“There’s an app for that.”
You’ve surely heard someone say that, or maybe you’ve been the one telling somebody about how awesome, useful, and life-changing an app you’ve recently downloaded has been for you. With all the sensors and meters that are installed in smartphones, apps are providing us with more and more innovative functions seemingly all the time. This is especially good news for homeowners, and first-time homeowners especially, who are adjusting to the pressures and stresses that owning a home tends to bring. Whether it’s as simple as a bill-paying to-do list or a tool that allows you to sign important documents right on your phone, here are the coolest and most useful apps that homeowners should be using.
If you’ve ever received a document via email and had to resort to printing it out to sign it and mail it back like a caveperson, you’ll appreciate the convenience of DocuSign. Available for free for both Android and iOS devices, DocuSign lets you open document and PDF files that are sent to you, fill them out, sign them with your actual signature using your finger or a stylus, then send the files to the appropriate receiver. You sign your name once, then DocuSign saves your signature and lets you add it whenever and wherever needed with the click of a button. Additionally, all your signed documents can be stored in either a Dropbox or Google Drive account, which gives you another way of sharing them and accessing them from other devices.
BillMinder via Google Play Store
BillMinder Bill Organizer
Do you sometimes overlook or forget a bill and end up paying a late fee when you pay past its due date? If this has happened to you — or if you want to ensure that this never happens to you — then you need BillMinder. The central function of this app is the bill calendar into which you input all your monthly bills and expenses include their due dates. By doing this, BillMinder can provide you with an organized calendar view of your bills, even giving you reminders when due dates are approaching as well as a QuickPay feature so you can pay most of your bills without even leaving the app. For $2.99 for Android and $1.99 for iOS devices, BillMinder also provides you with useful expense reports and charts to show you spending and usage habits as well as ways you can save.
ColorSmart by BEHR®
You probably know BEHR® as the high-quality brand of paint available at The Home Depot. ColorSmart is an app they offer for free for both Android and iOS devices to help you find the right paint for any room in your home. Even if you aren’t planning on buying BEHR® paint, you can take photos of any room, open them in the ColorSmart app, and then “try on” any color that BEHR® offers to find the one you like best. The app can even match to colors within the picture — perhaps there’s a color in your sofa upholstery that you think would look great as a feature wall — so you can explore options that are compatible with your existing decor. When you find the right color, the app can locate the nearest Home Depot where you can buy the BEHR® paint or use the BEHR® color to find it made by another brand.
AroundMe app via iTunes App Store
Whether you’ve just moved or have lived in your home for some years, AroundMe is a useful app for all homeowners. Using your GPS location, AroundMe will help you find the nearest pharmacies, grocery stores, movie theaters, banks, restaurants, bars, taxi services, coffee shops, hospitals, and much more. You can view results in either a list or on a map as well as each listing’s address, hours of operation, contact information and website, approximate distance from you, and usually a rating based on previous users’ experiences. AroundMe is free for both Android and iOS devices and has become a staple of most smartphone users’ app libraries.
For more home automation information, head to Modernize.com.
Post by Dane O’Leary