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Published November 26th 2012
Ease the pain of house hunting
Searching for the perfect house to buy or rent is a major undertaking and a major headache. There are many factors to consider such as location, proximity to amenities and schools, price, as well as the overall look of the property. However, the internet has a host of websites that make this so much easier.
Sites such as Realestate.com.au boast a comprehensive search engine, allowing you to view properties filtered by price, location, number of rooms and/or property type. Each featured property has pictures of the interior and exterior, a map showing its location and proximity to amenities and transport, and contact details of the property agent. Registering with the website allows you to create lists of potential properties and create notes on each property. In addition, you can download home inspection times into your Microsoft outlook calendar so that you can plan your visits.
Google Maps This wonderful site gives you a host of information about your potential neighbourhood. Selecting satellite view gives you details of the area such as train/tram stops, schools, cafes, shopping centres and much more. In addition, zooming in on the map will give you a street view of the neighbourhood. Thus, you can take a virtual walk around you neighbourhood to see if it fits your desires. Google maps also gives you walking, driving and public transport directions between two or more locations. Again, this allows you to determine the amount of time you would need to spend commuting to work or simply running daily errands.
WalkScore Enter your potential dream house's address on this website and it will give you an estimate of the walkability of your location. That is, it tells you how many facilities and amenities you have within walking distance of your house. According to the site's creators, a home that is within walking distance to shops and amenities promotes a healthy lifestyle and cuts down on carbon emissions from cars. In addition, the money saved on transport could go toward your mortgage.
Now that you know about these three websites, searching for the perfect house will be a breeze.
I'm loving the idea of the 'WalkScore' site - makes sense and if people use it, it will undoubtedly save them not only dollars, stress but also frustration... it's so great if you can just nip out to the shop, to get that cream you forgot for the recipe OR milk!