image
.

The home-buying process begins long before closing, and is often fraught with a lot of complex decision-making and stress. Sure, there’s a lovely new house to consider, but there’s so much more that needs to be taken into account. Like, can you knock down the wall between the living area and kitchen? How will your antique armoire look in a more modern space? Will your family like the neighborhood?

Luckily, there are tools out there to simplify the process. Here are five of the most essential, including an app that’ll help you visualize how to layout your new furniture and a service that connects city dwellers to their dream suburb.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
1 Curate by SIR
image
Curate by SIR

It can feel daunting to purchase a home without being able to see how what you already own—and what you plan to buy—will look in your new space. With , you can. Sotheby’s International Realty is the first real estate brand to launch a virtual staging augmented reality (AR) app that really does revolutionize the buying experience for all parties involved.

The free app lets you fill a home with furniture and décor and view it in real time with AR technology. Essentially, you can see your prospective new house as an actual home—and make smart decisions on what you plan to fill it with.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
2 Suburban Jungle
image
.

Moving from a major metropolitan area to the suburbs comes with a lot more than just a backyard and more closet space. There are commutes to consider, as well as what towns have the best schools and things to do.

The real estate advisory firm Suburban Jungle matches city dwellers with potential suburban towns to ease that transition. Clients chat with the strategy team and use the company’s proprietary technology to determine towns that are a match. Next, a local agent from each town gives you a personalized tour—from grocery stores to architecture to potential new homes.

Making the switch in the other direction? The organization recently launched its newest division, , which provides expert advice on moving to a city, such as Manhattan, Brooklyn, or Hoboken.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
3 Houzz
image
Houzz

Not an architect? Not a problem. is a website that serves to connect people to chat about their home improvement problems.

The community connects 40 million- homeowners, home design enthusiast, and home improvement professionals across the world who’ve amassed an endless database to help you create everything from the perfect mudroom to that Tuscan-style kitchen.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
4 Interior Contractor
image
.

Call it the HGTV effect, but it’s best to bring a professional along while viewing a potential new home—and not just after the paperwork is signed.

A realtor’s job is to sell the space, but an interior decorator or contractor will be able to guide you through what can and can’t be done aesthetically. For example, a contractor will know if the plumbing is already installed for a washer-dryer unit, and an interior designer will be able to envision that snooze-y sunroom as your new library.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
5 iPhone Fish Eye Lens
image
.

No matter how thorough you may be, there’s never enough time in a home viewing to capture every single important detail. While a camera is necessary for snapping images of a potential home—especially those without online listings—an even better tool is a fisheye lens that can easily clip over your iPhone’s camera.

This brainy gadget can help to capture hard-to-reach angles, and allows you to shoot three walls in every image. It’s the ideal tool for remembering exactly how a room proportionally fits together, so you’ll know where to place that Chesterfield sofa after you’ve left.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Room Ideas