Every spring in the UK, the home-buying seasons starts. Estate agents across the country gear up for this busy season and prepare for the rush that lasts through Easter, and this has been the tradition for some time. But times are changing in the sense that the Internet age has altered the real estate landscape, especially when it comes to how the average buyer shops for a new home.
The mobile revolution is also playing a prominent role, as more and more people access the Internet via their smartphones and rely on mobile apps for assistance. These days, there are many online and mobile resources geared towards helping UK homebuyers facilitate the process. And with the right sites and apps on hand, buying a new home can not only be a relatively quick proposition, but the buyer may just save a bit of extra cash as well.
With that in mind, here are some sites and apps that should prove invaluable to those in the market for a new home.
Location: The start of the home-buying process involves searching through new listings, and it’s now more than ever to begin this journey via the Internet. Sites like Adzuna make the search process easy by aggregating all of the UK’s property advertisements in one place.
Purchase negotiation: When shopping for a home in a certain area, it’s helpful to know what other homes in the area have sold for, as this info is vital during the negotiating process. Zoopla provides land-registry info to those in the market for new properties.
Market monitoring: Oftentimes people will find that perfect dream home only to learn it is out of their price range. Those buyers who don’t mind waiting for a shift in the market that possibly yields lower prices can periodically check Mouseprice in order to see if that perfect property is currently in reach.
The cost of moving: Once the home is purchased and the boxes are packed, it’s time to make the move. And there are a number of websites that can help calculate moving costs and conveyance fees. To this end, MyHomeMove is a comprehensive and useful resource. Those who need to calculate things such as land tax and stamp duty can opt for HMRC, which is also helpful.
Mortgage calculation: After finding that perfect listing, it’s time to check and see if it is affordable. That’s where a quality mortgage calculator comes into play. One quality option is this mortgage calculator app for iPhone by London & Country.
Neighborhood satistics/amenities: Taxes and fees are one aspect to take into account when planning a move; neighborhood statistics are another. Numberhood is an iPhone/Android app released by the UK government that allows the user to compare data from local authorities as well as locate crucial amenities such as the nearest post office and chemist.
And once everyone is moved into the new home, it’s time to stock the fridge. This Ocado app for iPhone/Android/BlackBerry/Windows Phone puts an entire supermarket at the user’s fingertips.
Using even just one or two of these resources should eliminate much of the guesswork and heavy lifting from the process of buying a home. And as technology further improves, look for the government to add even more useful resources that people can access right from the palm of the hand.
Sam Dressler is a UK based property expert. She helps consumers navigate the buying and selling process. Did you know for example that a Scottish Home Report is a legal requirement. Get help and information like this from her various work across the web.