Top 10 property websites
Whether you're buying or selling a property, you'll save £££ by visiting one of these websites first.
For my money, the obvious place to start. Rightmove is the UK's biggest property portal, with more than 20,000 estate agents and property developers across the UK registering properties with the site. Even if you don't find your ideal property there, it will certainly give you a good idea of what you can expect for your money.
Rightmove is also available as a free application if you have the iPhone, which is well worth getting hold of.
This site offers access to the Land Registry data on actual prices paid for specific properties, so you can check what the current owner paid for the property if it was sold within the last 10 years. You can also check what others have paid for similar properties in your postcode more recently.
Best of all, all this data is absolutely free! That's cheaper than getting it from the Land Registry itself, where it costs a few quid per property you want to check up on. So, it's a cracking resource for keeping track of house prices in the area you are hoping to buy - and also how the value of your current property might have changed, and it won't cost you a penny.
Check it out at Nethouseprices.com.
Is it essential to use an estate agent when you sell your home? We speak to Sarah Beeny and estate agent, Philip Bullman to get both sides of the argument.
Another property portal, but what I really like about Zoopla is its fantastic data resources. You can track the price fluctuations of individual areas to see whether you really are getting a good deal with a certain property, or paying above the odds.
One very exciting new feature on the site is the online property auctions, allowing you to snap up a real bargain!
#4 Money Made Clear
The FSA gets a lot of stick at times - and fairly regularly from me - but it does get some things right, and the raft of information the regulator has on its consumer website Money Made Clear on the housebuying process is particularly useful for first-time buyers.
I know I used it a lot when I bought my first property. It's also well worth reading Buy your first home in eight easy steps for a step-by-step guide to property-buying for first-time buyers, and watching Getting through the mortgage maze, right here at lovemoney.com
Alternatively, if you want more tailored advice, you can always speak to one of our brokers, all of whom are experts in mortgages for first-time buyers. Use the lovemoney.com mortgage service, or speak to one of our whole-of-market brokers.
#5 National Association of Estate Agents
When it comes to selling your home, which estate agent you go for is a huge decision. A good estate agent will price your home properly and will only arrange viewings for potential buyers who realistically might make an offer, weeding out the timewasters.
Related how-to guide
If you want to obtain the best possible price when selling your home, then these ideas should help.See the guide
The National Association of Estate Agents is the trade body for agents, and demands members operate by a code of practice, so you should have a good experience with member firms. And best of all you can use their website to search for local members to register your property with.
Of course you don't have to rely on an estate agent to sell your property - you can take control of the process yourself.
Tepilo was launched by TV property expert Sarah Beeny, and allows you to upload pictures and details of your property and handle the sale of your home without having to fork out for an estate agent. There are no fees for uploading your details, or any commission to pay.
Before you think about applying for a mortgage, it helps to work out exactly how much money you can afford to pay out each month. There's the old fashioned way of keeping a budget with your pen and paper in order to keep up with exactly how much goes in and out each month, but I really like the Moneybook app.
It will set you back £1.79, but it is one of the most highly rated financial apps around. It's dead easy to use, as you just input any expenditure, while it can also stores recurring expenses like mortgage payments and phone bills.
Very useful when it comes to working out just what you can afford to pay!
Of course, you don't need to actually fork out for an app in order to sort out your budgeting - you can also get involved with our free spend tracking tool Tracker, a cracking service which allows you to keep on top of all of your different bank accounts in a single place, completely securely! You can also get hints and tips on budgeting here.
Related how-to guide
Find out how to cut the cost of your mortgage by hundreds of pounds a month and become mortgage-free years earlier.See the guide
Another clever little site which does an awful lot more than provide house price updates.
Before you purchase a property, you want to be clear on just what the surrounding area is like. And with Upmystreet.com, you can get information on everything from local schools and amenities to crime rates and council tax bands!
You shouldn't even think about buying a property without using the site first to research the area first.
#9 Law Society
Just as important as getting the right estate agent (if you choose to use one) is getting a good solicitor. When we bought, the one thing that held up the process was the legal side. It didn't hold us up too long in the end, but it can be frustrating if you have to constantly chase up your solicitor for updates.
Thankfully you can head over to the Law Society website to search for conveyancing specialists. As with the NAEA this is a great trade body which imposes some exacting demands on its members, so you should be sure of getting a really good service if you use one of their member firms.
An alternative is to embrace econveyancing - basically a way of utilising the internet to get you the most competitive quote. Sign up with an econveyancing firm, submit your case, and a list of quotes will be generated for you from the firm's panel of solicitors. You can then pick the best solicitor for you from the results.
Well, of course! There are absolutely loads of ways lovemoney.com can help you with your property decisions. For a start you can follow the hints and tips in our how to guides, like Sell your home, check out great and useful videos like Getting through the mortgage maze, as well as our Q&A section where you can pick the brains of your fellow lovemoney.com users.
There you have it, my ten favourite websites to use when buying or selling a property. However, you may have some favourites of your own - be sure to share them via the comment box below!
This is a classic article that has been updated in 2011.