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7 Essential Apps Every Bay Area Homeowner and Renter Needs

7 Essential Apps Every Bay Area Homeowner and Renter Needs

The apps every Bay Area homeowner needs. Photo: Kyle Legg, 49Miles.com.

While smart homes are great and all, there’s only so much they can do right now. Sure, you can have Siri or Alexa turn the lights on, but what about the day-to-day management of your home? Until we have a real-life [PAT from *Smart House*], these essential apps on your smartphone will have to do:

TaskRabbit

Need a shelf hung, a quick cleaning before guests come over, or even pack things up (or unpack) while you’re moving? That’s what TaskRabbit is for: it’s Uber, but for home maintenance and repairs. Simply sign up with your Facebook or Google account and select what you need your TaskRabbit to do for you. You’ll see a list of handy persons, painters, movers, and other gofers, along with what types of projects they take on, and ratings from previous customers. TaskRabbits also charge various hourly rates, making it easy to find one in any price range. Sign up today and get a $20 credit toward your first TaskRabbit.
FREE (iOS, Android, Web)

Nextdoor

No one talks to their neighbors these days. Except on Nextdoor. It’s the social network that’s exclusive to your neighborhood and your neighbors — like the bulletins you used to see on suburban mailboxes. Here, neighbors share everything from lost pets and safety notices, to furniture they are getting rid of (mostly free stuff) and babysitting and/or petsitting services. Neighbors even organize get togethers in parks to meet each other on Nextdoor! Who said no one talks to their neighbors? Sign up for free on the Nextdoor app with Facebook or your email address. You have to enter your address to receive a confirmation code by mail, then your account will be activated! (Don’t worry, your address will not be made public.)
FREE (iOS, Android, Web)

Houzz

Planning a home improvement project? Whether you are simply replacing tile flooring or tackling a full-on remodel, Houzz is the place to go (besides Pinterest, of course). On Houzz you can create inspiration boards (called “Ideabooks”), sorted by room, or style, shop for items — including wallpaper, flooring and décor, and connect with local design and contracting professionals. With Houzz, you’ll be able to find the inspiration you need with over 11 million photos of professionally designed interiors and exteriors, and further refine your selections for when it’s time to meet with your design team or architect. Sign up with Facebook or your email address for free.
FREE (iOS, Android, Web)

Mint

Mint is a personal money manager, helping you create a budget and balance your finances. From the makers of TurboTax and QuickBooks, Mint helps you spend smarter and save more. The app connects to your banking, credit card, and investment accounts, bringing them all into one place so you can track spending, create budgets, receive bill reminders, and get customized tips to reduce fees and save more money. Mint tracks and categorizes your spending, allowing you to easily see how much money is being spent on things like entertainment, coffee, dining out, groceries, and bars. This app also allows you to get a truly free credit report. Mint is completely free to use.
FREE (iOS, Android, Web)

Square Cash

Everyone has been in this situation: you’re getting ready to pay a handyperson, rent, whatever it is you still pay for with cash or checks, to find no cash in your wallet, and your checkbook completely filled out. Here’s where Square Cash comes in. It’s the easier, more intuitive way to share money, compared to PayPal. With Square Cash, you can easily pay friends for dinner, send a friend money for a coffee (on you!), or pay that handyperson or landlord who’s standing in your living room waiting to be paid. It’s easy, quick, and secure. Sign up for Square Cash, and get $5 free once you’ve sent $50.
FREE (iOS, Android, Web)

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Instacart

Don’t want to deal with lines at the grocery store? I hear ya! Instacart, which is available in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, and most larger towns in the Bay Area, let’s you browse and search the aisles of your favorite grocery stores in a way that makes sense to you. In San Francisco, you can shop at Andronico’s, Bi-Rite, Falletti Foods, Rainbow Grocery, Smart & Final, and Whole Foods, and find the same prices and deals you would in-store. (Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Safeway, which has its own delivery service, or Costco.) Simply add the items you’re looking for to your cart after scoping out all the prices in an easy-to-view window, schedule your delivery, and checkout! One-hour delivery is available for $7.99 for orders over $35, and with Instacart Express ($149 annually, or $14.99/month) you can get free delivery on all orders over $35. Sign up for Instacart and get $10 off your first order.
FREE (iOS, Android, Web)

San Francisco Chronicle

While there’s nothing quite like sipping your morning cup of coffee while holding an actual, physical newspaper, there are more eco-friendly ways to consume the news nowadays. You could login to the clunky and hard-to-read SFGate.com and crawl your way through flashy clickbait, or your could download the San Francisco Chronicle app. For $99 a year you can get the morning edition delivered directly to your smartphone or tablet of choice, or login directly on SFChronicle.com. Sign up here and get your first month of the digital Chronicle for $0.99.
FREE (iOS, Android, Web)

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