It's your biggest asset—or your biggest money pit. Either way, your home (and the entire process of finding, financing and fixing it) offers many chances to save.
FIND A DREAM HOUSE
Best App: HotPads (Android, iOS)
Bottom-Line Benefits: Using your device's GPS, this app delivers a list of homes for rent or sale based on the parameters you specify, including number of bedrooms, amenities and budget. Save your searches, share properties with friends and sync your search efforts across devices. The app is fun to use, thanks in part to its intuitive interface.
GET A BETTER MORTGAGE
Best App: Lending Tree (Android, iOS)
Bottom-Line Benefits: Gives you access to mortgage lenders who compete on interest rates, fees and other terms for qualified borrowers. Submit information about yourself and the new mortgage or refinancing you're looking for and companies bid on your business. Interest rates and terms vary, depending on your credit score and other factors.
GO FOR THE GREEN
Best App: iScape (different versions for Android and iOS)
Bottom-Line Benefits: Creates a realistic rendering of your yard and helps you plan mistake-free landscaping before you spend a dime. It's a little clunky but gets easier to use with practice. The $10 iOS version has full features; the free Android one requires in-app purchases to access more options.
FIX IT YOURSELF. . .
Best App: DIY Tip Genius (Android, iOS)
Bottom-Line Benefits: Search out the project you have in mind (within categories that include building, landscaping and plumbing) and get tips to help save time and money and reduce frustration. The free version is a bit skimpy, so if you're a true handywoman, the $5 Pro option is probably worth the bucks.
. . .OR HIRE A PRO
Best App: Smith (formerly Friend Trusted; Android, iOS)
Bottom-Line Benefits: Gives you competitive quotes from vetted contractors in your area. If doing it yourself is not your forte, snap a photo of the job you need done and Smith will deliver three contractor quotes within 24 hours, helping you compare prices and hire the best person for the job.
APP TIP! When using apps in-store, take a moment before you get to the checkout line to get organized. If you're fumbling with your phone or searching for coupons online, you might get flustered and decide to forgo the savings just to get through the transaction.