Best Apps for Homebuyers, Owners and Renters

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 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'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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