Top online resources for Central London property buyer
Beyond traditional property portals there are a vast array of websites and apps that can help you assess your shortlisted properties. Here Luxury Movement team points you in the direction of some of the most useful online resources.
While we think these are incredibly useful sites, when information really matters, don’t rely on website/desktop information alone – adopt a belt-and-braces approach, double checking vital information in a non-virtual manner.
– Can’t believe your eyes? Has clever photography succeeded in cropping out busy roads and eyesores next to, or opposite, that beautiful property? Google Earth and Google Streetview is your friend. Have a good look around from the comfort of home to find out the things that the agent might prefer you not to know.
– Schools Goodschoolsguide.co.uk is a wonderful online schools information resource, from an initial search telling you what’s where, through to the minutest detail on individual schools. Also Ofsted reports are available free on reports.ofsted.gov.uk Furthermore Nappyvalleynet.com has a great school catchment area finder for SW London.
– Why is my house shaking? This map shows you where the tubes run in relation to streets, so traintimes.org.uk/map/tube/ is a handy resource for anyone worrying about subterranean rumblings.
– Broadband Type in a postcode to broadbandspeedchecker.co.uk and it will show you what speeds are available in the area from which providers. Very useful tool, but if broadband speed is vital to you, we would strongly suggest a proper road test.
– Flooding Information on what the flood risk is in a particular area or postcode is available at a click on environmentagency.gov.uk. Click on the map and find out whether the risk is very low, low, medium or high.
– Crime stats Speedy access to an overview of crime statistics in a specific postcode: ukcrimestats.com/
– Planning Worried about planning applications in an area? Or do you want to know about a local council’s planning policy? Most district councils now have a good online resource. You should be able to look at current and historical planning applications on the planning register. And also view current planning policy.
– Mortgage calculator There are plenty of those, but moneysupermarket.com is easy and very useful, offering a range of mortgage types, and an easy device for putting in property value, loan required, timescale, and coming up with specific deals from an enormously wide range of providers.
– Stamp duty calculator Stamp duty becomes more and more complicated. stampdutycalculator.org.uk has an easy device for finding out what duty is payable, whether it’s a first or additional property.
– House prices The Land Registry website landregistry.data.gov.uk is a useful resource, as is nethouseprices.com and zoopla.co.uk are very user-friendly. Sold prices and current value estimates are easy to find. A good way of looking at prices for the property you’re looking at, and others in the area.
– Getting around London It used to be a matter of trial and error for new Londoners. Buses were always a mystery! But tfl.gov.uk plans you a journey from anywhere to anywhere, giving you options for all different types of transport (including walking), and allowing you to select your preferences.
– Warts and all Finally, propertydetective.com promises a ‘warts and all’ report of what a property, street, or neighbourhood can offer them and their lifestyle. Basic information is free, but a more in depth report comes at a price.
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