The traditional places to look are on the sites that we've all heard of like rightmove.co.uk and findaproperty.com. Whilst there is nothing wrong with these sites, they only feature property being sold by affiliated estate agents.It may be better to look at an independent site that will look across the entire market in a given area, such as zoomf.com or nestoria.co.uk. You can even refine your search to include features such as open-plan, "Victorian" or "garden." Another place you might want to look for a bargain is propertysnake.co.uk, which lists properties that have had their prices reduced, although some of these properties may well have been overpriced in the first instance.
The Internet; a formidable weapon in anyone's house-buying arsenal
Having found the house you desire, you then need to find out if you can afford it. There are countless mortgage calculators around (including one on this site) and you should visit a site like fool.co.uk or moneysupermarket.com for best buy tables. You can then arrange the whole thing by phone, e-mail and post on sites such as the ones mentioned above.
A mortgage lender will require you to do a least the basic survey on the property. You can look for a surveyor at ricsfirms.com which is a list of over 12,000 chartered surveyors recognised by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. For the vendor buying a property with at least three bedrooms, information on the dreaded Home Information Pack (HIP) can be found at homeinformationpacks.gov.uk. Note that not all the elements of a HIP are yet compulsory, most notably the home condition report.
Just in case that is not enough, you can even go to a site like utdgroup.com/legal to look for an e-conveyancer. The e-conveyancer site will generate a list of competitive quotes from a range of solicitors to help you find one to carry out the conveyancing work for you. A solicitor that in many cases, can be hired with the click of a mouse.
Once it comes to moving, the Internet can even help with that. Moveme.com will help you get organized by providing a step-by-step calendar to remind you of the most important things that need to be done. It even provides important documents that can be printed off and posted, such as a redirection form for the Royal Mail.
Of course you can't (and wouldn't necessarily want to) do everything on line. Inspecting the property in person is one example of something that the Internet could never replace. Also, a personal recommendation from a friend or relative is often a good way to find a solicitor or surveyor. However, with a little bit of savvy and a wee bit of searching you may well save yourself some time, effort and money. Either way, it's another option that should be researched for such a major undertaking.