Real estate apps have revolutionized how we search for a place to live. Gone are the days of relying on a real estate agent to show us MLS listings that fit our criteria or sifting through the newspaper for available apartments for rent. You no longer need to carve out full days to drive around your desired neighborhood in search of “For Sale” signs. (Unless you want to, of course.)
Thanks to the rise of technology and app-based algorithms, prospective renters and home buyers know more about potential listings than ever. All you need to do? Download a real estate app. Here’s the daunting part: With so many options, how do you know which one to use? You might be left wondering: Which housing app is most accurate? Which has the most user-friendly interface and offers the most impressive assortment of in-app features?
Your Guide to the Best Housing and Apartment Apps
These innovative programs have revolutionized the real estate industry— now it’s up to you to capitalize on it! Whether you’re buying, selling, or renting, we want to help you choose the best real estate app for your unique situation. Check out our list below, where we’ll discuss the pros and cons of the top platforms currently on the market.
Why should you use real estate apps?
If you’ve never ventured into the real estate app section of the Internet, you might wonder what the fuss is about. Here are a few ways real estate apps can enhance your house or apartment search:
- Vast databases. Whether you’re looking for a cozy suburban home or a trendy downtown apartment, real estate apps typically aggregate listings from various sources. That means you save time and effort without having the hassle of scouring multiple websites or physical listings.
- User-friendly interfaces. With just a few taps, you can browse high-quality images, detailed descriptions, and even virtual tours of any home or apartment you’re interested in. These apps are specifically designed so that it’s easy and convenient to find relevant information about each property.
- Advanced search options. Real estate apps allow you to customize your search to filter through properties that fit specific criteria. From the number of bedrooms to location and price range, you can easily rule out homes that don’t suit you and your family’s needs.
Use These Real Estate Apps When House or Apartment Hunting
Here are the top-tier apps and websites that make buying, selling, or renting a house or apartment an absolute breeze:
Zillow lets house hunters search for homes that are for rent or sale. The app uses a database across the United States, so you can find a property wherever you may be located. You can also share your favorite properties with friends and highlight your top picks using the “favorites” feature.
This real estate app is particularly easy to navigate with its “layers” feature. Choose whether you want to rent or purchase, then apply layers like schools, amenities, and local boundaries. This advanced filtering gives you an idea of what that area is like without driving there. It does not provide as many search filters as other apps, but it’s still incredibly helpful in finding the place you’ll eventually call home.
Known best for its accuracy, the realtor.com app is heralded in the industry as one of the best tools for prospective buyers. You can find the home for you using the search filters you would typically expect (bedroom, bathroom, price, school, etc.), but you can also draw your desired search area on the map to find available homes. Houses are labeled by price on the map, making it convenient to find a home within your predefined budget.
One important note: The realtor.com app pulls available listings from agents, so there aren’t listings available directly from owners. If you prefer working with an agent during your home hunt, this app might be the one for you.
Redfin is specifically geared toward those interested in a house. What makes this real estate app unique is its “favorites” feature. When you “favorite” a listing, you’ll be notified any time the status of that house changes. The app also conveniently lists open house times to keep you in the loop— so you’ll never miss another tour!
Note: Redfin is currently only available in certain U.S. markets.
Known best for its focus on local neighborhoods, the Zumper app lets you find freestanding homes, apartments, and even condominiums for rent. The “map view” feature shows you an interactive grid of neighborhoods in your search area, so you can easily get a feel for what it’s like without driving around.
Explicitly geared towards renters, the Apartments.com app simplifies the search process with its focus on convenience and accessibility. What sets this apartment-hunting tool apart is its ability to offer a seamless experience with absolute confidence. You view apartments with verified photos and reviews, plus take virtual 3D tours of any space. When you’re ready to apply, you can also fill out all the necessary paperwork on the app.
What Housing App Do You Use?
Have you used any of these top-rated companies to find a new house, condo, or apartment? Did we miss one of the best real estate apps you and your friends swear by? Feel free to share your experience with us on social media! You can also bookmark this article later and share it with a friend looking to move house this year.
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Editor’s note: This post was originally published on February 2nd, 2016, and was revised on April 4th, 2018 & June 6th, 2023.