Moving has always been considered stressful and overwhelming – and with good reason. But technology offers us a whole bunch of new ways to hack the house buying process, and we’ve rounded up some of the top apps and sites that will help you move from stressed to impressed.
Surely everyone knows Rightmove? A way to easily search properties and organise them by price and location, Rightmove makes finding a property simple. However, they’ve also added some extra tools, like an interactive map that connects the places you need to be near to, and your budget to find out where you should live. They also do a yearly happiness index on their property blog, to see which areas have the happiest residents.
2. Property Detective
Okay so you’ve found an area or a property you like, but what about schools? Property Detective does exactly what it suggests, getting you all that useful local information to help you make the right choice. It gives you information about primary and secondary schools in walking distance, along with childcare options. If you upgrade, you can also get information on who lives in your area, what the amenities and nuisances are, along with transport information.
3. Stamp Duty Calculator
Back in 2017, it was revealed that 65% of people underestimated the cost of moving. One of the major forgotten costs from buyers is the Stamp Duty that must be paid on their new home. Knowing how much Stamp Duty you can expect to pay on your new home before you buy can be extremely useful for estimating costs. Stamp Duty Calculator is a useful tool for calculating Stamp Duty for a homes across the UK.
This handy, and occasionally terrifying, police website allows you to see the registered crimes in any given area. You can zoom in on the street and see how they were categorised. Seeing that the road over from your dream home always has antisocial behaviour issues, or that house down the street has multiple counts of violence might make you think again. You can also see where your local police station will be and who your local team is, along with the priorities for your area, and what the police are doing about them.
A free way to check and improve your credit score. Clearscore has a simple, clear interface and will give you updates on how to improve your score, as well as how it compares with your local area, and the national average. Being able to check if you have any incorrect data on your credit score, as well as having access to credit cards and loans, with a percentage showing of how likely you are to be approved, means you can work towards getting a great mortgage whilst you’re still saving for your deposit.
6. Dulux Visualiser App
Have trouble really seeing what that paint sample might look like in your room? Dulux have solved that with a brilliant app – look through your camera and see the wall painted in the colour you’ve chosen. You can also take pictures of items and ‘grab’ the colour, so if the colour doesn’t exist already, you can have it made. Inspiration is everywhere! No more buying multiple tiny tins and staring at colour swatches for hours.
7. Around Me
There’s nothing worse than moving to a new place and having no idea where to find petrol stations, banks or even the hospital. Around Me is an app that can help you get to grips with your new neighbourhood, or even help you decide if your dream property is close enough to all the amenities you need.
When the time has come to decorate that new home and make it truly your own, Houzz has the answers. With a great range of useful people in their directories, from designers to electricians, to furniture shops, you can find everything you need to make your home unique. Houzz also offer design moodboards to let you organise your ideas, as well as helpful articles to get you feeling like an interior design pro.
This sneaky little mouse uses Land Registry data to let you see what people paid for houses in an area. It will show you the highest and lowest priced properties available in your chosen area, when they became available and where they are located. It searches through estate agents' websites, so you have everything in one place.
Nestoria is a helpful tool that gathers all of the estate agent adverts in the location of your choice and displays them all to you in one place. No need for hours of online searching on every different estate agent site, buying or renting, Nestoria has you covered.
Whether you’re tech savvy or like to find a property the old fashioned way, there’s no doubt that using at least a few of these tools will make your property journey a lot easier. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, as there’s even more helpful sites and apps out there to discover.