New eBook about buying a house using apps, maps and location based services

, posted: 8-Oct-2013 09:53

We all know buying a house is stressful. Get it right and you can own your dream home, get it wrong and the dream could be a nightmare. It’s all about Location as Luigi Cappel explains in his new Kindle eBook ‘Buying a House – Using Real Estate Apps, Maps and Location Based Services’, new on the Amazon Kindle store today.
Buying a House Final Cover ArtThis unique book takes you into the world of mobile applications that take advantage of mobile and tablet functionality such as GPS and the camera, web sites and map tools that can help you do your essential research before you start looking at homes. Illustrations show examples and there are many links to apps and web sites from around the world.
We chose Kindle as a platform because it is universal. You don’t have to own a Kindle device, you can get free software for your PC, smartphone or tablet.
What will you learn about in this eBook? Topics covered (with examples of and links to free apps and web services) include:
  • Real Estate Agents. Should you do your homework first? How do you find a good one? How do you find a good real estate agency? Why does it matter?
  • Social Media. How can you use social media to find out about areas you might want to live in, even if you don’t know anyone who lives there? How to use tools like Facebook Graph Search and others.
  • Scoping the Neighborhood. What’s the street like? What are the demographics, are the people there like me? What about neighborhood crime? You don’t have to drive 120km like I did once, to find the neighbors had rusting car bodies and other mess all over the back yard.
  • Utilities. Can you take it for granted that you’ll get good TV coverage, gas, cellular mobile or fast broadband? How can you find out?
  • Commuting. How long will it take to get to and from work at rush hour? What are the transport options such as buses, trains or ferries?
  • Viewing houses without having to buy a gas station. Optimizing your day visiting properties.  What tools make that easy and how do you use them.
  • The property and risks. How do you identify risks like floods or slips? Does it get all day sun?
  • What amenities are in walking distance? What do you need? Schools, shops, health services? How can you check for things like that before you go?
  • Check List Applications. You can’t possibly remember what belonged with what house once you’ve seen a pile of them. What should you even be looking for?
  • Real Estate Applications. There are hundreds of them. What should you look for? Should you use one that is unique to a real estate brand, like Barfoot & Thompson or something more generic like Trulia? What sort of features should you look for?
But wait there is more. This is a valuable book for anyone who is contemplating buying a house. As an eBook you can easily click on any section and go straight there and of course with Kindle you can add your own comments and bookmarks.
If you know anyone who is thinking of buying a house, let them know about this book, it is an investment that they will benefit from. It’s an easy read, packed with lots of useful information and very little jargon.
Check it out here and feel free to leave comments. If you buy it, I would welcome a review on the Amazon site.


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Comment by tieke, on 9-Oct-2013 13:52

It was short and easy to read, but felt more like a good website post on the subject than a standalone book.  The general advice is solid and the author uses his experiences to highlight areas where buyers need to remember to do their homework.

However, because it tries to include both New Zealand and overseas readers, the tech side (which users of this site are probably interested in) ends up being a bit more of an overview than an in-depth guide. The pages spent covering US-only apps and websites such as Zillow, Trulia and or various random overseas realtor websites are basically wasted space as far as New Zealand readers are concerned, while the few New Zealand-specific sites would be of no interest to US-based readers.

(The author might also want to change "weary" at location 623 to "wary" if Amazon doesn't charge too much for edits.)

Author's note by PDAMan, on 9-Oct-2013 15:37

Thanks for buying the book, the feedback on the content and the typo:)

There are obviously many hundreds of apps and thousands of websites globally. Yes, the eBook is relatively short and designed to introduce concepts rather than being an in-depth guide. once people have thought of the factors they want to consider, they should be able to easily find the sites or apps that they want, based on the examples given. The idea behind it was to provide a reference resource that people can refer back to and of course being an eBook, it lends itself nicely to the use of hyperlinks, notation and bookmarks.

In regard to New Zealand, there actually aren't a lot of applications out there yet and one of my motivations is to get real estate agents in New Zealand thinking about how they can better serve their customers and provide quality applications that might give them a competitive edge. The same applies to Australia, although it appears to be well ahead of New Zealand, including the proliferation of American apps, where NZ probably isn't given any consideration at all.

From the perspective of a Kindle eBook, New Zealand is a very small market. I'm hoping that the 2013 Census will help provide more information and I would also like to encourage Kiwis to develop new apps or location based BI services to the public. We aren't well served when it comes to this and these are opportunities for a variety of industries to come to the party including local and national Government, Real Estate, Banking and Finance, Insurance etc.

I would love to write a local book just for Kiwis, but I don't think there is sufficient material at present. The book has started some discussion in the real estate, location and big data industry, so here's hoping.

Thanks again.


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Luigi Cappel
New Zealand

Helping people getting their message to potential customers with blogs and social media.
Futurist and start up founder.
Passionate consultant about all things to do with Social, Location, Augmented Reality and Mobile.
Member of Auckland ICT Cluster
Chair of Computing and IT Industry Advisory Committee at National Technology Institute
Founding member and past president of the New Zealand Wireless Forum.
Past Vice President NZ Sales & Marketing Institute.