Online House Hunter: What your house is worth
WHAT’S my house worth? That’s usually the first question people ask when they think about moving house. And while it’s quick to get an answer online, the answer needs to be treated with great caution.
There are a number of commercial websites which offer a valuation service online – just tap in your postcode and up comes an answer. Houseprices.co.uk for example, will tell you when your property (or more importantly your neighbour’s) was sold and at what price. It also gives a current value estimate. The site, powered by Zoopla, also has sections specifically devoted to homes for sale, to rent or new homes. An advice section is also included on the site.
nethouseprices.com similarly offers a round-up of what houses in your area have achieved and acknowledges the Land Registry as its source. You can of course go straight to the Land Registry website but it’s not as user-friendly as the commercial sites and doesn’t have the ‘frilly add-ons’ such as being able to sign up for email alerts or links to houses currently for sale.
The website upmystreet.com has plenty of additional information for home sellers or house hunters. It offers a snapshot of your neighbourhood – or the one you wish to move to – which includes the average family income, the interest of your neighbours in current affairs, how many houses have a mortgage, how many of your neighbours are educated to degree level, number of couples with children and who has satellite TV. I’m not sure whether knowing most of my future neighbours have a degree or that none of them have Satellite TV would determine my decision to move there but it’s certainly a more fun way of online house hunting.
For the best down-to-earth advice though on working out the value of your house, visit theadvisory.co.uk. This site is written and contributed to by property professionals from inside the UK house building industry and they tell it as it really is. “Your house is worth what a buyer is prepared to pay for it (just so long as your buyer’s mortgage lender agrees)” the site advises. And goes on to say: “In turn, three things decide what a buyer is prepared to pay for your house:
- What similar properties to yours recently sold for?
- What price similar properties to yours are currently being advertised for sale at?
- The current state of the property market.
For a more definitive figure you’ll want to approach an estate agent (or chartered surveyor) but be wary of them telling you what you want to hear. Get at least three valuations and don’t be afraid to ask them how they arrived at their figure.
- Our online search engine
- Rightmove house valuations
- Nationwide house valuations
- Land Registry
- Directgov: Selling Your Home
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