How to find the right property

TWITTER TEMPLATE USE THIS!! (18)Finding the right house can be often be tough.

You might find a great house but in the wrong area or a house that matches everything you are looking for apart from one or two things that put you off viewing the property. Does this sound familiar?

Even after finding what looks like the right house on paper, it may not be so ideal in reality once you have viewed the property in person.

Using an online property search such as effectively can allow you to plan your property viewings better and reduce wasted time visiting wrong properties. Here are some tips on how to find the right property:

Make a list of possible locations where you would like to live

Before starting to search, define where you would like to live and make a list of towns or villages that would be nice to move to. When searching online you may need to be specific (more on this later) but at the same time try to be flexible with your locations. Some properties may straddle between two towns or areas while even a town itself can have suitable and unsuitable areas for your needs (for example if a school or main road is the wrong end of town for you).

If you need help finding the right locations, it’s worth checking out our previous blogs Choosing The Perfect Property Location and 10 Things To Look Out For When Buying A New Home.

Use a property search tool that has plenty of propertiesperson-woman-hotel-laptop

A search tool that has very few properties can limit your options and you may miss out on the ideal house.

Use a tool such as PlaceBuzz with its extensive database of properties across the UK and search filters to search for your ideal property.


Try different location searches to find what you want

Sometimes a property for sale or rent may not be tagged with the same location data that you are using to search. You may search for Southampton, London or Newcastle for example but many towns and cities have regional areas or nearby areas such as Hedge End (for Southampton) or Hammersmith or Richmond (for London). Using a post code search may also provide you with different results to searching by town or city.

Note: If you are looking for properties in London, you can also try our Commute Search to find new areas to live based on your preferred commute time and budget.

Use the right filters, but stay flexible

Too many properties in a search result may be confusing and runs the risk of you glancing over a potentially good property by accident. Make sure to use filters based on your budget, house size and type of house to find what you want but remain flexible in your searches as well. If you are looking to buy a house with 3 bedrooms then it maybe that there are some affordable smaller 4 bedroom houses available, or a 2 bedroom that can be extended.

Note: If you are doing a repeat search, don’t forget to filter by the newest properties to be posted online. That way you can instantly see the latest updates!

Read the details carefully and get a second opinion

If you find a property that may be ideal, make sure to read the description fully to make sure if there are any points you really like or dislike. Visiting a property that wasn’t right from the description is a waste of time for you and all parties involved. Also ask a friend or family what they think of the property online.

Save your search results and subscribe to get new property notifications

Whether you have shortlisted some properties to view or not found anything at all, it’s worth subscribing to get updates on new properties. PlaceBuzz offers this feature so that you can get property updates sent directly to your inbox, and you can be the first to check out the right property when it comes online!

Don’t delay with arranging a viewing!

Once you have found the properties you would like to view, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the right person to organise a visit. Finding the right property for you might sometimes be a challenge and you don’t want all that good work going to waste because a property is sold or rented to someone else!

Now you know how to find the right property, head over to the PlaceBuzz property search. Happy searching!


Top Tips For Moving House

9761-WIMBLEDON-PLSCEBUZZ-WEBYou have found the perfect house, the papers are signed and the day of the move has been set. It’s exciting times! But there is still a lot of work to do.

The day of the big move can be stressful and it’s important to plan in advance. Below are some top tips for moving house to ensue the move goes smoothly on the day.

1. Make a list of questions to ask your seller and find the answers!

Making sure you know where the stopcock is to turn off the water or the thermostat as well as having any warranties and manuals could make life a lot easier. Find out the answers before you possibly lose contact with the seller.

2. Consider a removal company and check with them what you need to do for the big day

Hiring a van for a day may be cheaper but this has to be weighed against the hassle of doing it yourself. Having professionals do the move who are insured also reduces the risk of valuables being broken.boxes piled up

If you decide to go with  a professional removal company that’s competitively priced, make sure to have a discussion with them on how to prepare for the day of the move. How do they want valuables packed (and do they have protective bags to use)? What time will the move start and what’s the best way to organise items for transporting?

