Best Websites For Finding A First Home
It has never been easier to find out about homes from the comfort of your current home, with a huge range of websites that let you find out about properties for sale around the country.
There are generally two main options you might like to consider: large national websites that have deals with estate agents to list their properties, or local estate agents and niche property providers who may well have properties that are not available on the large sites, but may target a particular market or a relatively small area of the country.
If you know exactly where you want to look for property - and people often buy where they currently live - then you should check out the local estate agents and not just the large property sites, as you may find properties you won't discover there. Similarly if you have very niche requirements - such as looking for a really expensive house (unlikely for your first property, but not impossible) then there may be agents that cater for that particular sector: particularly in London.
In the vast majority of cases, perhaps even all, it pays to do at least some research on websites, and find out what is out there on the market. To that end, there are a couple big players in the market that it is definitely always worth taking a look at, and these are as outlined below:
As you'd expect from the large websites, here you can find properties for sale and to rent around the whole of the UK. You can search by town, area or right down to postcode level, and then you can then filter your search against various criteria.
This merged with findaproperty.com which was another large player in the online property-finding space. As with rightmove, there is a huge range of property to find here across the country, with various filters such as minimum price, maximum price, property type and number of bedrooms.
Advanced options enable you to drill down even more, and you can specify a distance from a certain location, how recently the property was added, look for particular keywords in listings, and include various property types (such as new homes and retirement homes).
Many people tend to use one or the other of the above sites, but you may as well look at both to see if properties are listed the same on each, or differently, or indeed appear on one and not the other.
It is useful once you know the estate agent listing a property you are interested in to look at their website too for the listing, again to see what information is available. When you have identified a home, you can even find out what it sold for last time, and other information about that particular property which may be useful to you. On zoopla, you simply go to the 'sold prices' section, type in the address of the house, and it will tell you any information it has on that property.
This particular site will even give you an estimate of the current value of the house and how certain it is of that property valuation, so this can be really helpful too in deciding if the listing price is realistic or not.
Last update: 24 Mar 2015
More first-time house buying articles:
- Key Questions To Ask at a Property Viewing
- Finding The Perfect Home
- Freehold & Leasehold Property
- How To Find Somewhere to Rent
- Why Buying in London is Different to Elsewhere