How To Remotely Assess A Property’s Location

When it comes to researching property locations, there’s no substitute for local knowledge. Even the best internet sleuth won’t enjoy the instinctive understanding of a particular street or suburb that comes from living and working there.

Even so, the internet can help to fill gaps in your knowledge. It’s vital to remotely assess a property’s location, whether you’re looking for an investment flat in an affordable area, relocating to a new region for work, or researching a property you’ve just inherited. It’s also invaluable for people preparing to bid at property auctions – looking beyond the marketing literature to gain real insight into the local area.

Market Place Bedale - Auction Property Being Sold Through Property Solvers

Tools of the Trade

Whatever your reason for wanting to remotely assess a property’s location, these are some of the key online resources you should use. We start with perhaps the best-known – though not the most valuable platform its parent company offers…

Google Street View

No list of ways to remotely assess a property’s location would be complete without Street View, but look beyond the property itself. Scan the skyline; is there a tower block poking up above a nearby roof, or air traffic indicating a flight path? Explore neighbouring streets for off-licences, pubs and clubs that might be antisocial, or potential development opportunities which might generate noise.

Google Maps 3D

The 3D version of Google Maps lets you remotely assess a property’s wider location. It displays entire towns in one screen, zooming in and out to reveal transport links, parks and amenities, architectural styles and green belt boundaries in granular detail. It can become quite addictive, but not every town or village has been 3D mapped, and 2D aerial views reveal less of an area’s condition and character.

Indices of Multiple Deprivation

These interactive maps break the UK down into wards – usually a few streets – and rank them by various factors. Crime rates, income levels, educational attainment and employment are core metrics, though all four Home Nations have differences in their categories. You can see at a glance how a particular area performs, how its neighbours compare, and what issues local residents face.

Selling Price Data

Platforms including Rightmove and Zoopla offer sold price information. The UK Government also has a searchable database covering England and Wales, with Registers of Scotland and L&PS NI operating equivalent resources. These sites become incredibly powerful combined with Google Street View, letting you compare sold properties against ones you’re interested in bidding on at auction.

Previous Estate Agency Listings

Previous property listings can offer valuable insights. Our final tip to remotely assess a property is to Google its address (Bing won’t be much use here, since it scans webpages differently) and see what comes up. Has the property been listed for sale before? If so, how different was its condition when it was last sold? If it was advertised but taken down, the owners might be prevaricating about selling.

Next Steps

Being able to remotely assess a property’s location might put you off from bidding at auction. Yet it can also underscore a property’s potential or desirability. Start your search by browsing our list of upcoming property auctions, giving you plenty of time to do your homework in advance…