The Top 4 Apps For New Homeowners
There are so many reasons to become a homeowner. There’s the pride of ownership. The tax advantages. The ability to build equity. And of course, the lack of a landlord forbidding you from painting the walls or ripping up the carpet. Overall becoming a homeowner affords you with the freedom and financial advantages that just aren’t available to renters.
With that being said, owning a home comes with its own set of problems and responsibilities. Homeowners might not even be aware of the work that goes into owning and maintaining a house until they’re in over their heads. Luckily, it is a lot easier to tackle these challenges in the 21st century – thanks to technology. These days, there’s an app for just about everything including home-owning, so here are the best apps for homeowners to add to your must-have list;
Unless you have a degree in landscape architecture, designing your outdoor living space can be a daunting task. What plants should you fill the space with? How do you know what will look good together? That’s where iScape comes in. Using Augmented Reality(AR), the free app is a quick and easy way to visualize your dream garden.
You are essentially creating a digital layout of your outdoor living area. Start by taking a picture of your garden and use the app to add elements like trees, plants, footpaths, and water features to see how they fit into the space. You can drag, resize, and play around with the elements until you’re happy with the final layout. You can even draw freehand directly onto the image and add texture to make it look more realistic.
Homeowners can choose between the more simple approach that overlays design elements onto a static image or the interactive, immersive AR option that allows you to walk around and explore the layout in real-time.
It’s extremely user-friendly with a simple interface, making it a great option for new homeowners just starting. There is also a “share feature” that allows you to send your design to a friend or landscape pro for help or feedback. Through the “Buy and Deliver” option, you can purchase products used on your iScape design directly through the app. Not only does it streamline the entire process, but it drastically reduces project costs. Even if you decide to hire a professional, it helps to have a general idea of what you want.
The basic version of the app is free, but you can also pay for the premium subscription option. It gives you access to a more extensive plant library, additional project storage, and the ability to work with more than 10 layers for $9.99 a month, or $14.99 for 3 months. But unless you’re planning on using it professionally, the free version will do the trick. The downside is that the app is only available on iOS, so you’ll need an Apple product to use it. It’s currently rated 4.6 stars on the app store.
The equity in your home is a financial asset, so you should be treating it as such. Introducing Homezada, a personal finance software app that allows you to manage, maintain, and improve your home with ease. Home maintenance directly affects your estimated home value, home equity, and 3 year home value forecast; important for homeowners to keep everything up to date and monitor their financial details.
Managing a home is a multi-faceted, time-consuming process. With so many different types of paperwork involved, from simple “to-do” lists to important documents like insurance policies, things can get disorganized and overwhelming very quickly. Homezada allows you to store all of your important items in one safe and easy-to-find space so you don’t slack on important duties. There are 6 main categories that Homezada will assist you with:
Improvements: Whether you’re hiring a contractor or going the DIY route, Homezada streamlines the process. It helps you create and stick to a budget as you can track all your costs, receipts, and invoices. You can also store before and after pictures and make an action list of tasks to ensure you stay on schedule.
Maintenance: Homezada creates a preventative maintenance schedule for you with a list of recurring tasks and sends you notifications to remind you to complete them. Overall it makes operating homeownership efficient and prevents homeowners from ending up with costly bills in the future.
Inventory: This feature allows you to assess the total value of your home inventory to make sure you are properly insured. You’re given a template home inventory list that you can personalize with photos, and store important documents safely in case your home is ever damaged or destroyed.
Finances: Homezada helps you stay on top of your finances; it estimates your home’s value on an ongoing basis, tracks property taxes, manages insurance policy coverage, automatically calculates your estimated home equity, and more.
Market: In the event, you want to sell your home in the future, this feature helps you market and sell your home with ease. It taps into current real estate market data to help homeowners determine a pricing strategy and differentiate the home from the rest on the market.
One unavoidable thing about being a homeowner is that you will eventually have to deal with broken appliances. The problem? Most people don’t keep the manuals for every single appliance they’ve ever purchased, which makes fixing it yourself almost impossible. That was before Centriq, a free, award-winning app that takes the headache out of home repairs.
Centriq is basically a virtual owner manual for just about every home appliance that exists. Simply snap a picture of your appliance, electronic, or tool and Centriq will pull up the corresponding user manual, warranty, how-to-video, and more. No more rummaging through the junk drawer to find that 5-year-old instruction pamphlet you may or may not have thrown away. There are the key features Centriq offers:
Manuals and reminders: Find your model’s specific user manual and receive reminders for updates.
How-To Videos and Troubleshooting: No need to waste time scouring Google and Youtube for helpful information; Centriq sends you the exact videos you need.
Parts and Supplies: With thousands of brands to choose from, Centriq makes finding and ordering replacement parts simple and fast, and ensures you’re choosing the correct ones. Plus, most of their selection comes with free or same-day shipping.
Warranty support and repair: Find manufacturer support information and local repairs solutions you can trust.
Centriq is powered by the world’s largest curated collection of home appliances and troubleshooting support, with access to over 4,500 products and 12,000 brands. It allows you to organize your folders room-by-room, and you’re given an unlimited number of uploads.
A study conducted by Centriq, found that over 70% of homeowners will try to fix a product themselves, with 65% of those people claiming home-repairs give them anxiety. And according to Census Board statistics, the annual maintenance costs of an average home cost around 1-4% of the home’s value, a number likely to rise as we embrace more tech-enabled products throughout our living spaces. Both cost-effective and easy to use, it’s no wonder it was given the “Game Changer” Award by the National Association of Home Builders back in 2016.
Being a homeowner comes with many risks, one of those being security. According to the US Department of Justice, there are over 4,500 home burglaries per day in the United States. The best way to avoid being a part of that statistic is to install a home security system, and with ADT, it’s never been easier to ensure the security of your home.
ADT is a full-service IoT security system – the mobile app allows you to keep an eye on your home while on the go. Here are some of the key features:
Remote arm & disarm: This enables you to arm or disarm your security system from any location, no matter how far away from home you are.
Instant alerts: Receive immediate notifications when a door is unlocked, motion is detected, or when your system is altered.
Live video: Use it to monitor your home in real-time or to check-in when you receive an alert from one of the sensors.
Smart lighting: Use it to control your lights remotely so it always seems like someone is home.
Door locks: Not home but expecting the dog walker? Not sure if you remembered to lock the doors? The remote locking system allows you to lock and unlock your door from virtually anywhere.
Climate control: Lower your energy expenses by adjusting your thermostat and other energy-draining technologies while you’re out.
While the app’s main focus is security, it’s also all about convenience! For example, you can adjust the temperature of your thermostat when you’re out so the house is warmed up for your arrival. Or you can use the geo-fencing technology to open your garage door and disarm your system as you pull up into the driveway. It also integrates with your smart home automation systems like Amazon Alexa, so you can control its functions with your voice. The app supports up to six family members, so every member of your household can have peace of mind while away.
Written by Adriana Georgiades
This article was sponsored in part, by Nicholas Cruz. A licensed realtor.