11 apps you'll need to win the real estate game

In the market for a new home? You probably feel as though you could use all the help you can get. Find out what the best real estate apps are.
Peter Gearin

If you’re in the market for a new home, you probably feel as though you could use all the help you can get. Here are 10 pieces of real estate and finance-related technology that will give you more confidence to make the right decisions.

1.realestatepricehistory.com.au(free, website)

What separates this site from others is that you get a full history of the journey a recent vendor has made on the way to finding a buyer. That’s because it shows all reported agent quotes while a home was for sale. If you’re interested in transparency in real estate, this online service offers a great insight into how street and suburb values are trending.

2. realAs (free, iOS)

This app helps buyers find the “truth” behind a price guide. If you like the look of a property, you can look it up on realAs and find the “Agent Quote” and compare it with a “realAs Predicts” figure, which is determined by an algorithm that takes into account historical and current sales data. realAs says predictions are generally within 5 per cent of the final price, which makes it a compelling tool for bargain hunters. realAs also allows people to vent their thoughts about individual properties for sale, giving it the potential to be the “Trip Advisor of real estate”.

3. MoneyBrilliant (free, iOS and Android)

Tools that help keep your household budget in check need to be easy to use, and simplicity is this app’s strength. It’s well designed and allows you to keep careful note of incomings and outgoings in personalised categories. It gives you a very clear picture of where your money is going, with alerts for scheduled bills and other costs. If you’re game, it will even figure out your net worth!

4.MoneySmart(free, website)

The ASIC personal finance site has a range of powerful tools offering good information and advice.

5.Houzz(free, website, iOS and Android)

This visually stunning website is full of inspiration for any property project, with tens of thousands of interior and exterior design photos. Best of all, it allows you to “follow” local designers so that you can engage their services in your next renovation (you wish!).

6. Sun Seeker 3D ($14.99, iOS, Android)

This app is fun and practical. Using your smartphone camera, it provides a flat compass and “augmented reality 3D” view of the sun’s path – today and at winter and summer solstice – with hourly intervals and rising and setting times. It’s perfect if you need to know how much natural light a room or garden receives at different times of the day and year, especially if the sun isn’t shining during your open house.

7.realestateview.com.au(free, website, iOS and Android)

This attractive site is one of a group that specialises in businesses and rural properties for sale, as well as holiday rentals. The properties for sale pages have easy-to-find information on previous sales and median prices for the area, a list of similar properties, as well as a snapshot of nearby restaurants, cafes and attractions.

8.Tradebusters.com.au(free, website)

This online service puts homeowners across Australia in touch with quality tradespeople, all of whom have been vetted for reliability and trustworthiness. Tradebusters Connect lets you find up to three professionals in your area in a number of categories, while the Tradebusters Academy has useful information and advice.

9. BMT Tax Calculator (free, iOS and Android)

This app is invaluable for property investors. Just put in the relevant statistics, such as a property’s nearest city, size, condition and age, and your marginal tax rate, and it will estimate the maximum and minimum amounts of depreciation claimable in the first year, plus a five-year overview.

10. SRO Mobile (free, iOS and Android)

One for the Victorians: This simple app, produced by the Victoria Government’s State Revenue Office, helps first-home buyers know what land transfer duty they need to pay on any given property and their eligibility for state grants and concessions.

And then, of course, there’s . . .

11.unohomeloans.com.au(free, website, iOS and Android coming soon)

uno helps first-home buyers, refinancers, investors – anyone – find the best possible home loan for their circumstances by giving them the power to broker their own home loan. It arms them with the tools mortgage brokers use, as well as expert advice. Not just that, but home loan seekers can use uno to save their personal information and then apply and track their application.

Peter Gearin
* Three year fixed rate, owner occupier, P&I loan with a maximum LVR of 95% and a loan amount >$150,000. Lender rates and products may change. We cannot suggest you remain in or switch to any loan until we complete our assessment. Fees and charges apply. ^ WARNING: This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. The comparison rate is calculated on the basis of a loan of $150,000 over a term of 25 years. ± All loan applications are subject to uno assessment and lender approval. uno does not guarantee that it will be able to find a customer a better loan than the one they currently have or to save them money.