How to research before buying property
- By: Ashley Saunders
- December 2017
The best way to get ahead in any property purchase is to research. To know your chosen area better than everyone. Yes, even the estate agent! This will mean you will get a great deal in the end. It will also help you to pass on properties that look right but aren’t for you.
This all may sound like hard work to you but it’s simply a matter of knowing what to look for and then spending the time doing the legwork. So here’s what and how to research before buying property.
So the best thing to do once you have your ideal location is to run a search for up 1-mile radius of that location. While you can start with village or towns, having a few postcodes, will enable you to gather the necessary data quicker.
Using Rightmove, we want to gather the basic details, bedrooms, bathrooms, garden size and total floor area. As well as the Current Price and a postcode, if you don’t already have one.
Next head over to Zoopla. Using the postcodes, we will run a search for that the first four characters (i.e. AB1 2 or A1 2 or AB12 3) of that postcode and see how many houses are in that general location.
We want to work out the average price in that area for the type of property you are looking for. This may take some time to add up all the houses that meet our criteria. It may be best to use a spreadsheet to record the data in. How does the average house value compare to the price of your potential house?
Next, on Zoopla, have a look at the details it presents about the current house you are looking for as well as property values in the full postcode. Again work out for that postcode area how many houses fit your particulars and the average value.
Still, on Zoopla, find the home that you are looking at purchasing. Zoopla will give you the last sold date and price, the type of property.
The current Zoopla estimate of price and an estimate of the rental value are listed as well. A nice feature is the “area stats” tab which will show you the average current value for four different types of property. The tabs also shows the average cost per square foot in that postcode.
This will give you an idea of the current value of the house you are looking at. The more you analyse different areas and property types the more you will understand the value. And so can turn up at viewings with a better idea of what you would offer or what you think the property is worth.
Remember valuation, even for surveyors are an art and not a science.
You then want to head over to the government stats page and have a look at the postcode. Remember to have a look at levels of employment/benefit claimants, life expectancy and crime (more recent crime figures can be found on www.police.uk). All of this affects where you really want to live.
Then lastly planning. This is critical to research before buying property and a step that many forget. You need to find out what local planning permission has been applied for, what is currently active, but may not have started yet, and who has been rejected recently.
The easiest place to find all this information is to look at your local council website. Remember with planning permission, that some people look to raise the value of there property by gaining permission yet never plan on exercising it.
What to research before buying property
There are many factors that you should research before buying property. With every home you view, consider these basics points before setting off from home.