By Harry McCracken | Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at 1:45 pm
A year and a half ago, I bought a house. Doing the deal was the culmination of a year of shopping–during which I did almost all my research at home spending nearly every weekend tooling round the San Francisco area with a stack of open-house listings I’d printed out. I took notes on my Windows Mobile phone, and I think I occasionally pulled up listings on its marginal Web browser, but it wasn’t much help. (I can’t remember how many times I’d stumble across an open house, go in, and only then discover that the property exceeded my budget by 200% or thereabouts.)
That all happened in the pre-iPhone apps era, which now seems like it was a very long time ago. Today, there are scads of real-estate applications for the iPhone, including one that was released today by Realtor.com, the site run by the National Association of Realtors. Realtor.com is really late to the game–apps from rivals such as Trulia and Zillow began to pop up almost as soon as Apple permitted third-party apps in mid-2008. But its program is nicely done, with the ability to browse detailed listings for homes and open houses, do searches based on criteria such as price and number of bedrooms, view photos, use GPS to find nearby listings, rate houses and take notes about them, and share information with an agent. And Realtor.com says it has more listings than anyone else–four million of ’em–which makes sense given who’s behind the site.
The Realtor.com app is, of course, free. Playing around it with it almost leaves me wishing that I was in the market for a house again.
After the jump, a few screenshots.