3. Scope out your new house before the items arrive

Planning which items you would like to go in each room of your new house and then packing them accordingly will make life much easier when the move is complete! Scope out exactly which items will go in which room and label boxes so they end up in the right place when moving. It will save you a lot of trouble not having to find boxes and move them between rooms later on.Moving_Mess

Also make sure to clean the rooms in your new home before filling them. It’s most likely the rooms will be filthy and they are easier to clean when empty.

4. Some general packing and moving tips

Here are some more general packing and moving tips to make the move go smoother:

  • Put small items such as bolts and screws in separate bags that are clearly labelled. It makes putting equipment back together much easier!
  • Clearly label every box or package and consider colour coding based on rooms
  • Move furniture into the rooms first to avoid moving boxes around repeatedly
  • Don’t be afraid to over-wrap breakable items. It’s better to be safe than sorry
  • Have an overnight bag with essentials that can be easily accessed after you have moved

We hope you have enjoyed our tops for moving house. Once the big move is complete, the unpacking can begin.

Congratulations on the purchase of you new house and we hope the move goes well!



20 Questions To Ask When Looking At A New Home

Untitled design (19)

There’s a lot of information to take in and consider when viewing a new home and asking the right questions is important. Below are 20 important questions to ask when looking at a new home that you can ask the seller to make sure you get the right house for you:

General questions

1. How long has the property been on the market?

A good opening question and good to know. It also helps to understand any issues they have had with selling the house or, if the house looks perfect and is just on the market, then you know you don’t have much time to make an offer!

2. What are the local facilities like?0134-HAMMERSMITH-CHISWICK-PLACEBUZZ

A great way to find out what is in the area.

3. What exactly is included in the price?

Some sellers like to leave particular fixtures and fittings while others take as much as they can into their new home.

4. How old is the property?

5. What are the neighbours like?

6. What land and perimeters are included exactly?

It’s important to understand who owns the fencing or hedgerows on your boundary. If you have a shared driveway then how is that managed in terms of costs for repairs or dividing up of the parking spaces?

7. Why are you selling the house?

8. What is the internet and phone signal like in the area?office-625892_1280

In the modern era, having good internet and phone connection is becoming increasingly important. It might seem like a minor thing but it could lead to years of frustration. Especially if you have kids or want to run a business from home.

Potential issues

Although some questions such as “Why are you selling the house?” may indicate potential issues, the following questions are more direct and help to identify any extra costs when buying the house:

9. Has any major work been carried out?

10. What guarantees are included?

If the house has a flat roof for example then knowing how long the guarantee is on it and knowing it is still covered under a new owner is important.moor-261171_1280

11. Is the building listed or in a conservation area?

12. Has there been any electrical issues recently?

13. What decorating have you done recently?

It’s possible that a room has been decorated to cover up an issue. It’s good to ask and understand what issue might lurk beyond the fresh paintwork!

14. Ask your nose: Do you smell damp?

This isn’t really a question to ask the seller but it’s important to be wary of any strange smells. A musty smell may be caused by damp. It may not stop you from buying the house but it could help to reduce the price of the house.

Bills and winter

Having a house that is cold in the winter or requires extra costs to fix a boiler can be a potential nightmare. Here are some questions to make sure your winter is warmer and your bills are reasonable:radiator-250558_1280

15. Has there been any problems with the boiler recently?

16. How is the water heated?

17. Are the loft or walls insulated?

18. How much is the council tax – and other bills

This also helps to budget after you have moved house when you will also have the mortgage costs to consider.

The next steps

Sometimes finding the right property at the right time can be a challenge. These final questions will help you when deciding on the next steps:9761-WIMBLEDON-PLSCEBUZZ-WEB

19. Can I view the property again soon?

If you like the property then it should be viewed again. You may even want to bring along a friend or extra family member to get a second opinion when you return.

And finally…

20. When do you need to move out?

Now you have the right questions to ask when looking at a new home! These questions will help you decide if it’s the right property for you.

You may also want to see our previous blogs: 10 Things To Look Out For When Buying A New Home and Choosing The Perfect Property Location For A Better Lifestyle.

Don’t forget to use the PlaceBuzz property search to find the perfect house to view.


Is Summer A Good Time To Buy A House?


With the warmer weather and longer nights it can be much nicer viewing potential new homes during the summer months, but is summer a good time to buy a house?

