Zillow Launches New Rental App for the iPhone

If you’re a renter in the greater Puget Sound, you’re probably familiar with how competitive the market is today, and looking for that edge to help stay one step ahead of the rest. Renters have the task of sorting through their options, and have to view several properties at once, sometimes multiple in one day and have to remember which ones they liked, and what they liked about them. To aid renters on their quest for the perfect rental, yesterday afternoon Zillow launched a new rental app for the iPhone, just like their rental app that came out for the Android in April.

The new rental app has features that will allow renters to access rental listings, see whats around the property’s neighborhood, (schools, restaurants, parks, shopping, etc) and search by neighborhood. Renters will be able to use GPS and voice search options to search rentals in a specific area, and  use color coded options to see which listings are new to the market. Renters will also be able to view their favorite listings side by side, for a detailed comparison, and can contact landlords right there on the spot. If you have an iPhone and searching for rentals in the neighborhood, give this one a try!

Do Energy Efficient Appliances Help Save Money?

Has your landlord recently made the switch from your old rusty toilet, to a water saving model? You love the aspect of helping save the resources, but will the savings reflect in your utility bills as well? Zillow has graciously done a little research on the topic, and put together a cheatsheet for those renters confused with all of the benefits of new energy efficient appliances. First, it depends on the size and model of the appliance you are replacing, and inevitably the terms you agreed to pay for utilities in your lease. The average American spends roughly $2,200 per year on utilities, and nearly half of this amount goes towards heating and cooling, 14% towards heating water, and 13% to appliances including dishwashers, refrigerators, washers and dryers.

If you’re replacing a really ancient model you’ll likely see the upgrade reflected in your bill, but if you’re replacing say a 2 year old dishwasher, you might not see the difference that you’d expect. If the appliance has an energy star label, those are the most energy efficient, and will save more likely than others. It’s also important to be, the cost might not be reflected initially, but the savings that could add up in the long run might be worth the change. For more information on energy saving appliances visit Zillow.

Cost of Moving Takes a Toll on Your Wallet

The stress of switching rentals can be burdensome for a number of reasons, but the tax it can take to your wallet is one of the biggest issues many people face when moving into new homes. According to Zillow, US Census stats have shown that “19 million American households pack up and move every year.”

Back in 2010, the World Wide Relocation Association reported that the average professional move would cost roughly $12,230. Zowza! Factors that can become costly when moving include the distance of the move, packing supplies and/or services, and professional movers or rentals. When hiring professionals for the move, the price of the move obviously rises quite a bit, and the weight of your items could actually be measured on a scale system. Be sure to check to moving company’s system and request an estimate before moving forward with the move. If you’re limited on moving expenses, you can always opt to call a few friends who have larger vehicles and are willing and able to lift heavy furniture. For more information on all of the expenses that go into moving, visit Zillow’s Blog.