The median price for a property in the US at the turn of the New Year was $340,000. Although the median means that 50% of transactions were higher and lower than this mark, it gives you an indication of how much people have to save and spend to get their foot on the property ladder in 2021.

Buying a home is by no means cheap. In fact, it’s probably the most significant transaction you are likely to make in your lifetime. That’s why it’s so important that you make the right decision for you and your family. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools and gadgets you can use to reinforce your decision to buy a certain property and to potentially save money on your purchase wherever possible. We’ve listed some of the top choices below to ensure first-time buyers and experienced movers alike are well-equipped for the house-hunting process.


Online calculators

Many house hunters are turning to the internet for calculators that can help them understand how their mortgage rates would work out for particular property values and deposit sizes. This may also take into consideration mortgage tax collected at the time of registering a new mortgage or deed.

The UK has set a solid trend in this area, helping users to negotiate the stamp duty land tax (SDLT) levied in the UK on all purchases over £125,000. Many British home buyers will seek to use a stamp duty calculator to find out which threshold their prospective property sits within. Trussle's tool has proven particularly popular in the UK during the recent stamp duty holiday. These holidays allow buyers to save considerable sums on moves to breathe life into the UK property market.


ZipRealty

If you want a mobile app that can quickly help you identify available properties in your existing neighborhood, look no further than ZipRealty. This app incorporates a healthy dose of augmented reality (AR) to keep things fun, but it’s incredibly intuitive. Simply point your mobile and tablet camera at your property and the app will filter through, listing the available properties near you.

It’s underpinned by Google Maps data but the AR-powered HomeScan service pulls through information like how far you are from an available property and its prices. It can even instantly request tours of properties you like.


Damp Meters

Once you have booked some tours of properties available to buy, it’s a good idea to invest in a damp meter to take with you. Damp is one of those hidden nightmares in a property. If it exists unidentified it can become not only a structural hazard but a health hazard too.

Damp problems are not just exclusively found in older homes either. Some newer and refurbished properties suffer from the issue too. Particularly those that did not have the damp proof course revisited during refurbishment.


MagicPlan

If you are thinking of buying your “forever home” and you are happy to purchase a property that will require alterations to turn it into your dream living space, MagicPlan is the ideal tool for you. This software allows you to take total control of your prospective renovation project. It uses your mobile’s camera, GPS and compass to help map out floor plans to scale.

You could use this app during a property tour. All you need to do is take photos of every corner of the room and a two-dimensional floor plan can be processed. Connect the app up to a laser meter and MagicPlan can transform this into a three-dimensional visual. It can even help you calculate project costs including materials based on your brief.

Little can replace that “gut feeling” of knowing when a property is the right one for you. But hopefully these tools can help you on your way to making a sensible investment.

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