Best Apps for Homebuyers, Owners and Renters

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By Beth Braverman and Ismat Sarah Mangla

Whether you're a homeowner or renter, these six apps will help you find a new home, handle a renovation and keep track of timely maintenance.

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Best Apps for Homebuyers, Owners and Renters

Great for: Preparing for disaster
Price: Free
Available for: Android, iPhone

A detailed list of your possessions is crucial if disaster strikes. This app, developed by insurance regulators, makes creating one easy: Photograph your stuff and enter information, such as what you paid. Then store the report you'll get by e-mail in a safe place.

Great for: Buying a home
Price: Free
Available for: Android, iPhone, iPad, Windows Phone 7

The major real estate sites all have apps that show you what's for sale. This one has the most listings -- what really matters when you're on the hunt. Data is updated every 15 minutes, which will come in handy if a bidding war breaks out.

Great for: Renting an apartment
Price: Free
Available for: Android, iPhone, iPad

Search listings from more than a dozen sources, including Craigslist and Apartments.com. You can filter for preferences like pets, and customize your search with details such as "central air" or "granite counters." Results are mapped.

Great for: Home renovation
Price: $3.99
Available for: Android, iPhone

Nothing will make a home-renovation project headache-free. But this app, tied to the HGTV show "Holmes on Homes," can help you feel a bit more in control: Create (and revise) a project schedule, track costs, store photos of your progress and store worker contacts.

Great for: Home maintenance
Price: Free
Available for: Android, iPhone

Answer a few questions -- do you have a pool, a fireplace? -- and this app from contractor-review site ServiceMagic will send you maintenance reminders. "It stands out for its subtle humor," says Appolicious.com's Brad Spirrison.

Great for: Tracking charity donations
Price: $2.99
Available for: Android, iPhone

Created by a group of CPAs, this app will keep track of what you give to charity -- and estimate the value for tax purposes -- based on condition and age. You can also snap photos of items and receipts, which is a good idea in case the IRS has questions later.

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