Pitfalls of property searches
I am looking for a property in Leicester and the other night I went online for a "quick look" to see what was on the market.
I started my search on a national site which I had seen advertised on the telly.
It looked quick and straightforward.
Well, I can tell you it was neither.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Wednesday, May 22 2013
Firstly let's start with the search criteria.
The price range brackets were extreme, with £10,000 between them. I don't have that amount of leeway in my budget and more precision would have saved me a lot of time.
The next issue was finding a property in a particular area.
I typed in "Braunstone Town" but was told it didn't exist, although later in my search I found plenty of properties listed in the area.
Under property type I chose 'houses', assuming that that's what it would bring up – but that wasn't the case.
Bungalows, which had been an alternative choice, were also included in my results, which just lengthened my search considerably.
(If you do happen to be interested in a bungalow, there are quite a few in Birstall, by the way.)
"Property ownership" was a new search criteria to me and I could only choose "no preference" or "shared ownership".
I had no interest in a shared ownership property but there was no option to remove these from the search.
So there I was, waiting in eager anticipation for the results – and when they came up I was a bit deflated.
Because the website hadn't believed Braunstone Town existed I had ended up putting in "Leicester", which, as it turned out, was a stupid move.
The search turned up so many pages I decided to back up and put in a more specific location but when I tried to tweak my preference it wiped the whole page clear and I was back to square one.
Some time later, when I got a manageable number of properties to have a look at, I was a bit bemused.
Some of the photographs I was scrolling through were frankly awful.
These were the first pictures people were going to see before they clicked on a property for further details but no one seemed to put much effort into selecting a vaguely nice picture.
When I chose to view the further details on houses, I was surprised at the lack of actual accurate details.
Fair enough, the seller needs to make the property sound enticing but pictures speak a thousand words and when most of them contradict the description, why bother writing these little works of fiction?
After looking at about 50 properties I gave up and decided to go onto estate agents' individual web sites instead but it turned out they were a bit hit and miss too. In the end, after about 90 minutes of sighing, tutting and despairing, I did find one property which I liked and I've booked an appointment to have a look around.
If the pictures and blurb are to be believed I think I might have found the house I've been looking for.
If not, then wish me luck for my next search in the minefield they call property searching.