Using Data to Help You Make the Right House Buying Decision

Each week brings a different perspective on the UK housing market but that doesn’t stop the population needing to move. According to real estate website NAEA, the number of first time buyers has increased by almost 10% since February 2017.

The great news about living in the age of information is that you now have access to a lot of data regarding the house you always dreamt of having. To help you make the best decision, we have come up with a list of data driven factors to watch for when buying a house.

The House
Spring always brings a surge in listings so now is a good time to start the search. But how do you decide when to haggle and when to snap up?

Here are our picks of how to make an informed pricing decision:

• Price comparison
A great improvement since the early 2000s is the appearance of price comparison websites. In the past you had to rely on the word of the real estate agent, whilst today you have a range of websites specialising in making sure that you get the best value for your money. One of the biggest property advertising websites, Zoopla, has created a very interactive and simple Heatmap of UK property values.

• Land registry
If you prefer a more regulated service, then you should defiantly consider checking HM Land Registry. Similar to Zoopla’s heatmap, this government department records any ownership changes, mortgages or leases that could affect a property. Moreover, what makes this department unique is that anyone who suffers loss because of an error or omission in the register will normally be compensated.

• Duration of advertisement
Another great aspect of online real estate services is that you can normally see how long a house has been advertised for. For example, it is generally believed that if a house has been advertised for a long period of time, it means that the quality of the property does not meet the price expectation. Before deciding to visit a house, you can make an idea of what to expect by reading reviews of previous visitors. A great source of feedbacks is allAgents, the UK’s largest review website for the property industry.

• Pictures
You can scroll through pictures of your dream house from almost every possible angle to get a feel for what might need improving or what really ticks all the boxes.

This is our area of speciality and we take it a step further with Virtual Reality tours which add another layer of experience, especially if you either can’t immediately view or live in a different country, get immersed in your potential new home with 360 virtual property tours and walk around a property without leaving the office.

The Area
The house is only a part of the decision as Location, Location, Location so often reminds us. What good is a dream house if it is miles away from the nearest shop? Apart from distance from your favourite restaurant, there are other factors you should consider when moving into a new area:

• Crime rate
We are almost sure that there is no one who prefers to live in a crime ridden area. However, if you are then maybe you should skip this point. If not, then there are many ways you can check the safety of your future neighbourhood. Our favourite website is POLICE.UK’s interactive map that shows how many crimes happened in your area. You just need to put your postcode and it will even show you’re the location and type of felony.

• School quality in the area
If you have kids or planning to, then you will probably find this subject of great interest. When moving house you also need to start thinking about the quality of schools in your future area. In the past you had to rely on word of mouth whilst nowadays you have a range of review websites to help you make a decision.

Our top choice is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. In short, Ofsted is a government department which inspects and regulate services that care for children and your people, as well as services that provide education and skills for learners of all ages. So, if in doubt about the quality of your children’s future school you easily check it in their weekly reports!

• Distance from public transport and basic facilities
As claimed above, what good is a dream house if it is miles away from civilisation? Everything xand everyone is in a continuous state of perpetuum mobile. So, another great factor when looking for a new place to live is how far it is from public transport and your favourite shops. There are a lot of online maps that tell you about your surrounding area. However, there are none like Mapumental. What makes this map special is that it shows you how much time it will take you to get from your house to your desired destination. When it comes to travel, times matters more than distance.

All in all, there are a lot of benefits from living in the age of data and information. When it comes to moving house you can easily create a key wish list and compare it across the infinite numbers of online sources. We only touched the tip of the iceberg but we hope that our list will make a difference in your quest to finding that special home.

If you need any help in your journey to purchase a property or just want to find out more about specific factors, don’t hesitate to contact us.