One of the questions you probably have right now is “I’m considering buying a home in Houston, but we’re facing coronavirus? How will I check houses?”
The “For Sale” signs out front, open houses, and real estate showings are currently out of the picture. Thanks to COVID-19 most people are having trouble house hunting. If you need to move soon and have to find a house fast, welcome to the digital world! The industry has plenty of apps for you to choose from! Actually, there are several apps that make house hunting simple for you to do anytime, anywhere.
But which app is the best and easiest for you to find your dream home as soon as possible? The following are some of the top apps to use on your journey to buy a home while adhering to all of the social distancing guidelines.
HOMESNAP Is a home-buying app you can use to browse homes before you schedule moving day with your local Houston movers.
-- Pros: Access to more listings due to MLS integration. Homesnap will tell you everything you need to know. If it’s for sale, you’ll see the list price and all the other details. If it’s not, you’ll see its past sale prices and estimated value. Plus, this app uses MLS data, meaning it’s always updated.
-- Cons: Lack of coverage in some areas, as Homesnap must partner with individual MLSs
Zillow has been a staple in the home-buying process for years now. It’s so easy to use and has so many listings on it that it’s fun to just scroll through it even when you’re not in the market for a home! So it’s perfect for serious homebuyers and daydreamers alike.
-- Pros: Zillow allows you to see the history of the listing price and taxes of each home, so you can get an idea of whether it’s the best price you’re going to get on the house you have your heart set on.
-- Cons: Zillow’s property valuations tool, Zestimate, is often inaccurate. This misleads buyers and sellers and often makes an agent’s job harder.
Another popular homebuying app is Trulia. Though it’s owned by Zillow, many buyers find that it’s actually better during the active home search, since it has a few features that Zillow lacks.
-- Pros: One of the best details of Trulia is its crime statistics of each area, letting you get an idea of how safe a neighborhood is. In addition, you can easily filter your search using keywords for what you’re looking for in your new Houston home, such as all tile, hardwood floors or a pool.
-- Cons: Since Trulia is owned by Zillow, it shares its main downside. That means you might not be seeing every listing the second it’s available when you use Trulia instead of the MLS.
HOUSTON ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS
The Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) has its own app dedicated to helping locals find homes in the Houston area. If you’re looking to stay in Houston, you’ll want to try out this app!
-- Pros: Since this is a local app, it specializes in homes in the Houston area alone. Plus, this app lists the HOA information, and it’s also connected to the MLS so it gets only updated listings.
-- Cons: You’ll notice HAR doesn’t use the Great Schools rating program that many other apps do. This might be a disadvantage if your kids would be transferring into new schools after the move.
With the on-going pandemic, we must use all resources available and get used to the new normal. There are other apps you can use, you just have to explore all your option since most companies now provide digital services. You can do your part in preventing the spread of the disease while hunting for your dream home!
About the writer: Graduate with Diploma in Information Technology and Business Administration major in marketing & management. Former teacher for secondary and tertiary level. Former Trainer for Medicare customer support John used to write articles for Houston Real Estate investing and market.