If youíre shopping for a new home, you might want to buy an Apple Inc. iPad or iPhone first. That way you can use this remarkable app that can provide you with vital information about thousands of homes all over the US.
You launch HomeSnap, point the camera of your portable device at a house that interests you, and shoot a picture of it. Back comes information on the house--its age, estimated value, annual property tax bill, the year the house was built, when it last changed hands and what the buyer paid. HomeSnap can also direct you to a real estate agent who can get busy trying to purchase the place for you. HomeSnap makes its money by collecting fees from these agents.
The app doesnít actually recognize the houses you photograph. It uses the iPhoneís GPS chip and compass to figure out your position, then guesstimates which house is in the picture. I found it remarkably accurate. And even when it guesses wrong, HomeSnap generates a list of nearby houses so you can pick out the correct one. Meanwhile, the company plans to turn the usersí snapshots into a photo database of millions of American homes.
HomeSnap is a house hunterís delight, and one of the smartest apps Iíve tried this year.