A forest of "For Sale" signs have sprouted in my area almost overnight and as a naturally
nosey curious person I confess I may have done a bit of snooping utilising the online windows of local estate agents.
Not only can you check out the price of your neighbour's home but you can have a good look round their rooms and admire/criticise their interior decor. Oh come on. Everyone does this don't they?
Apart from anything else it gives a good idea of what your own home might be worth AND sometimes you get great inspiration on how you might extend, adapt or decorate your living space. Whether that's to increase value or your enjoyment and the practicality of your home, a look at other people's abodes can reassure you about decoration or building work you might have been planning.
If you are genuinely considering moving house (not just snooping like me) utilising the online listings can save you and the estate agent and vendor a lot of time and effort. You can work through a pile of potential homes and narrow down to a short list. This is particularly useful if you are considering a move to a completely different area or even country.
Some estate agents even produce comprehensive videos which makes it harder for them to use tactical photography to hide the nuclear power station towering over the garden or the fact that the "bijou" study is in fact a box room which isn't even big enough to keep boxes in.
Once you have narrowed down your list don't be afraid to call or message the agent to ask questions. You can save time and fuel avoiding driving to view homes which don't meet your needs. Things to ask about- rights of way, planning permission, wifi coverage etc. My friend is currently looking at buying a second home in a popular coastal region and has been particularly careful to ask about the availability of nearby parking in high season.
This kind of preparation work is particularly vital if you plan to move overseas. Sure, you will plan a house hunting visit but you will also want to explore the amenities in the area to make sure it's a community you want to live in so you don't want to be stuck with wall to wall appointments.
Leave time to try a local restaurant or two, check out the beaches, wander round the supermarkets, check what hospitals and other health services there are. Living in a foreign country is very different to being on holiday there so make sure there are the facilities you need to make living there practical. Try and meet other ex-pats and see what they have to say about the best places to live.
When thinking of your budget it's wise to factor in a good removal firm, even if you are just moving round the corner. Packing then unpacking has to be one of the most tedious and exhausting jobs ever so leave it to the professionals. Obviously moving overseas, especially after Brexit, can involve knowing lots of laws and regulations so engage a company like this Darlington Removals Company which can sort out all the paperwork and untangle the red tape leaving you time and energy to deal with other chores.
More of my friends are in the process of sorting out their home in preparation for a move to Cyprus and that would be my final tip. Tackle the loft, the cupboards you never look into and all those jumbled drawers and start selling/dumping the stuff you just don't need. My friend has made quite a bit of money selling on auction sites and will have much less to sort and pack when moving day finally comes.