Here are 3 reasons why we believe buying in the summer could be the right decision:

Better Bargaining

For sellers the sales of houses in the summer months tend to be slower. There are less people searching for houses as people go away on holiday and this means reduced competition for you when bidding for your ideal home. You could save thousands of pounds! Especially if sellers are wanting a quick sale.

Better Viewing

If viewing a new property during the day time is tricky due to work commitments then Garden view with pondviewings during the evenings in winter can have their drawbacks. Lighter evenings during the summer allow you to get a better look at the house and fully take in the views of the garden and the surrounding area. It can also be easier to spot any potential defects that may lurk in darker areas of the house.

Better Moving

boxes piled upFrom frosty fingers to slippy surfaces, moving during the cold rainy months can have it’s dangers. A summer move, however, is not only safer but generally a much nicer time of year to be moving. Kids can still play outside rather than be climbing over boxes as you package up items and there is less risk of electronic items being exposed to rain during transit. There is also less chance of muddy feet as items are moved from one house to another and of course, a warmer house when the front door is left open while moving items in or out of a house.

And once the move is done, you may still have time to air out your new home and add a lick of paint before the colder days start to arrive!

A Balanced View

Buying a house in the summer does have some limitations. When viewing a house it can be harder to gauge how well insulated the house is for colder weather and it’s possible there are slightly fewer houses on the market in your area. You may also be in more of a holiday mood than thinking about moving home. But these limitations shouldn’t hold you back. The possibility of saving thousands of pounds on your next property could be a strong enough reason – and enough to make your summer holiday next year that little bit special!

Search online at PlaceBuzz to find your perfect home this summer.


10 Things to Look Out for When Buying a New Home

A place in the country?A house shouldn’t just be a roof and four walls. It should be more than that, and there’s plenty to consider when finding your perfect home.

Here are 10 important things to consider when buying your next home:

1. Garden

Do you want a south facing garden for those late afternoons in the summer? It will also help with growing fruit, veg or flowers. You may actually not want a garden at all. If you have children or pets, having an outdoor option may be necessary, but sometimes living in the city or having a bigger house for the size of your budget might be more important.

2. Garage

A garage is useful for storing all manner of things (including cars!). If there is suitable parking available on the road or a driveway and plenty of house storage (shed, attic etc) then a garage may not important – although there is often no better place to store tools, bikes and anything else you don’t want lying around the garden or living room!

3. Location

Location is of the utmost importance when buying a new home. How close your property is to shops and services, to relatives, to work – the list goes on. There’s the town versus country debate and how suitable somewhere will be for your children to consider as well, which we have covered in our previous blog Choosing the Perfect Property Location for a Better Lifestyle.

4. Size

It’s not about having the biggest house possible for the cheapest price. You should be asking yourself what size is necessary, what fits around your needs. Is it worth it having an extra bedroom? How many floors do you really need to fit all your stuff in? If you’re planning on needing another room in the future, but don’t need it just yet, it could be worth looking for a larger house, but if all you want is the bare minimum then this needs to be taken into account.

5. Queuing for the Bathroom

When nature calls or you are running late for work and need to use the bathroom there is nothing worse than having to wait. An en suite bathroom or a downstairs toilet can really make life that bit more convenient!

6. Is it Winter-Ready?

Having a broken boiler or no double glazing can make a home much colder in the winter! With English winters lasting much longer than three months, making sure a home is fully prepared for this period is vital. Of course things like triple glazing, fireplaces and insulation can all be installed, but buying a house with these features already in place is much more hassle-free.

7. Kid-Proof

For those of us with children, the entire property needs to be safe for them (and from them!). This includes the garden, which can be full of perils, such as ponds, thornbushes and wayward conkers. The height of a staircase and if it can have a child-proof gate installed, how easy it is to escape outdoors via doors and gates, and all such manner of things must be thought of to ensure your children’s safety.

8. How Much Work is Needed

Sometimes, a newly bought home doesn’t come with all the furnishings you desire and sometimes it comes with a few issues, such as mould or broken gutters. A house you wish to purchase may be in need of much more than simply a good going-over, which could be time and cost consuming. Although it’s unlikely that a property on the market needs extensive work to make it livable, it’s vitally important that you check everything is in order and there aren’t any hidden discrepancies which need work, otherwise you might not be getting what you thought you paid for.

