New HomeSnap App Lets You Snap and Snoop Any Home

Peering through the windows to get the scoop on a home?

Avoid the hassle of a trespassing arrest with an ingenious app for your iPhone. HomeSnap is a new, free app that provides details on any home “snapped” by your smartphone.

The best part? HomeSnap works for any home – whether it’s on the market or not.

Want to know how much a home is worth? Square footage? Number of bedrooms or bathrooms? Just take a picture of it. HomeSnap will promptly return detailed characteristics on any of its 90 million inventoried homes.

How does HomeSnap work?

HomeSnap uses GPS technology and a combination of mobile phone sensors to identify the home in question. The service then taps tax records and MLS data for information.

If a home is for sale, HomeSnap will provide available photos and listing information and even allow users to immediately schedule a showing. If a home is no longer on the market, HomeSnap will present the most recent sold price (if available) and any data provided by public records.

Bringing magic to real estate

The developers of the HomeSnap app, Sawbuck Realty, recognized a need for a useful yet fun way to explore property.

“Real estate is boring and dry, unless you’re in the market,” said Guy Wolcott, founder and CEO of Sawbuck. “HomeSnap makes real estate accessible, interesting and fun for anyone.”

That magic is easy to access, too. With one simple photo, HomeSnap aims to triumph over more arduous services. Real estate data-mines like Trulia and Zillow provide comparable data but ask users to pinpoint a house by scrolling through a map or typing in a specific address.

Another cool feature of HomeSnap? The service tracks any homes snapped by a user. Once a snapped home enters the market or drops in price, the user is immediately notified.

The future of HomeSnap

Still in its inaugural form, HomeSnap is expected to expand and improve as the year progresses.

The growth of MLS coverage is one of the most anticipated improvements. HomeSnap currently pulls MLS data from 13 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas and hopes to expand to 30 cities by the end of 2012. Users can still access homes in areas not covered by MLS data, but only limited data is presented.

HomeSnap is also working to develop multi-unit building capabilities, as well as an Android version of its app.

Will HomeSnap upend the real estate mobile app market? Will Trulia and Zillow be forced to streamline their technology to compete? We’ll keep you posted.