The world we live in today is a digital one, and searching for a home is no different. Fact: 90 per cent of homeowners in Canada and the US start their search online.
I’m an information junkie, not unlike the homebuyers and sellers who work with me. If you’re like us and want access to as much information as possible about your future investment, check out these 10 amazing app and web resources for the savvy homebuyer.
The Realtor.ca app is pretty much the go to app for consumers when it comes to searching for real estate. I mean, it’s not as good as yours truly’s access to listings since it is delayed by a day (you see listings here the day after they actually hit the market) but it’s accurate with up-to-date listing info. I love the ability to so easily see everything around you that’s on the MLS and then star your favourites. To be honest, I find this much more friendly to use than even the main site, www.realtor.ca. If you download, be sure to add me so sending something over with a question is just an easy tap.
If school consideration is a thought for you, the school locator is a must download. By typing in the address of the home you are looking at, you can immediately find out what the catchment public and Catholic elementary and intermediate school options are and how they were rated by the Fraser Institute. Click on the school and you’ll find out more details, like its five years rating out of 10. The app is only available in Toronto and the surrounding areas but will be rolling out to the rest of Canada soon.
When you show up at a prospective home for a showing, it’s nice to know what’s close. Where is the nearest coffee shop, grocery store, movie theatre and bank? The aptly named app “Around Me” does just that. It shows you everything essential in the radius around said address.
For most homebuyers, walkability to transit, food, work and shopping is nearly as important as the price of home is. “Walk Score” measures the number of typical consumer destinations within walking distance of a house, with scores ranging from 0 (car dependent) to 100 (most walkable). This app gives you that rating right away.
Magic Plan is an app that allows you to create floor plans of the space you’re in with just the camera function on your device. An unimaginably awesome app to take with you to purchaser’s visits prior to closing.
If you’re driving separately from your Realtor, having access to real-time road and traffic issue saves ridiculous time and means you’ll get to your showings in the window of time it’s booked and not miss out.
For ideas on design and home remodelling or even to just get connected with architects or designers, there is no better site than Houzz. Surfer beware though – this site is addictive.
With the DocuSign mobile app, you can easily and conveniently sign documents (including offers) right from your phone. Perfect for when you just found out that the house of your dreams has just received a competing offer on it.
For more information about the dark side of homes, House Creep is your source. Housecreep is an online community that chronicles the history of homes from all over the world by crowdsourcing publicly available information and personal experiences. This includes murders, deaths, marijuana grow ups, the works! Caution: this site (1) becomes addictive quickly, and (2) is at times super creepy.
BuzzBuzzHome is an online real estate database for brand new residential developments, most of them not on MLS. Wanna to get info on which new condos are about to break ground in your favourite neighbourhood? This is the site.