9. Is it fit to be renovated?

While the previous point covered how much work could be needed, whether a property is actually fit to be renovated is an entirely different kettle of fish. If you’ve always dreamt of having a conservatory, for instance,  then you’ll have to make sure the house structure will allow this. Some buildings are not strong enough to withstand renovations whilst others simply can’t be renovated because of features already in place, such as pipes. If you want to make an extension or alteration to the property you wish to buy, making sure it can stand up to this is imperative.

10. Energy

An important aspect of any home is energy, and we all have a preference. You should check whether the house you intend to purchase is reliant upon gas or electricity for its central heating. Gas is of course the cheaper option and provides the same level of heat consistently throughout the day. However, if your purchase is electricity-based and you intend to install gas central heating after you buy your new home, the short term costs are quite high.

 So there you have it, 10 things you should consider and look out for if you’re planning on purchasing a new property. Some elements may be important to you than others. Whatever your criteria, it’s important to remember you’re not simply buying a house, you’re getting a home. If you’re looking to purchase a home, we have a wide range of properties available to browse on our website via our property search engine. Happy hunting!



5 Ways the Election Will Impact your Next House Move

The 7th May 2015 – the day of the General Election and possibly the most important day of the year for the UK as we decide who will shape the nation for the next five years. One topic that’s drawing a lot of attention is the housing market.

“How could first-time buyers be affected?”

“Will the new policies actually be implemented and when?”

“What are the impacts if I plan on renting?”

Property for saleThese are all good questions that you, the voters might be asking and the next government (whether that’s a coalition or minority government, which both seem quite likely) will have to address. Here are 5 ways we believe the upcoming election could impact your next house move.


All information stated is what has been promised by each party thus far and may be subject to change in the future.

 1. The Price of a Home for a First-Time Buyer

Just getting on the property ladder is tough, so all the main parties are proposing action. Whether or not it is enough remains to be seen, but the attempt by the Conservatives to re-introduce right-to-buy is a bold move. Both The Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats are offering first-time buyers a Help to Buy ISA whilst the Lib Dems and Labour are proposing to build over a million houses to fulfill demand and keep prices down.

Whatever happens in the election, our verdict is that it will still remain tough for first-time buyers although things may get a little easier over time.

2. Keeping Rent Costs Down

To let signs

If purchasing a house is not for you, then renting has its benefits, but the upcoming election is unlikely to make a huge impact. Only Labour and the Greens are looking to put a cap on rent or increases. Proposals to build more houses may increase availability and keep prices down but one million new houses won’t get built overnight!

3. Renting: For How Long? 

A short term rental agreement can be a worry when you don’t know where you will live in 6 months time. Both Labour, Lib Dems and the Green party have proposals to address this with policies for longer term tenancy agreements.

4. Caring for your environment, in beautiful surroundings

Nottingham - Second house price riser

If you care for the environment and your surroundings, there are policies to please! The Labour Party and Lib Dems both have proposals for ‘Garden Cities’, whilst the Green Party and UKIP also have interesting policies around the protection of Green belt land. 

This doesn’t guarantee there will be more houses in beautiful surroundings but more ‘Garden cities’ and protection of Green belt land all helps to make Britain a beautiful place to live!

5. The Economy

Once the election is over, it could get complicated in terms of who will be in government. Initial uncertainty could have a short term impact on the economy while a minority government with little power will struggle to get its policies adopted unless they are appealing to other supporting parties. This could also be a good thing as policies need to appease a wider audience on not just the rich or the poor.

The next election could also impact interest rates on which mortgage rates are based. We aren’t going to make any predictions on how the economy could be impacted but suffice to say it could be interesting!


Below is a table with some of the key policies we uncovered during our research:


What They’re Promising…
Lib Dem
To Build
1 million
1.5 million
For First-Time Buyers
Help to Buy ISA and
20% discount to first-time buyers under 40
Give priority to local first-time buyers in new housing areas
Help to Buy ISA
In the Rental Market
Long term tenancy agreements in the private sector and Cap on rent increases
Rent to Own policy and Ban landlords letting out poorly insulated homes
Cap rent and introduce longer tenancies
To Introduce
Capital investment in housing
and local authorities given “use it or lose it” powers

New Towns and Garden Cities.

