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Below are some tech tips when looking for a place to buy. Do you have others?

The main websites I use are Rightmove and Zoopla, when you register an account with them you can
- set up alerts to receive emails daily when a new property is added to their site with your search criteria (e.g. location, # of bedrooms etc)
- save properties of interest, this helps me navigate to them easier in future.
- add personal notes to the properties, for example to add points to compare properties.

I also register with local estate agents, as they can notify you of new properties on the market before it hits rightmove and zoopla.

There have been positive comments on Property Bee though I haven't used it myself.

If you use both Rightmove and Zoopla I recommend installing Property Form Filler, search for it in Google Chrome's webstore.
Its time consuming filling in the search criteria in Rightmove and then you have to fill out the criteria from scratch on Zoopla too.
Property Form Filler helps with pre-populating the search criteria for you using details from your previous search. Essentially its a time saver.

I visit the local council's website to check out planning applications, both to avoid nasty surprises and to get ideas on changes that could be applied to a property of interest. The council site may also make you aware of school catchment, convervation or not, parking permit and many others.

I use google maps to check out the location on street view (if possible), or I check out the earth view to see local loft conversions, gardens, parks etc.

Walkit gives me an idea of how long it'll take to walk to a local station/shop/park.

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Seriously, use Property Bee...it's amazing information that 99%+ of people will just not find.

Get Firefox

Install Greasemonkey add-on.

Install Property Bee. Simple. You can thank me later.. :)

Good idea on planning, not something I ever look at.

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The owners of propertybee and property form filler should consider making their apps available on both firefox & chrome, making it available to a wider audience.

Just realised my posting didnt have a link to Property Form Filler (only works in chrome)

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/property-form-filler/anmloekdnkahnadjokocimakcklielce

Ive used the planning permission idea to find out which company did an extension locally and then i called them up to get high level details of what I could do to mine and potential costs, this helped with budgeting for renovations before purchasing the property.

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Here are a few "For Sale by Owner" websites to try, too:

http://www.dmoz.org/Regional/Europe/United_Kingdom/Business_and_Economy/Property/For_Sale_By_Owner/

There are a few more tips here (sorry for just linking, too lazy to type it all out - again)! Things like area demographics, crime reports, flood risk, sold prices etc:

http://www.countrymove.co.uk/blogs/your-dream-country-home/getting-to-know-the-local-area

http://www.countrymove.co.uk/blogs/your-dream-country-home/buying-a-country-property-essential-research

Definitely get Property Bee - it's brilliant :D

Edited by CountryMove

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If you have a Smart Phone, get the Rightmove and/or Zoopla apps. They work nicely with their corresponding websites, so saved searches/alerts/properties on one appear in the other.

Its useful to have the apps if you are just walking down a street and want to find homes for sale in a local area without necessarily knowing the postcode or street name. The 'use current location' utility on your phone should help the app find the local properties.

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...

I use google maps to check out the location on street view (if possible), or I check out the earth view to see local loft conversions, gardens, parks etc.

...

Bing Maps have a great feature called 'Bird's Eye' if you happen to be looking at a property that is covered by its mapping. It's an isometric 3D view which gives 4 aerial views at 90° intervals, eg:

http://binged.it/14536IO

It's a bit more helpful than a simple drive-by on StreetView, although Google Maps is still the daddy for other mapping needs!

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Heads up everyone there is a new property portal to check out, OnThemarket.com, its designed to break the dominance of rightmove & zoopla and is built by high street estate agents.

As I tend to check out both rightmove and zoopla often, having to check out onthemarket too will be a pain for me but at least the chrome app I mentioned above 'property form filler' (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/property-form-filler/anmloekdnkahnadjokocimakcklielce) helps will filling the forms on their website over and over again.

thanks moily for that tip! i like it.

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