Best iPhone and iPad apps for home buyers: Zillow, Trulia, Credit Karma, and more!

Best apps for home buyers: Zillow, Trulia, Credit Karma, and more!

The best iPhone and iPad apps every home buyer needs to better prepare for financing, communicate with realtors, and get to the closing table!

Whether you're a first time home buyer or you're flipping houses fast and furiously, making the process as efficient and stress-free as possible is a huge win for everyone involved. From getting approved for financing to finding the perfect home(s), to negotiating price, there's a lot of work to be done for both you and your realtor. Luckily, the iOS App Store has a bunch of great apps to help you get the best deal possible done. Here are my favorites!

Credit Karma

Before searching for a home, it's important to be sure you can get financing (unless you're paying cash). A lot of realtors will even ask for a pre-approval letter from a bank before they will begin showing you homes. Credit Karma is a great tool that's available for free and can give you an estimated score that's provided by TransUnion, as well as an overview of how your score was calculated. What a bank sees may be a little different but the general consensus has been that Credit Karma is fairly accurate and generally within a few points. I pulled my own credit and then checked with my bank and both were within 10 points of each other.

If you need financing, you need Credit Karma.

Mortgage Calculator and Home Loan Rates by Trulia

Trulia's mortgage calculator is a quick and easy way to figure out what you can afford for your next house. By inputting your income, expenses, down payment amount, and more, Trulia will give you an idea of what price range you should be looking in, as well as what the monthly payment would be. This can help narrow your search and save you time and effort. Trulia can also give you rates in your area based on your credit score range and what price range you're looking in.

If you're getting a mortgage, get Trulia's mortgage calculator .

Zillow

Zillow lets you drill down to the type of property you want, price range, and more. Zillow will also show you, under the price listing, what they estimate the mortgage payment to be. There's plenty of useful info in Zillow in regards to property taxes and pricing history as well, which is helpful when figuring out what could be added to your payment. Zillow also provides what they call Zestimates, which give what Zillow believes is fair market value for the home. It's not an appraisal nor should you treat it as one, but it can still give you a general idea of what the house is actually worth based on similar properties around it.

If you're still looking for a home, and need to narrow down your search, you need Zillow.

Trulia

Trulia also offers a home search app but uses different sources and metrics to figure out valuations. Zillow seems to be more accurate (at least in my area) when it comes to giving estimates on market prices, but Trulia gives more information than Zillow when it comes to lot size, amenities, garages, and other, general information. Using both in conjunction with each other should give you a better overall picture of what a home is really worth and what it comes with.

If you're looking for a home, and want more detailed information about the property, you'll want Trulia.

Homesnap

Homesnap lets you snap a picture of a home in order to view information about it. Instead of searching in your area and then going to look at houses, if you see a house for sale that interests you, Homesnap can tell you all about it. You can see at a quick glance basic details such as bedrooms, bathrooms, and square footage. Homesnap also provides a range in which it thinks the property will most likely sell for to help you gauge whether you are underpaying or overpaying. Along with that data it gives a score of how well that property could produce cash flow for investors.

Homesnap is ideal for anyone looking to invest in multiple properties and wants to quickly rule out ones with low income potential. .

Your picks for best apps for home buyers?

Everyone is a little different when it comes to buying a home since no one's situation is identical. Did you use any apps when buying a home that really helped you gain information or communicate with realtors, brokers, and banks better? Let us know in the comments!

Allyson Kazmucha

Editor for iMore, Potter pundit, and the ninja in your iOS

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There are 4 comments. Add yours.

rob90262 says:

You forgot Redfin

Sent from the iMore App

bergman says:

Allyson - I usually like your app reviews, but I'm sorry that you missed the most important real estate search app. Of all the central sources of listings, The Realtor.com app is the most accurate and up to date source for home searches.as a Realtor and MLS leader for 11 years, I can state quite definitively that Zillow and Trulia are inaccurate and outdated sources for residential listings. They cause more grief and wasted time for consumers and real estate professionals alike. Consumers searching on line are best advised to use Realtor.com as the one site that is supported by more multiple listing services than any other. By the way , I do not drink the company Kool Aid and I have no investment in Realtor.com. I just hate to see people waste their time and mine with outdated, inaccurate listing information.

Allyson Kazmucha says:

I will admit that Zillow's Zestimates are not normally right, which is why I stated that in the article. Other than that, I've found Zillow and Trulia to have pretty updated information (at least in our area) - that's one thing you have to understand with roundups like these. Different apps pull different results in different areas. I looked at what people were using, what tools they found helpful, and did consult with a broker before posting any of these. They expressed some of the same concerns about Zestimates, etc.. but overall, the information in our area matches (I just looked) minus obviously their estimated values. Other than that, they all provide about the same amount of information.

My deciding factor in a lot of these sometimes came down to ease of use and interface. For the most part, they pull the same information. I will agree that Zestimates and valuations are typically never accurate and a realtor pulling comps is much more reliable. Results will vary from market to market obviously so this is one of those topics that may vary based on where you're located.

blessed2bamommie says:

I heard about Zillow from Dave Ramsey and deleted it. Got Realtor.com Homesnap, Redfin, but never used,there was a real estate contributor on a news program using Truila so I figured it was legit. So I'm good! Looks like I just got an email about my saved search....