Right to Grow given to communities.
New homes advertised in the UK before overseas.
At least 10 new Garden Cities and
30,000 Rent to Own homes a year by 2020
Bring empty homes back into use
Brownfield agency for grants and loans.
Protection of green belt land and
Referendums on major planning decisions.
New homes exempt from stamp duty on first sale and
Social housing prioritised for locals


Sections with a dash ( – ) are those which have not been announced

Choosing the Perfect Property Location for a Better Lifestyle

The perfect location?

The location of your new home can have a huge impact on your lifestyle and there is plenty to consider. Do you want to live in the beautiful countryside that is quiet and peaceful or in a busy vibrant town with plenty to do? How close should you be to family and relatives and how will your new location impact your children? These are important questions to consider when choosing your property location, which we address below.

Country versus Town

A place in the country?

A home in the country offers the ideal setting with amazing views, the possibility of a good sized driveway and bigger garden – and not to mention a quieter more peaceful way of life. But it does have its limitations.

Or in town?


If you are a city or town person you will appreciate the convenience of being close to shops and restaurants, the gym, GP surgery, train station… and much more! The disparity in high speed internet access is still considerable for many living in a rural setting.

In an ideal world a mixture of rural and town would be perfect but is very hard to achieve and ultimately, you need to decide how much you value peace and quiet versus access to a wider range of services that comes with living near a town or city.

Home is Where the Heart is

Do you want to be near those you love?Being far from loved ones is less-than-ideal for many, especially when children are involved (or as parents get much older). But this has to be balanced against the need to commute to work. Living close to family may not always be ideal if it involves long daily commutes which can be stressful and expensive in the long run.

Distance from work may be less of an issue if you live close to a train station although this will incur higher travel costs. If you need assistance figuring out a route, the Commute Search on our main website will help.

The Kids are Alright

Is it right for the kids?

If you have children (or plan to!) then the quality and access to nearby schools is important. Towns tend to have more choice of schools whereas schools in the country tend to have small class sizes, providing a more personal learning experience.

The rural versus city question is once again an important topic when it comes to kids. While there may be sports centres and play-areas in urban locations so the kids don’t get bored, a rural home is likely to be larger and have garden space, possibly nearby fields to be active in.

Does the perfect location exist?

To cut straight to the answer, for many people it’s no. There is always a trade-off to be made but this doesn’t mean that decisions over location should be ignored.

When moving house, don’t just think about the house itself and it’s interior. Property location can have a HUGE impact on your lifestyle in terms of family, friends, work and activities that you love to do.

With this taken into account, you’re ready to start searching for your new home. Why not use our search engines to find that perfect location?



Six in 10 home buyers over 60 yet to buy their dream home

  • More than a third (38%) of young first time buyers would look to move again within two years

London, 18 November 2014 – Almost six in 10 (58%) homeowners over the age of 60, and approaching retirement, have yet to own their dream property, according to a survey carried out by property search engine Home ownership is an aspiration for many Britons, and we all dream of buying that perfect property and putting down roots. But the gap between the dream and reality has never been wider as UK property prices have skyrocketed over the past 15 years.

Although more than three quarters (78%) of those homeowners polled said they aspired to own their dream property, two thirds (66%) of homeowners said they have never been in a position to, with affordability cited as the main reason.

For the younger generation, that first home is not about finding their dream property, but more about simply getting onto the property ladder, whatever it takes. And more than a quarter (27%) of those young first time buyers polled, aged between 21-30, admitted that once they got their foot on the ladder, they planned to move again within two years.

They were willing to be flexible on the location, condition and type of property to achieve their objective. It shows that for many first time buyers their first property purchase is a practical rather than an aspirational purchase.

Competition between buyers remains a major stumbling block when it comes to a property purchase, and with intense competition for the best properties in many parts of the country, people are willing to go to any lengths, well almost any, in order to avoid missing out on a property.

Almost half (47%) of respondents said they’d be happy to take part in a sealed bid process while a third (32%) admitted they had or would make an offer after only one viewing. Almost three quarters (72%) said they would go back to renting or live with family members to ensure they were chain-free when they started the buying process.

