If it’s been a while since your last move, you may not be aware of the wide range of smartphone apps designed to help you get the most out of your home and your neighborhood. We’ve picked four apps for home owners (all free to download) that we think are worth your attention.
NextDoor™ is a super-local social network — the modern town square. You have to prove your residence to join, so no one’s hiding behind an anonymous username. When you download the app, you’ll have the option of verifying your address with your phone number, credit card, or by requesting a postcard to be sent to your home.
Once you’ve created your login, NextDoor is a great way to ask for neighborhood recommendations, stay informed about local events, buy and sell household items, or even borrow a ladder. City services also participate in this forum, so expect to see useful reminders from your police, library, and sanitation departments.
Whether your home security system is professionally monitored or self-monitored, almost every provider now offers a mobile app. At the most basic level, these apps can arm or disarm your system remotely, and trigger basic security functions — like relaying security footage to your phone.
Your security system can also be a smart-home platform. In addition to controlling alarms and security cameras, these systems can also control your lights, small appliances, your thermostat — even lock or unlock doors for a nanny or dog walker. Can’t remember whether you closed your garage door? Just check with your phone! Imagine all the last-minute hassles that will be saved!
Garage sales have gone digital in a big way, and there are plenty of free-to-use apps and websites to help you buy and sell locally (Craigslist™, Facebook Marketplace™, 5miles™, OfferUp™, Letgo™, and VarageSale™, to name just a few of our faves).
Everything but the House is a full-service estate sale company. Whether you’re ready to part with a vintage car or a house-full of antique furniture, the consultation is free. They sort, photograph, and list your items (plus they’ll arrange for donation or disposal of items not fit for sale).
Even if you’re not buying or selling, their app is so much fun to browse — picture a shoppable version of PBS’s Antiques Roadshow. Every auction starts at $1 and lasts seven days.
Yes, you probably already have Google Maps™ installed on your phone… but are you using it to its maximum potential?
Maps can help you learn your neighborhood and its traffic patterns. While you’re on your home WiFi network, you can download an “offline map” of your local area. Then you’ll be able to get directions on-the-go, without using data.
You can also turn on hand-free voice commands (either all the time, or only in navigation mode). This will allow you to live out your futuristic spaceship fantasies while you drive: listen and respond to texts, make calls, and ask questions — all without taking your eyes off the road. What’s more neighborly than road safety?
Did we miss one of your favorite apps for homeowners? Let us know!
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