We have been working up in complexity with our previous projects as a group, and we wanted to make a project that takes it one step up from our last app. Previously we made an app that helped students manage their schoolwork, but now we decided that we want to expand our audience to adults and help them buy a new home.
What it does
This app will find houses in a certain location depending on the zip code, and it will also display other specifics based on the area like the unemployment rate and the local school test performances.
How we built it
We built this app using Android Studio, XML, Firebase, and jsoup
Challenges we ran into
We ran into numerous challenges such as not getting our firebase server to update and we kept getting errors. We had to check several sources for a couple of hours but didn't find anything, so we tried to fix it ourselves and we finally managed to fix it! We had other issues with the jsoup, like when it wasn't returning pictures or the prices of houses, and where the information was random and the prices did not correspond with the following house picture. This was the biggest problem for us and it took us a lot of time to fix, but in the end we learned that if we put our mind to something than we can do it.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud of being able to build this app and see it actually work. When we came into this hackathon we had high hopes but our dreams almost fell down the drain because we had so many unresolved issues in the very beginning of the hackathon. We are finally relieved that we have been able to finish this project, because it was definitely one of the hardest projects we have tried to do but we managed to do it which is the important part.
What we learned
We learned a lot about jsoup and firebase. Coming into this hackathon we had some experience with android studio but no experience in firebase and jsoup. These were 2 learning curves that came across our development. We also learned that we have a really good team dynamic that we weren't aware of previously, so we'd like to thank DubHacks for their hackathon and their support because our team has strengthened its dynamic because of this hackathon.
What's next for House Finder
We don't have much of a UI right now, but we hope to improve the UI drastically in the future and make it a lot more appealing. This hackathon was relatively short, so we figured that we should spend most of our time on the functionality of the app and then focus on cosmetics in the end, but we didn't have time so this is a future goal for us. We also want to add more settings/preferences for every user. Currently, we only ask for the zip-code that users are looking to buy houses in, but later on we will add other settings/preferences such as income, salary, max prices, # of bedrooms, etc. We also plan on adding a feature that can ask the user if they want to buy or rent a property, because that is necessary when looking for houses.
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