8 things you didn’t know about online property searching

8 things you didn’t know about online property searchingThe new era of online property searching is still a growing market, one that confuses and bewilders many sellers who are unfamiliar with its attractions. Many traditionalists are unaware the market even exists, and certainly wouldn’t know about the plethora of options and streamlining services to find exactly the right home. Here are eight things you might not know about finding the perfect pad online:

  1. If you really, truly have no preconceptions about buying a new home other than a few necessary criteria, then Findahood is a great place to fulfil your needs. Rather than looking for the normal items such as number of rooms and type of home, the site allows you to set the importance of certain issues to you such as proximity of schools and local parks, and whether homes around you have similar occupations.
  2. Not everyone searches for a property to buy or sell. Curious (otherwise known as nosey) neighbours would love to know how much you paid for your home, or the value of homes on their own street. If the above applies to you, then the ‘current values’ tab at Zoopla might float your boat; simply type in your postcode and see an entire list of estimates for your area, along with sales history.
  3. Niche websites are certainly worth investigating if you’re after something a little different. Most bizarre and brilliant types of homes are available if one searches, from canal boats to castles, and from eco homes through companies such as GreenMoves, to static homes.
  4. Most online sites will not only post your property, but slice out many of the costs involved with the process. If you don’t wish, for example, to pay for professional property staging or floorplans when selling your home, then you don’t have to. The price structure is clearly laid out at sites such as HouseSimple, and there are no surprises.
  5. Ever been stuck in a situation where you need accommodation for a week or two? Rather than staying in a hotel, why not try Couchsurfing?
    There’s an estimated 400,000 members who log in every week to offer a bed or coffee to travellers trekking anywhere from Bournemouth to Bolivia, but it needn’t just be holidaymakers or trekkers.
  6. It’s a sad truth that for many people the local crime rate is one of the most important factors when relocating. Rather than Googling the area and trying to piece together a numerical idea, Police.uk will give a month-by-month, road-by-road breakdown of every incident in a given area. Well worth a look before tabling an offer.
  7. Anyone who has ever sold or purchased a home will know that high street estate agents ring at inopportune times, and can sometimes prove annoyingly pushy. The new technology of online estate agents gives the homeowner the control, giving the option of editing a listing at any time, up-to-the-minute information of a sale or letting, and online messaging for viewers and purchasers.
  8. You may have seen news of onthemarket.com, a website set up by a consortium of estate agents to challenge the big beasts of Rightmove and Zoopla. In classic military-style, the site aims to beat them by dividing and conquering – anyone listing their property at onthemarket.com can only list the home on one of the two other sites, and not both. It’s a new and bold strategy, and something to consider when looking at listing options.

* This is a collaborative post.

A nation of lazy people?

A nation of lazy people

A few months ago I took part in a survey conducted by ukBathrooms in which they were searching for the answer to just one question: “What do you find most off-putting in a bathroom when buying a house?” As an ex-house hunter I wanted to share my views on the topic…

Last month their findings were published in a property related article in The Independent:

Half put black mould or a bad silicone finish at the top of the list, while a quarter went for outdated bathroom suites. Even damaged tiles would put 9 per cent off.

On the one hand their findings didn’t surprise me – mould in general is very yucky, it can cause health problems and it is not so easy to get rid off… so I can totally understand it being at the top of the list (also I should mention I was one of the people who helped put it there).

On the other hand I simply can’t believe that a bad silicone finish scored as high as mould… Come on people…

I wouldn’t be surprised to see an outdated bathroom suit sharing a high position along with mould. Bathroom suits aren’t cheap or easy to replace, so I can understand that it might be a problem for many people but a bad silicone finish???

I simply don’t get it.

I know that buying a house is a hard, energy draining and often complicated process but unless you have an unlimited supply of money you can’t in reality find perfection, you may search for perfection… but the odds are not in your favour.

I know this because I took that road, I have that T-shirt… we did search for our “perfect” house and very quickly we were brought up back into reality.

There is no perfect house!

There are houses which will come close to your dream but you will always find something which isn’t quite right… and you know what… that’s ok… your new house doesn’t have to be perfect; it will be up to you to make it so once you move in…

I simply can’t believe that people would dismiss the house because of badly laid silicone.

It takes about £10 and 10 minutes to replace it… you simply pill off the old one, clean and dry the area and slowly apply a new one… it’s that simple… even I can do it…

Why are we so lazy these days?

One thousand people answered this survey which means that at least 500 of them couldn’t be bothered to do a small DIY job.

I simply don’t get it.

Why are we so lazy? Who is to blame?

Is it our fault because we didn’t learn basic skills? Is it our parents fault because they didn’t teach us those basic skills? Or is it our societies fault because it forces us to be very narrow-minded and focused only on specific tasks? Or are we just a nation in these modern times that whenever we have a problem our first reaction is to pick up the phone and call for help?

Do you have any ideas who or what is to blame?