7 Real estate apps you need in your life when searching for a new home

Searching for your next home, be it a rental or purchase? Here are seven apps to help you make the most of your search on the go:

  1. homesnap-appHomesnapHomesnap (free) uses your location to find homes on the market around you. You can also narrow down your search by type of home, price and number of bedrooms/bathrooms. The app also allows you to instantly call or email the listing agent for more information.

    Cool feature: Take a picture of any home you’re interested in, and Homesnap will give you details about the home, including an approximate value. 

    “The app also keeps track of the history of your snaps, to help you remember the houses you’ve seen. This feature serves a two-fold purpose: one, to help consumers recollect their searches, and two, to help build up a crowd-sourced database containing pictures of homes.” — Sarah Perez, TechCrunch Read more here.

  2. mris-closeitMRIS Close It! — Curious what your downpayment and monthly mortgage will look like for that house you just have to have? Grab MRIS Close It! (free) to calculate those figures on the go.

    As a buyer, just enter the list price of the home, the type of loan you’re using, the down payment and interest rate and poof! You’ll see the amount of money you need to bring to the table to purchase the home and what your mortgage payments are. MRIS Close It! also allows you to view the Closing Disclosure (the new HUD-1), where you can view the different items you can shop around for and what comes standard.

    For sellers, quickly calculate what you’ll net from the sale of your home after closing cost credits, commissions, mortgage payoff and more.

  3. realtor-apprealtor.com Real Estate — My personal fav is the realtor.com app that sources from the MLS (the database where homes listed with companies are listed), with 90 percent of the content updated every 15 minutes and all other real estate and rental listings updated at lease once per day. Plus, you can see the schools, restaurants, shops and other points of interest around each home. Find real estate property listing details that include price, sales history, property tax, school information and more, along with Open House times and driving directions to homes for sale listings on your iPhone and home value estimates for off-market properties.
  4. dwellrDwellr — Powered by the U.S. Census Bureau, Dwellr (free) provides neighborhood-level statistics on topics such as home value, education and how people get to work so that you can explore where you want to dwell. This is a great tool, as agents cannot discuss demographics of areas for fair housing reasons.
  5. Houzz — Houzz (free) can help you plan and dream your home renovations with more than nine million interior design photos, home decor, decorating ideas and more.
  6. snapshot-showroom-appSnapShop Showroom — Ever wondered what that gorgeous leather sofa at Pottery Barn would look like in your family room? Now you can, with the free SnapShop Showroom (free) app. Browse the list of vendors, choose a piece of furniture and point the camera where it would be located. Instantly, you will get a visual of the furniture piece within the room.
  7. iHandy Phone — The one tool everyone has in their pocket is their phone. The iHandy Level (free) is a remarkable tool. No more reaching for that heavy level or trying eye-ball it. Hanging pictures or shelves level is now easier than ever with the iHandy app.

Which real estate app is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below. 

MovingtoReston.com is relaunching Sept. 12

When I started this blog in January, it was my hope that it would evolve into a resource for those moving to the Reston area — in terms of housing information, community news and new development, events, real estate advice and more.

Since then, I am humbled to say that my business has taken off and left me with less time than I’d imaged to dedicate to this blog. So, for the next two weeks I will be writing fervously, putting together the posts I’ve always wanted to have, curating information about the area and really re-starting this blog and launching it to be what I wanted in the first place.

In the weeks and months ahead, you’ll see more posts from local small business owners who serve the Reston area, gain a better insight as to what national real estate news means on a local level and learn more about what lies ahead for our ever-growing neighborhoods. I hope you’ll share these posts with others and provide me feedback about what else you’d like to see.

I’ll see you in two weeks!


More Reston development news; 5 Q’s to ask about flood insurance

Local Real Estate News

  • waterfront houses
    Image credit PBS

    CoreSite to spend $60M in acquiring Sunrise Technology Park, $90M on first phase of new development, $500M on building out space over time (via RestonNow)

  • Of the roughly 20M sqft of vacant office space in Fairfax County, JBG principal Greg Trimmer said a disproportionate amount sits in suburban office parks, while Reston Town Center has just 3 percent vacancy(via BisNow)
  • Charts: D.C.’s rents rising, homeownership dropping (via Curbed DC)
  • 5 questions to ask about flood insurance (via PBS, NPR, Frontline)
  • For fun: Woman who now owns the “Brady Bunch” house thwarted burglars attempting to enter her home (via realtor.com)

Continue reading “More Reston development news; 5 Q’s to ask about flood insurance”

Single family homes are getting smaller

Local Real Estate News

How much have home values changed during the past year? That’s probably the question we’re most often asked. Here’s a direct answer: the average sales price in the metro D.C. area is up 1.2% from this time a year ago. And how does that relate to the value of your home? It doesn’t. Market conditions vary from area to area, and we think the recent market activity in three “cities” illustrates this perfectly. Read the entire Market in a Minute Northern Virginia analysis by McEnearney Associates CIO David Howell here. The D.C. analysis is here

Continue reading “Single family homes are getting smaller”

What if The White House was for sale? Plus, Arlington studies paying for Uber to get to Metro

Local Real Estate News

Upcoming Local Events

SLHS 10kThe fifth annual South Lakes 10K will be held Aug. 28 to benefit South Lakes High School’s cross-country team. Overall awards will be $150/$100/$50 for the top 3 males and females. The cost to participate is $40/in advance, $45/day-of. Click here to register. To volunteer, email Terri Marlin at terri@potomacriverrunning.com.

The Reston Regional Library will host “Dollars and Sense,” a  monthly group discussion that focuses on business leaders and markets. From 7 to 9 p.m. on Aug. 25, the group will review “Irrational Exuberance” by Robert Shiller. The event is free and open to the public.

Mark your calendars! Reston Association (RA) will host its always popular Community Yard Sale on Sept. 10 (Sept. 11 rain date) from 8:30 a.m. to noon at 12000 Sunrise Valley Drive (across the street from RA). Ninety-five families will be selling a variety of items. Vendor space is sold out; no early birds, as gates will open at 8:30 a.m. Contact Ashleigh@reston.org or call 703-435-6577 for more information on weather related cancellations.

The Dulles Day Festival & Plane Pull® on Sept. 17 is Special Olympics Virginia’s “heaviest” fundraiser, pitting teams of 25 against one another to see who can pull a 164,000-plus pound Airplane 12 feet the fastest. All proceeds help Special Olympics provide year-round training and athletic competition.

Did I miss an event happening today? Know about something coming up? Have a real estate question? Let me know in the comments below. 



Living with grandma, housing market exacerbating inequality and STC “Free For All”

Local Real Estate News

Continue reading “Living with grandma, housing market exacerbating inequality and STC “Free For All””

Around Reston: Meet Geoff Crawley of Champagne Services

Champagne Services co-owners Dawn and Geoff Crawley

Moving to Reston is interviewing members of the community who are a part of small businesses that serve the Reston area. Up next is Geoff Crawley of Champagne Services, a chemical-free, organic house cleaning company. Champagne Services is a member of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce.

Continue reading “Around Reston: Meet Geoff Crawley of Champagne Services”