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Editor: Shaun Callacher
On my property journey I have discovered there are many tools you can use to help with property investing. With the right property tools you can become more effective, more efficient and become more likely to succeed. Below are 10 tools I use on the web to help with my property investing which you can use too:
I am not commissioned to sell any of the below tools but recommend them from my experience.
Property Bee is a tool which links to www.rightmove.co.uk and it shows you how agents/sellers alter their adverts. It can be really powerful when negotiating as you can see the date a property first went on the market, when it went off the market (if it got sold subject to contract), how long it's been on for and when the price got altered and how much by. You can then use this information to come up with an offer you think the vendor will accept. The price of it is absolutely free! All you need to do is download Firefox: http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/ to make it work.
Rightmove now has over 800,000 properties for sale on its site. If an estate agent doesn't use Rightmove to promote their properties, the agent probably isn't worth doing business with. The great thing about Rightmove is not only the amount of properties you can search through in one place but also the handy tools it has to help you search more efficiently. One of the best tools is Rightmove alerts. Rightmove alerts allows you to choose the criteria of the property you’re looking for and then sends you a email every time a new property that matches your criteria gets placed onto Rightmove. This means you really can get a step ahead of the competition.
Mouseprice.com is a website you can use to show you recently sold house comparables in a chosen area. All you have to do to find these comparables is type in the postcode, number of bedrooms and the type of property you’re interested in finding. Other websites such as Zoopla and Rightmove have also added this to their sites (linked directly from land registry) but Mouseprice have colour coded locations to help you visualise what's good and what's not. Although just seeing a few comparables doesn't give you an exact price, if done right you can get a very close estimate! Make sure to only compare similar property types and recent purchases as comparing it to anything else is meaningless.
Landlords National Property Group
Cost: £349 (For unlimited properties)
Landlords National Property Group (LNPG) is like joining the Freemasons but for property investing. Nick the owner has spent years accumulating top brand companies to jump on board to offer great discounts to landlords. He has negotiated cheap rates from companies such as Magnet, PTS, Currys, Dulux and many more.
The prices are so discounted trades people can't even compete. For example, we recently put a bathroom suite into one of our properties and the cost was 40% cheaper!
The price to join LNPG is ￡349 (for unlimited properties) for one year but if you’re looking to do any type of home improvements it's well worth the cost as it will save you £1000s.
Experian (credit check)
Cost: Free for 30 days then £14.99 for each month after.
Experian.co.uk is a great website to use to check out your credit score and ultimately see if it is good enough to get a mortgage. Along with showing you your score, it also offers advice on how to improve it. Not that having a mortgage is the end all of investing (see other blog post on lease options) but being able to get a mortgage does make it that little more easy. The first 30 days are free and then it will cost you around £14.99 per month after that. If you do plan on cancelling after 30 days make sure you know how to, as they do try and make it difficult so you end up paying the £14.99 per month.
Cost: 6 month subscription £250 + VAT
We've all seen homes under the hammer where a buyer will go to auction, purchase a bargain, do it up and flip it. Although 99% of auction buyers on that programme seem to make a profit, buying at property auctions is actually more risk compared to purchasing off the open market due to having to complete so soon. This is why the EI group is so useful as it shows you the sold prices of all properties bought from auction in the UK. This means that before even going to auction you can use this tool to do your research and therefore have in your head a fixed price you won't go over, so you don't get caught up in the hype of auction buying. You can also set alerts for all properties that go to auction - a fantastic way to keep ahead of the competition.
Cost: £70 per month.
rentpro is a useful tool to keep track of tenants and to keep your accountant happy. It calculates void percentage for each property, total income from each property, total maintenance cost on each property and all other income and outgoings. The tool can also be linked to landlords so they can see how there property is performing, quite useful if you manage other peoples properties. The hard part of using it is just keeping it up to date regularly. The price for its service is £70 per month or more depending on the amount of properties you have.
Location, location, location. We all know location is important when purchasing a rental property. So before purchasing in a high crime area you can check out the local crime rates at police.uk for the specific area and street. It can also help you understand whether your insurance premium is going to be high or not! Use police.uk alongside http://www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/ which gives you statistics of employment rates. This is a sure way to pick the right location.
Cost: Free for 3 signatures per month
Echosign allows you to sign documents online. Can't make it to sign up a tenant physically? Use echo sign to get it signed virtually. Have investors waiting which want to sign a loan agreement? Send it through echosign and get it signed as soon as it reaches their mailbox. Not only does echosign ensure you get both parties signature on the agreement but it also sends both parties a copy of the completed agreement with the date and time it was signed, perfect for record keeping.
House crash shows you estimated predictions of the property market trend. As we are aware, knowing for certain the property market will trend in a certain way is impossible but using house price can help understand the mind-set of the nation and help you see which way property values are likely to go. They use the financial times and other reliable resources to come up with their estimate.
Are there any specific tools or websites you really like or that help you succeed in property? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
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