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If you have a smart phone, and who doesn't these days, you have apps. If you're like me you probably have a few apps on your phone that are useless. I bet you can't remember why you even downloaded some of your apps. Well, I'm not here to give you more useless apps. I do want to share with you the 5 Essential Smart Phone Apps Every Homeowner Needs, IMHO.

There is no particular order of importance for any of these apps except #1. Generally, these apps receive better than average ratings and have been downloaded tens of thousands of time or more so they are proven useful apps. I have all of these apps and use them when the need arises. I'm sure you may use similar apps to these so share with my your favorites in the comments section. Also, these apps are available for both IPhone and Android. Android is the best though!

The #1 App in my list should be on the smart phone of every person who owns or rents a house, apartment, condo, or mobile home, or anyone with stuff in storage. When you have a claim on your home insurance, renters insurance, condo insurance, or mobilehome insurance you WILL complete a home inventory of your stuff. Use this app to build your home inventory so at the time of claim you're prepared, you're less stressed out, and your claim is handled more quickly and favorably.

Here's my list.

5. iHandy Level - Everyone who lives somewhere has a need to hang stuff on the walls. Especially, if you have a spouse like mine who likes to have her pictures on the walls instead sitting on the floor right below the spot where they should be hung. It can be a huge pain to makes sure that picture, mirror, or shelf is exactly perfect. This app comes in handy for just those right situations where you need to hang things as level as possible, as quickly as possible. If you have your phone handy, you'll have a level handy for that next picture hanging adventure.

4. HomeSavvy - Most homeowners do a less than adequate job of preventative maintenance on their home. Many put off simple tasks until often it's too late and major repairs are needed. This very handy app, with just a small amount of information input by the homeowner, will provide a detailed calendar list of common homeowner tasks to complete throughout the year. This would be ideal for homeowners just purchasing a home as it gives you alerts when a task needs completing. Give this app a try and let me know how you like it in the comments section.

3. ColorSmart by BEHR - There are several apps similar to this one by Behr for matching paint. I think this app is pretty cool though. Painting a room is one of the easiest and best ways to enhance the look of that room even without changing any of the furniture. This app can help you visualize that color on a wall. It will help you pick color combinations. It won't do the painting. Have fun with this app. Let me know how it works for you with your next painting project.

2. AroundMe - This app is new to me, but I found it very handy so far. This would be great for recent "movers" who aren't familiar with the area. The app uses your zip code and location to let you know what is "AroundMe". When it comes to searching for a restaurant, movie theater, coffee shop, banks, hospitals, and a whole lot more this app seems to be fairly accurate and useful to have on your smart phone.

1. Encircle - As I said at the beginning, this should be a must app for anyone who owns or rents a home, condo, or mobilehome. I have recommended other apps for home inventory purposes but this one has some great features that the others don't. By the way, at least 95% of homeowners don't have an inventory list of their personal belongings. Many have just not taken the time to complete this very important task, but now you know about this app you have no excuses. One just takes 4-6 pictures in each room. Then, you view that picture and tap on an item in the picture to input the details about the items. This is highly useful for your electronic devises as you'll be able to include serial numbers and model numbers. It will take you some time to inventory your home but this app goes a long way in making it much more efficient. 

Let me know what you think of these apps and please let me know of any other apps you use that would be beneficial for all homeowners.

Author Richard Morris

Richard Morris, an independent insurance agent in Chandler, Arizona, has been serving and helping Arizona families and businesses with all their insurance needs for over 23 years. Visit his website at to see all the ways he can help you with your insurance needs or call the office at (480) 336-2707 or toll free at (888) 907-9349. Connect with Rich on Google+ and Twitter.

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