In the earliest days of the Internet, some of the original architects of the web pursued real estate as the most obvious market that could broadly benefit from independent web sites. Aggregation services for these sites were among the first web lists, which typically grew into dedicated indexes, then searchable indexes. Sometimes the idea was absorbed into more complete services like Craigslist and the earliest iterations of Yahoo.
Although those early sites had some tremendous advantages in that they could have viewed from neighborhoods far from the houses they featured, they were not mobile. The ability to find houses near a certain address as opposed to houses that match a particular keyword is equally effective and often leads to a better purchase and a happier buyer.
One thing to be aware of is many of the most popular apps are not designed for home buyers. Some of the best apps are built to be utilized by agents, real estate brokers and even residential and commercial developers.
At the top of many app lists is a utility for investors called "BiggerPockets." While it is primarily a gateway to its namesake's forums, it is apparently a great tool for people who are out scouting for new investment properties.
Home Mortgage Calculator
For home Buyers there is the "Homes Mortgage Calculator" available for both iPad and iPhone. With this app, any buyer can plug in the details of a proposed deal and get an accurate idea of the projected payment amount if they accept the deal and seek a mortgage to finance it.
Since Craigslist seemed to benefit so much from the Internet's early history, it stands to reason it would find its way to a list of the most useful mobile apps. When combined with the wide variety of mapping and communications utilities built into most phones, Craigslist can become a powerhouse of buyer and renter options.
For agents and brokers, good photography is critical in an industry that depends on how a product looks more than nearly any other. Granted, there is no shortage of options for taking pictures in 2015. With a utility like Pro HDR, even amateur photographers will find themselves able to take better pictures and use those pictures more effectively.
From the National Association of Realtors comes an app that, like the home mortgage calculator, will allow a buyer or seller to calculate the Mortgage Interest Deduction based on any set of financial details available. This can be a tremendous way to calculate the costs and balances of any home deal before it is negotiated.
IREM Comps App
This utility for iPhone and iPad allows a property owner to combine information from three comparable properties to determine a competitive rent for a subject property. It also gives the user the option to send the information in spreadsheet form to others for analysis.
Real estate apps for all kinds of interested parties are likely to become more popular as the capabilities of mobile phones and tablets continue to improve.