One of the best ways to build upon your personal empire is to invest in real estate. The relatively low risk and high potential for monetary growth are unparalleled to any other personal investment on the market. Not only are you saving on payments for a rental space, but you're also putting your money toward a piece of reality that will appreciate in value as you get older.
If you're looking into buying a home as a way to save money on renting and build credit, you're on the right track when it comes to preparing for a financial investment in your future. Once you've become familiar with what is required of homebuyers during the process of purchasing a home and are certain you're ready, you'll be pleased to know that this is yet another area where technology can make your life exponentially easier.
Here are eight tech tools you can use to find and move into the perfect home, estimate your potential mortgage, and map out your future home with your family in 2017.
1. Quicken Loans Mortgage calculator
As you shop for a home, you'll likely be tempted by homes that are just outside of your budget. Although you might be pre-approved for their total amount, you'll quickly realize the mortgage payment for a home on the high end of your pre-approval rate could make things pretty tight when added to your other monthly expenses. This is why it's helpful to have a mortgage calculator on hand as you shop for homes.
Quicken Loans offers an app for a mortgage calculator that can help you quickly and easily check out a home's estimated mortgage while you're out house hunting. Even if you've looked into the estimated mortgage on a site like Zillow or Trulia ahead of time, it will be in your best interest to check again since estimates on home shopping sites are often inaccurate.
If your understanding of how you'll finance your home is still a bit murky, Bankrate offers up an excellent guide to help new homeowners settle into a loan that remains within their means.
2. Realtor.com app
Realtor.com offers up an awesome tool for home shoppers to identify homes. There are a lot of home shopping sites that you should also keep on your radar, but this one is certainly one of the top choices.
Of course there is the desktop version of this resource that you can check in your free time, but if you're like most home shoppers, checking the market incessantly is normal behavior. That's why it might be best to download the app. You can find out more about the app here.
As you peruse some of your ideal neighborhoods in your home shopping process, you'll likely find some dream homes that make you wonder if they're available despite their lack of a yard sign. This is where Homesnap comes in handy.
Homesnap is an app that provides home shoppers with information about homes they're looking at even if they're not on the market. A home shopper can simply take a photo of the home using the app to pull up information about the home's status.
This sounds a little creepy, but as a home buyer in the market, you probably know that no effort should be spared as you work to find a great home in an awesome area and at the right price.
If you're new to a city, you might be curious which neighborhoods would best fit your needs. This is where Walkscore can help.
Walkscore mixes multiple neighborhood data sets to provide users with a score for its "walkability." Walkable neighborhoods are essentially areas that are in close proximity to job opportunities, local stores, coffee shops, restaurants, and other amenities that you might want near your new home.
Using this tool while you're out home hunting in a new city where you plan to relocate will help you identify neighborhoods where you will be close to everything you need.
Once you've found a home and begin to move forward with the process of purchasing it, there will be a lot of documents to review and sign as you move through the steps of becoming a homeowner. Your agent will be sending you documents almost daily to read and sign digitally as a part of the process of purchasing your first home. This is where the Docusign app can help.
Docusign makes it pretty simple to sign and review documents with its browser version in the first place, but it can be a pain to load the entire site each time you need to sign a document during the home buying process. That's why downloading the app would be helpful. You can easily view documents pending your review, sign them, and send them back without having to open and load links sent to you from your inbox.
6. Move Advisor
Preparing for your move day is exciting, but it can also be more stressful than it needs to be if you don't get organized and prepared beforehand. Identifying your move day needs and preparing to meet each of them beforehand can help you make the moving process as quick and easy as possible.
Move Advisor is a great app that can help you manage everything you need to help your move in day run smoothly. The app provides suggestions for movers in your area, a format for you to create a moving timeline, and feature that helps you take inventory of what's in your current home so you can plan how you will move each item.
The process of purchasing a home has the potential to be simultaneously one of the most exciting and one of the most frustrating experiences you'll face in life. Fortunately, a little preparation can help you plan the home search, purchasing process, and move in day so that you can scale down the frustration and play up the excitement. Hopefully these tech tools and apps can help you sufficiently plan for a great home buying experience.