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10 home apps you'll want in 2016

Shannon Lee | Improvement Center Columnist | January 19, 2016

home owner appsOwning a home isn't easy. But it can be made easier through technology, especially a few great apps that are designed for homeowners. We've rounded up ten of our favorites in the hopes of giving you a much easier 2016.

1. Billminder. Tired of getting those late notices because you forgot to pay the water or phone bill…again? Billminder makes life easier by keeping tabs on all your expenses, alerting you when bills will come, and even helping you out with an autopay function. Personalized charts and reports go even further to keep you on track.

  • Cost: $1.99
  • Systems: iOS, Android

2. My Home Scr.APP.book. Disasters happen, so it pays to be prepared. With this app, you can save pictures of your home and possessions, place bar codes on various items, and sort it all with the touch of an icon. Keep this app up-to-date to help ensure that if disaster does strike, you have all the pertinent information you need at your fingertips, making the insurance claim process much easier.

  • Cost: Free
  • Systems: iOS, Android, Windows

3. AroundMe. Exceptionally nice for those who are new to the neighborhood but useful even if you have lived in the big city for years, this app helps you find restaurants, grocery stores, local businesses, and more. It even shows the distance between you and each place, so you can make more informed choices.

  • Cost: Free
  • Systems: Android, iOS

4. Photo Measures. Taking measurements of cabinets, doors and other areas of your house can be tough. You might wonder: Did I measure that with the extra inch for molding, or without? Never ask again with this app, which allows you to write measurements directly on a picture of the chosen area. Never go to the home improvement store without it!

  • Cost: $4.99 - $6.99
  • Systems: iOS, Android, Windows

5. HomeSavvy. This award-winning app has made waves because it makes everything so easy for homeowners. Simply take a little time to input home maintenance chores and set alerts, then rest assured that you will be reminded to do everything from fertilize the lawn to change the batteries in your smoke detectors.

  • Cost: Free
  • Systems: Android, iOS

6. iHandy Level. Sure, you could use an old-fashioned level, but it just doesn't have the 'cool' factor that this app does. This extremely accurate tool -- one of the five from the popular iHandy Carpenter Kit -- has an elegant design that can make you feel as though you are holding a work of art as you level out that painting.

  • Cost: Free
  • Systems: iOS, Android, Windows

7. BrightNest. While you're leveling out that picture, you might notice that you haven't dusted in a while. How did that happen? With this app, you never have to worry about that again. Cleaning schedules and simple sets of instructions for home maintenance can help ensure your home runs smoothly at all times.

  • Cost: Free
  • Systems: iOS, Android

8. Rooomy. One of the best decorating apps, the fun of this one can't be understated. Simply upload a photo of a particular room in your home, erase what you want to change, and start dropping new looks in its place. It converts a 2D picture into a 3D look, so you can truly decide if that great couch or gorgeous painting would look as good as you think it might.

  • Cost: Free
  • Systems: iOS

9. iScape. This easy-to-use landscape tool allows you to envision what your yard would look like if you took down that tree or laid that cobblestone walkway. Start with a picture of your yard and drop in a variety of flowers, grass, and even mulch. This makes it very easy to show a landscape contractor exactly what you envision for that big project.

  • Cost: $4.99
  • Systems: iOS

10. HomeLogic Mobile Control. Designed for use with HomeLogic products, this app allows homeowners to control lights, heat, security, irrigation, and even home audio through a few touches and swipes. Various tabs keep everything laid out in a intuitive manner, so you can easily make changes from anywhere you get an iPhone signal. This is also a great example of the various apps available for homeowners who choose to stay loyal to one particular manufacturer or product line.

  • Cost: Free
  • Systems: iOS

Some of the best apps for homes are inexpensive, readily available to anyone with a smartphone, and designed to make life much easier. So why not start 2016 out on a good note and pick up a few of these handy helpers?

About the Author

Shannon Lee is a freelance writer and occasional novelist with a serious weakness for real estate. When she's not writing, she and her husband are taking road trips to explore covered bridges, little wineries and quaint bed-and-breakfast inns in their beloved Pennsylvania.