your finances, find a realtor, research the neighborhood, get the house inspected and then possibly win a bidding war. Even after you close, repairs and renovations may be required. All that work can be exhausting and overwhelming.
Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone. We’ve found 25 apps to assist homeowners every step of the way in the house-buying and owing process. Whether this is your first home purchase or your third, these apps make the process a little bit easier.
Bin There Dump That
Trash cleanup company Bin There Dump That provides dumpsters and trash containers, hauling, construction cleanup and trash and junk removal to most cities across the United States. The app allows homeowners to schedule any of those services right from their smartphone, tablet or other mobile device.
The LikeThat brand includes a family of apps that makes it easy to find pets, plants for a garden and fashionable clothes. Of course, homeowners will most be interested in the LikeThat Décor app. Did you see a really cool couch at a store but you want to research it before you buy? With this app, forget about going home and looking it up on the computer. You can get all the information you need right on your phone, letting you make purchasing decisions on the spot.
Homeowner’s Association (HOA) Resident Directory
Just moved in and getting to know your neighbors? Download the HOA Resident Directory from mobile location information company Fulcrum. Besides first and last name information, homeowners can “also keep records of every notice and fine each resident has been sent and have photo or video proof of violations at your fingertips. Have property managers address issues and send notices quickly and check if the issue has been resolved, all from your smartphone,” Fulcrum says.
You’ve done your research of what’s around your neighborhood, but do you know where the closest hotel is? What about the movie theater? Take the guesswork out of learning about the neighborhood with AroundMe. Customers in more than 200 countries have used this app since it was developed in 2008.
Buying a home involves a lot of paperwork. Save on piles of paper (and do good for the environment) by going the digital route with DocuSign. This app allows homeowners to use their Windows phone, Windows 8, Android, iPhone or iPad to officially notarize documents. As DocuSign writes, these documents are “safe, secure and legally binding.”
Living on your own means paying a lot of bills. Even upgrading from an apartment to a house leads to more monthly payments. BillMinder helps homeowners manage everything they owe, streamlining the electric, water, credit card, cell phone and other bills right on the app. You can even set up notifications so you know when a bill needs to be paid.
Benjamin Moore Color Capture App
What colors inspire you? If you prefer the hues found in nature over those in a home improvement store, you should download the Benjamin Moore Color Capture App. Simply take a picture of the color you love and then watch as the app digs through its database of more than 3,500 options to find the most similar shade. You can then shop for paint and décor that matches that exact color.
Feeling overwhelmed with all your duties as a homeowner? Don’t stress with the BrightNest app. Designed to assist with a variety of tasks, use BrightNest to “maintain, organize, clean, decorate and more” with pictures, tutorials and tips.
Whether you want to track your shopping habits to curb your spending or you just hate the overflowing mountain of receipts that keep piling up, you’re ready for OneReceipt. This app digitizes receipts. How? Just grab a snapshot of the receipt and OneReceipt makes a permanent digitized copy.
Remodelista calls itself a “sourcebook for considered living.” Its app lets homeowners read design news and take a look at pictures and products the professionals prefer. You can also opt for the paid version of the app, which “includes the My Design Files bookmarking feature for storing and managing your favorite posts.”
Planning on fixing up the house? roOomy will be quite handy. Let your dreams dictate how you want your house to look, then recreate those dreams with 3D rooms. You can even furnish the digital rooms. Save the image and refer to it when shopping. You can also browse through other people’s room ideas for inspiration.
Mark On Call
Another app that helps homeowners create the room of their dreams is Mark On Call. Mark Lewison, the creator and namesake, is an interior designer who lent his expertise for the app. Allocate space in a digital room and decide how to furnish it.
iHandySoft has created a multitude of apps, including a translator, a ringtone maker, a quick scanner and a carpentry app. The latter is the most helpful for homeowners, as it includes digital tools like a protractor, ruler, bubble level bar and a surface level. You won’t have to worry about crooked pictures on the wall again.
Yet another great app for the budding interior designer is Planner 5D. First, take a look at pictures of other rooms that users have uploaded and shared. Then, check out the huge inventory of real products that can be used to furnish a fictional 3D room. Once that room is rendered, the homeowner can see what their future real room will look like in stunning detail.
What’s in your house? Figure it out with Encircle. This app lets homeowners or renters keep track of every item they own by snapping pictures. Encircle keeps those pictures in case the homeowner ever has anything stolen and wants to get it back, they want to make a tenant damage claim or they want to make an insurance claim.
Redoing the landscaping can be a big undertaking. Like many of the apps above, which let the homeowner visualize a space in 3D, iScape does the same, but for the front and backyard. “With a mobile garden and landscape design app, you can eliminate all the guesswork and confusion, which in return will save you valuable time and money,” iScape explains.
The aptly-named Home Maintenance app was created by POJO Software. Share data from an iPad to an iPhone and vice-versa so a homeowner can always keep their to-do list in front of them. You can set up when you want to take care of a job and receive an alert so you don’t forget.
Who doesn’t want to save money on their electricity bills? Of course, that all starts with knowing how much energy you use each month. That’s where JouleBug comes in. The app measures energy and other power consumption while offering ways to cut back and save cash.
So many boxes, so little time. Moving can definitely be stressful. Glimmer Design’s Moving Van simplifies the process. The app “allows you to detail the contents [of the box], and assign each box with a unique name or number. When moving house, the room that the contents belong in can also be assigned. This speeds up unloading and unpacking,” the company says.
In the first weeks after moving, there’s plenty to do. Even once you’re settled, you’ll always have a few items on your to-do list. Any.do is a general organizer and task manager that can be used at home and at work. It can sync from a laptop to a tablet to a smartphone and more so the to-do list is always handy.
Floorplanner’s MagicPlan app makes space planning simple. You only have to walk into a room, turn on your phone’s camera and use the app’s markers to decide what the new floor plan should look like.
Remember the Milk
You can never have too many productivity and time management apps. Remember the Milk is more than that, though. You can also pass along to-do lists to others in the household so everyone can pitch in. Don’t forget to take advantage of the reminders and alerts.
The Family Handyman DIY Tip Genius
Want ideas for a DIY project? Need some guidance along the way? You’re covered with the DIY Tip Genius app from The Family Handyman. Gain access to nearly 4,000 tidbits, tips and tutorials. There are even some hacks for getting projects done faster.
As you prepare to move, you’ll realize you can’t take everything. Rather than just junking it all, make some cash off those old items with OfferUp. The app says it takes only 30 seconds to start listing stuff for sale. Need a few household items but don’t feel like spending a fortune? You can also buy on OfferUp, limiting your search by your area.
If you’ve decided to tackle a roof remodel, you’ll need myDECRA to make the job easier. You can scope out roofs from an aerial view and make color and shape changes. If you do decide to use a professional, you can easily get in touch through the app.