Nowadays more properties are being listed online than ever before, which means it’s easy to search for a property when it’s convenient for you, even with a hectic lifestyle.
So, assuming you have decided upon your favourite locations and your property requirements (such as number of bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.) and you know your budget – now it’s time to find your ideal home!
Read on for the top property search tips to help you find a house to buy and call home.
Check online listings
You are probably well aware that there are already numerous sites which your local estate agents will list properties on such as Zoopla, Rightmove and OnTheMarket. These sites allow you to filter properties by area and requirements so you can easily see what is currently available in your area.
You don’t have to be at your computer either. You can check these websites on the go using your smartphone or tablet. You can even download their apps and set up notifications.
Sign up for online alerts
As well as searching on the above sites you can set up online alerts so you’ll receive emails automatically when any properties are listed that match your requirements.
for-sale.com is a property search engine in the UK that finds the best matching properties from several real estate websites such as Zoopla, Prime Location and Rightmove. For-sale.com allows you to create an account and set up alerts for specific searches. The moment that the real estate ad you are looking for appears on the internet, you are notified by e-mail.
Drive around your desired neighbourhood
Of course searching online is all well and good, but another great tip is to drive around your desired areas to discover ‘for sale’ signs. Or perhaps even vacant run-down houses if a fixer-upper or project is your aim.
Some estate agents are quite exclusive and you may discover names of estate agents you haven’t heard of before and can then contact to let them know your property search requirements.
If a fixer-upper or huge project is your dream then keep an eye out for obvious vacant properties which look rather dilapidated!
By searching the address online you may be able to find if these types of houses are going to auction and you might be able to grab a bargain.
Sign up to local estate agents
Again, in the online world and its convenience, don’t forget about human contact too. Pop in to your local estate agents when you get a chance, introduce yourself and let them know your requirements.
We were able to find our latest property to buy by doing this. One of our local estate agents let us know about a property just about to hit the market. This meant we were able to arrange the first viewing before anyone knew about it and secure the sale.
Making human connections in person is sometimes just as important as setting up online alerts!
Auctions are another way of buying a home, and usually a quick way too. However, most properties that go up for auction are in a really bad state and most have struggled to sell on the open market. If you are intending to buy a rundown property to renovate, then auctions might be a great way to find a suitable property.
Let friends and family know
If your friends, family and even colleagues know you are house hunting, then it’s possible they know someone who is soon putting their house on the market and it might be suitable. Again, this can help you be first in the line when a new property comes on the market!
Developers websites and show homes
If you’d like a new home, or would consider it, then check out local new-build developers websites to see plans for new developments and properties.
If there are developments in progress then check out their sales offices and showrooms.
Whilst searching online is a great way to view properties and find your dream home, don’t forget about the power of conversation and making in-person connections too. Also consider auctions or developer websites if you have a particular type of property in mind to purchase.