Top 7 Apps to Download if You’re Buying Your First Home in the Next 12 Months

Top 7 Apps to Download if You’re Buying Your First Home in the Next 12 Months

TL;DR There are more tools available for aspiring homebuyers (and new homeowners) than ever before. Here is my list of the best apps to help you start saving, find your new home, and make it your own.

- Stephen Freudenberg, Head of Homeownership @ Gravy

There’s a lot to do between the time you find a realtor and when you get the keys for your first home.

Don’t do it all alone.

While rising home prices make some parts of buying your first house harder than ever (cough cough saving for a down payment), modern technology simplifies the process like never before.

Apps like Gravy are built specifically for renters who want to become homeowners, and there are plenty of other apps that make that transition easy too.

Here’s our master list of the top homebuying apps to help you learn how to buy, where to buy, and how to make your first home your own:

#1: Go from renter to homeowner – faster, with Gravy

What is it

Gravy is the homebuying app built with one purpose: turn renters into homeowners. App users get support and guidance for every step along this journey.

Features

  • Earn Gravy Rewards: when you pay rent each month, get 5% back in the form of rewards you can cash in when you buy your first home.
  • Calculate what you can afford: built-in mortgage calculator will help you assess affordability and build your budget.
  • Track your mortgage credit score: see what lenders see when they look at your credit. (Hint: it’s different than what Credit Karma and other credit tracking apps tell you!)
  • Start a house fund savings account: set a down payment goal and open a Gravy Savings Account with a high-yield interest rate to reach your target faster.
  • Set up a down payment fund: like a wedding registry, but for your down payment. Friends, family, and even your employer can contribute (available with Gravy+).
  • Find a realtor and lender: get connected to a realtor and lender that specialize in helping first-time homebuyers.
  • Get expert (human) help: tons of tips, support, and questions answered from homebuyer coaches – real people on the other end of the chat.

Reviews

“The super app for first-time homebuyers.” – Forbes

“The hero among all the villain apps. Purpose and value. Thank you! Because of you my home buying seems quite possible now. 😀” – App store review

#2: Find the home of your dreams, with Zillow

What is it

Zillow is the property database you should have when you’re ready to start looking for your first home. It tracks which homes are for sale, along with a description of the property and the facts you need to know, such as square footage, neighborhood features, and more.

Features

  • Find and track homes you love: build lists of properties you like in different neighborhoods.
  • Shop together: if you’re shopping for a home with a partner, you can easily note what you like about the home, and see what your partner likes as well.
  • Find down payment assistance: see what first-time homebuyer assistance is available for you in your target area.
  • View virtual tours: many home sellers create and showcase virtual tours to give you the benefit of getting a feel for a home before you actually visit.

Reviews

“The one app I use on an almost daily basis.” – App store review

“As a first-time homebuyer, this website greatly helped me study the market before making the right choice.” – G2 review

Alternative(s): Redfin.

#3: Start your decorating plan, with Houzz

What is it

When you finally close on your first house, the next step is make it feel like home. That’s the purpose of Houzz. Design each room’s layout and get inspiration so your home matches your style.

Features

  • Get ideas: sometimes it’s easier to design when you have a goal for what you’re going for. Houzz provides plenty of inspiration.
  • Find trending products: what are the most popular buys for other homeowners with a similar style preference?
  • See how products look in your space: choose a product and project it into your empty room to see if you like the way it looks.
  • Get connected to contractors: need a shower tiled or a backsplash installed? Houzz will quickly link you to a local highly-rated contractor who can take care of your projects.

Reviews

“I always look to Houzz to provide the inspiration for our new construction; carefully adding my own unique touches to already great designs showcased from homes featured by Houzz.” – App store review

“Houzz makes it incredibly easy to save examples of decor, appliances, hardware, furniture, tile, fixtures and share them with my own architect and decorator. I can save all of these elements in one spot for easy reference (we do not live currently in the state in which we are building) and then zoom meetings are a breeze.” – App store review

#4: Find the ideal neighborhood, with Nextdoor

What is it

Still researching the best neighborhood to target for your house search? Or maybe you’ve already closed, and you’re looking to find out more about your future home base.

The Nextdoor app helps you get more connected to the local neighborhood by giving you the chance to introduce yourself to your neighbors, discover people with shared interests, find local businesses, and more.

Features

  • Community updates: neighbors can share happenings, organize meet-ups, and more.
  • See local events: yard sale Saturday, fundraising cookouts, live music and art festivals – know what’s going on from week to week.
  • Get recommendations: ask your neighbors their best advice for finding a local pet sitter, babysitter, and more.

Reviews

“I love responses I get about experienced neighbors have had with specific out patient care like doctors, dentists, and other providers in the area. This app is great for new comers and very welcoming. We learn about good restaurants, outdoor activities, and good vendors etc.” – App store review

#5: Knock little projects off your list, with Taskrabbit

What is it

First you have to pack. Then you have to move. Then even more work begins…assembling furniture, unpacking boxes, hanging pictures, mounting your TV…the list goes on.

Moving out of your rental and settling into your first home goes smoother when you have some help. Enter Taskrabbit. Hire local professionals to help you move furniture, load boxes, mount shelves, and do nearly anything else you can think of.

Features

  • Access vetted workers: decide what you need help with, then see Taskers in the local area that are able to assist you.
  • Book help in minutes: select the Tasker you want to work with and book time on their schedule.
  • Pay securely: use the app to pay your Tasker with peace of mind.

Reviews

“Just used TR to move shelving units from my friend’s apartment to mine. The whole experience was great and the app was easy to use (and I work at a tech company!)” – App store review

Alternative(s): Thumbtack.

#6: Learn about the cost of big home projects, with Angi

What is it

You know you’re going to need to do some light renovations? Then prepare your budget and your timeline before you buy.

Your best companion guide to gauging the cost of local contractors – Angi (formerly Angie’s List). You can get local quotes from vetted service providers and figure out how much to save to make your vision come to life.

Features

  • Project quotes: put in your zip code and the project details – and get a price range almost immediately.
  • Fast booking: get a response from local contractors quickly, without having to do the research and call local companies yourself.
  • Certified pros: Angi providers are vetted thoroughly so you can rest assured you’re getting a licensed professional to handle your home project.

Reviews

“Quick fix to multiple problems with one call. Have found Angi to be invaluable in this market finding a good dependable provider of services. Recommend the site to everyone.” – App store review

#7: Find a local green thumb, with GreenPal

What is it

You just moved in. And for the first time in your life, you have your own yard! Only problem: you don’t yet have a lawnmower. Or maybe you don’t have the time to keep it trimmed the way you’d like.

Not to worry: GreenPal can help. Download this app to quickly get a lawnmowing quote and build a schedule for keeping your yard perfectly in order.

Features

  • Quotes from local pros: post your lawn and get a quote based on the size and your location.
  • Schedule visits in advance: build your ideal lawn mowing schedule and always get your lawn cut on your preferred day.
  • Rate and review local pros: use local companies that show up when they say they will – read honest reviews from the nearby community.

Reviews

“Sometimes booking services online is a pain and then you never deal with a real person. Not here. And it was super easy!” – App store review

Stephen Freudenberg
Stephen Freudenberg
Head of Homeownership at Gravy
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