House hunting is something we used to do by flicking through newspaper ads on Sunday mornings. We’d walk up and down the streets or commute to and from work, keeping an eye out for ‘FOR SALE’ boards in sought-after streets, making a mental note of the estate agent with a plan to pop into their office at the weekend. But, technology is changing the way we search for properties. In fact, it’s advancing our efforts, making it easier than ever to bag ourselves the home of our dreams. Here’s how…
We’re using the property portals
It might sound like an obvious advancement to point out, but can you imagine even trying to look for a house without the internet?! Portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla currently list 90% of the properties available to buy and let the United Kingdom (and even some overseas), making it easier than ever for prospective buyers to peruse properties at their leisure.
Whether it’s appearing in your ‘frequently visited’ bar on your browser, or you’ve gone so far as to download the app on your phone, doubtless you’ve been making the most of this technological breakthrough. With an ability to refine our searches and set up notification alerts to prompt us when new properties are listed, it’s easier to see what’s on the market than ever before.
We’re making the most of informative websites
Another way that advances in technology are changing the way we’re house hunting is through the use of particular websites. For example, sites such as WhatHouse are popular with savvy buyers with a desire to own their own homes. Users are able to keep abreast of news and information about new homes for sale in areas they’re interested in, and make the most of being able to contact multiple property developers in just a few clicks of a button.
Similarly, websites such as Which?, the Citizens Advice Service and Money Supermarket are helping house hunters to swot up on all the information they need to know in order to buy a home, educating them about their financial health and the ways that mortgages, shared ownership and help to buy schemes work.
We’re taking advantage of technology that wasn’t originally intended for house hunting
Ever used Google Maps to get a sneaky preview of the street a property is located on? You’re not alone! In fact, it’s a sensible idea, giving you a starting point to evaluate a location, walking around entire cities, towns and villages to check out the neighbours and the nearby environment.
House hunters are also using Google to learn about the available amenities in a location, its proximity to key transport links, as well as full-scale reviews of what it’s like to live in an area, crime stats and demographic changes.
Of course, just as Kirstie Allsopp points out, nothing will ever beat a good old fashioned in-person-viewing of a property, but it’s undeniable that technology is helping house hunters to find the home of their dreams far more easily than ever before.