We all go straight to the listing portals when thinking about buying property, but look beyond Domain and realestate.com.au – there’s way more to it than browsing what’s for sale. These free property apps help savvy home buyers and real estate investors get into the detail, from calculating mortgage options to evaluating which property is the right one.
TLDR? Here’s the cheat sheet with download links – scroll to find out how each of these apps will help along your buying journey:
Mortgage Choice Home Loan Helper
It makes sense to start your house hunting journey by working out what your property budget is. The Mortgage Choice Loan Helper app allows buyers (and future buyers) to get clear on their finances. Simply tap in your income and expenses to find out your potential borrowing power, then once you have a home loan amount you can calculate your ongoing repayments. Only available for iOS, but there are plenty of other mortgage calculators out there (hint – all the big banks have them too).
Use this app when: You’re ready to start home loan shopping. This calculator gives you a sneak peak into your financial future to avoid mortgage shock along the way.
Rating: 3.2/5 (Apple App Store)
Available for: iPhone/iPad
Property Calculators Australia
If you’ve got no talent for numbers, then plugging in to a user-friendly property calculator is an absolute must. This app gives potential buyers an all-in-one financial overview including stamp duty, loan balance, deposit required, loan repayments and more. Just enter the purchase price and let the mathematical magic happen. It will calculate what stamp duty you’ll need to pay and the deposit amount – whether that’s 5 per cent, 10 per cent or 20 per cent. You can customise the results to easily see your loan balance, any lender’s mortgage insurance that might need to be paid and check weekly, fortnightly and monthly repayment options.
Use this app when: You’re serious about buying a home and it’s time to crunch the numbers to get your budget on track.
Rating: 3.6/5 (Apple App Store) and 4.4/5 (Google Play)
You’ve worked out how much you need to save, so the next step is actually saving it. You already know about eliminating brunch dates and takeaway coffees, but gathering a deposit takes more discipline than that. Pocketbook keeps your eyes on the prize by connecting to your bank account and tracking your spending. Categorise everything from groceries, petrol, clothes and bills so you can easily see where your money goes. Set personal goals, get alerts if you splash too much cash, and receive bill reminders so your credit history remains immaculate. The award-winning Aussie app (2018 Mozo Experts Choice Awards Best Money Management App and Finder Best Personal Financial Management App among others) allows you to make a sensible bee-line for your first home deposit.
Use this app when: You are not skilled with spreadsheets and need a financial fairy godmother keeping you focussed on your deposit goals.
Rating: 4/5 (Apple App Store) and 3.9/5 (Google Play)
Onthehouse Property Values
Calling all data nerds. This app, a subsidiary of property analytics powerhouse CoreLogic, dishes up data and interactive tools to give buyers, sellers and investors a more in-depth understanding of the market. Get your hands on a wealth of property information including figures on almost every property in Australia – not just those listed for sale. By accessing descriptive property profiles, comparable sales and those recently sold, buyers can beef up their house hunting homework. You can play data detective and find out everything about a home including prior sales, length of the current listing, floor plans, land size, car spaces and more.
Use this app when: You want to keep a keen eye on property movements throughout Australia.
Rating: 3.6/5 (Apple App Store) and 2.9 (Google Play)
The LandingPad app helps buyers get answers to the big questions that pop up when house hunting to work out which property is the *right* property. Does it suit my lifestyle? Is it priced fairly in the market? Can I afford to buy it – and to actually own it? Going way beyond finances, LandingPad will help narrow down your property shortlist. Get clear on the hidden costs of home buying, use custom checklists to do open house inspections like a pro, check how any property suits you and stay on top of the market with personalised insights. If you’re new to the real estate game a comprehensive buyer’s guide (in text and audio) will teach you all the things you need to know about buying property.
Use this app when: You want to be confident you’re making the right choice when you’re buying property.
Rating: 4.9/5 (Apple App Store) and 4.4/5 (Google Play)
Buying a home via virtual auction has been a thing for techie types a few years, but throw in a global health pandemic and it became just another way to do business in 2020. The Aussie made Gavl Live app allows buyers (and sticky beaks) the convenience of remotely viewing or taking part in auctions. Agents broadcast auctions in real-time to thousands of potential buyers who can then place bids via the live-stream. Even if you’re in the research phase, it’s a handy app to have as it means no pounding the pavement to see every sale. Gavl allows you to watch and research bidder numbers, sale prices and passed in figures all from the comfort of your own home – or wherever you’ve got the internet.
Use this app when: Doing your auction homework. It’s ideal for busy buyers who can’t be at every auction, or anyone who wants to check in on market activity.
Rating: 4/5 (Apple App Store) and 2.7/5 (Google Play)
If you’re considering a fixer upper, then you’ll want this handy app in your renovation tool belt. This one stop shop for finding trusted tradies allows you to request a specialist who could help you kick the tyres of any potential purchases. Call out for a building and/or pest inspector, strata inspector, asbestos inspector, or any number of skilled tradespeople. Like the Uber of tradies, Hipages allows you to post a job, upload photos, request a quote and even pay securely online. The app also allows you to compare tradie profiles, as well as read their ratings and recommendations from previous customers. The good news is Hipages actually verifies and monitors tradie licences, ABNs and creditor watch histories.
Use this app when: You’re ready to consult a professional about potential renovations or professional help to do your due diligence such as getting building, pest or strata inspections.
Rating: 4.5/5 (Apple App Store) and 3.3/5 (Google Play)
Not all of us have Vogue magazine visions the minute we walk through an open home. An app like Houzz can inject a little interior inspiration with renovation and design ideas from experts. It lets you browse through millions of home décor photos sorted by style, location or even room – inside and out. You can also find architects, interior designers and tradespeople through the app, virtually try out products with the My Room 3D function, and shop for products and materials directly from images. And if you still can’t sort your ‘minimalist’ from your ‘mid century modern’ inspo then you can save and share photos with friends, family and property pros.
Use this app when: You’re hungry for some home design inspo and want a creative kick from aspirational photos and how-to videos.
Rating: 4.8/5 (Apple App Store) and 4.7/5 (Google Play)