Home Page - Property Websites

House sales may be down but the number of property websites is up. Mouse hand flexed, I trawl the latest sites, hungry for hits to see if they are worth a visit.
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The Independent Online

www.moov.com wants to attract "those looking to cut through the rubbish and get to information they really need" be it for a house, holiday or car.

www.moov.com wants to attract "those looking to cut through the rubbish and get to information they really need" be it for a house, holiday or car.

With access to 250,000 homes for sale, visitors can ask questions on legal and financial matters, as well as neighbourhoods. There are guides on buying, selling and renting.

Verdict: As with many other sites there are simply too few properties within the chosen area. Entertaining features to read while you search though.

www.goodmigrations.co.uk aims to "steer you through the pitfalls and jargon; help plan your move, offer expert advice and ease the stress normally associated with buying and selling property". A one stop shop, it advertises online conveyancing and a database of over 12,000 estate agents, tips on selling, mortgage advice and postcode driven links. MD Paul Adams says: "Most of our visitors are second time buyers with a bad experience behind them, and little time for all the things a move involves."

Verdict: A comprehensive list of agents in my chosen area. Good jargon buster's definitions for a poor market. For example: "Buyer: Someone looking for a home to purchase". Have you seen one lately?

www.HomePro.com is looking for business from would be movers affected by the downturn in the market and advertises "ways to significantly increase the value of your home by carrying out improvements". Set up last year, it claims to be the first web community of its kind dedicated to matching UK homeowners considering improvement projects with "pre-approved, available and guaranteed professional contractors".

Verdict: Informative. Good detail contained in past articles, such as: "Negotiating a contract with your builder."

www.smove.com claims to be the UK's first complete moving solution online,allowing users access to mortgages, insurance, conveyancing, removals and even change of address cards. Until the end of September, sellers can advertise their homes free of charge. Interactive services include a moving progress monitor and a budget planner from September.

Verdict: From October users pay £20, so only time will reveal how smove compares with its free rivals. Currently has 30,000 properties on offer via estate agents, but just 45 private ads. Boasts that "those looking to find a new home can browse all of the listings for nothing". Would you pay to visit your estate agent?

www.JoJaffa.com a UK based internet company has launched the UK's first e-book Property Developer Secrets which promises to "lift the lid on everything the aspiring property developer needs to know". Director Neil Lewis says: "Property markets crash and people lose their homes through re-possession. They also lose money on property investments. The aim of this book is to share the risk- reducing tactics of professional property developers."

Verdict: Rather cumbersome to move around in. Has certainly attracted a wide range of users, not just professionals, perhaps thanks to its evangelistic Oprah-style self-help tips, such as "helps you win in the tough times too". We hear what you're saying.

www.estateagency.net calling itself "the UK's first exclusively on-line trade magazine for the residential property industry" it has local property news, views and comment from the shop floor and an interactive job search and vacancy advertisement section. The site helps many property sites promote their services to estate agents direct, but is also taking a number of hits from the home-buying and selling public itself.

Verdict: Searching for news or idle gossip from those invited to send in local stories, I clicked on the capital, to mysteriously find "we have not received any stories from London". Proof that agents prefer phones to PCs.

www.divorceuk.com offers free and confidential information on-line on all aspects of divorce and separation. Edinburgh based solicitor Donald Wright set up the site after deciding there was a gap in the marketplace.

Verdict: Good interactive site with sound practical advice and, even better, a chance to trawl through other people's misery I requested a local lawyer (naturally for research purposes ) and got a nice sounding person complete with photo and list of hobbies.

I ouldn't put it better than site visitor Emma: "I will recommend this site to all the miserable couples I know."