Andy Hatoum, co-founder of, comments: “Home ownership will always be an emotive subject for the British public. Property is more than just bricks and mortar.

“Most of us dream of owning that perfect property one day, whether a quaint cottage in the country, a city centre pad or a family house down by the coast, but the booming UK property market, has dashed the hopes and dreams of many people.

“It’s fair to say that many homeowners are now probably resigned to the fact that their dream home may always be out of reach.”


Hull has more stamp duty exempt properties than anywhere else in the country


London, 27th October, 2014 — Hull is revealed as the most first-time buyer friendly city in the UK, as new figures show that the city has the highest percentage of properties for sale under the £125,000 zero percent stamp duty threshold, according to research carried out by property search engine

With 738 out of 1175 properties currently for sale in Hull being marketed at £125,000 or less, that’s almost two thirds (63%) of all available property stock in the city that is not liable to a stamp duty charge. Properties above £125,000 automatically incur a stamp duty charge of at least 1% of the purchase price.

With recent figures showing an 11% rise in first time buyers, looked at the number of properties currently for sale at or under £125,000 in 40 of the major towns and cities across the UK, and ranked them as a percentage of the total number of properties being marketed.

The data revealed that eight of the top 10 towns and cities with the largest percentage of zero percent stamp duty properties were in the north of England. Apart from Hull, more than 50% of properties in Bradford and Barnsley, and more than 40% in Sheffield, Wigan, Middlesbrough, Bolton and Liverpool, were on sale for £125,000 or less. Predictably, London fared the worst with less than half a percent – just 69 properties out of almost 27,000 across the capital – falling into the zero percent stamp duty bracket.

Several of the country’s oldest university towns are decidedly first time buyer unfriendly. Cambridge and Oxford came third and fourth respectively in the list of towns/cities with the lowest percentage of zero percent stamp duty properties, each with less than 1% of all properties for sale. While, Edinburgh fared little better at sixth, with just 4% of homes for sale in the lower price bracket.

The figures also highlighted a gulf within certain regions of the country. York and Leeds are separated by a mere 14 miles as the crow flies, yet in terms of being first-time buyer friendly, they’re worlds apart, with less than one in 20 properties for sale in York at £125,000 or less, compared to one in three in Leeds.

The following table shows the towns or cities with the highest percentage of properties for sale at £125,000 or less:


The following table shows the towns or cities with the lowest percentage of properties for sale at £125,000 or less:


Andy Hatoum, co-founder of, comments: “Our research highlights the reason why campaigns calling for an overhaul of stamp duty charges are gaining traction in the run up to next year’s general election.

“Properties falling within the stamp duty exemption bracket are now at dangerously low levels in many areas, particularly in the south and midlands.

“Unsurprisingly, first-time buyers or those looking for a bargain, have greater options in the north of the country, with higher numbers of properties for sale that are unencumbered by the added financial burden of stamp duty costs.

“More needs to be done to help first-time buyers. Although numbers are rising, getting onto the property ladder is still out of reach for many.”


Fill out our survey and Win!


We’d like to take 2 minutes of your time to complete our online survey to help us understand our users and build a better site.

To make it worth your while, we will automatically enter you into our competition for a chance to win a £100 or £50 IKEA voucher.

Terms & Conditions:

– The prize is a prize of a £100 IKEA Gift Card for the best entry and a £50 IKEA Gift Card for the runner-up.
– Entrants must be a resident of the UK.
– Entrants must be at least 18 years of age to enter.
– One entry is allowed per person.
– Only the winning entrant can be a recipient of the voucher.
– The winners will be selected from all valid survey entries, tweets and Facebook comments.

- The competition will run from 9/09/2014 until 31/10/2014 and the winner will be announced on 04/11/2014
– If a winner does not respond within 7 days of the winner announcement, the prize will be allocated to another entrant.
– This competition is not open to employees of Placebuzz or any associated companies or their immediate families.
– This competition is run independently by Placebuzz on their chosen social networking platforms and is not endorsed by, associated with or sponsored by Twitter, Facebook or IKEA.
– Placebuzz reserves the right to close the competition early.
– Placebuzz can duplicate any entries into the competition on any of their hosting platforms i.e. website or social media accounts.