Whether you're house hunting for the perfect pad, planning a home makeover or just need some top tips for a DIY or gardening project - it can all be done at the click of a mouse.
Buying and selling Buying a home is probably the biggest purchase in most people's lives. So finding the right house in the right place at the right time is crucial. And whether you're a first time buyer, need extra space for a growing family or simply looking to invest your cash in bricks and mortar, the internet can be an essential tool.
Both the number of online house hunters and the number of online sources of property information continue to grow. And beginning your search via the internet means you can check out properties quickly and easily. Plus you can be specific - searching on price, house type or even number of bedrooms.
We all know location is key. And the internet can search for houses in a particular postcode, town or street. New technology has brought properties to life online and many sites provide photographs and floor plans, virtual tours and video footage.
And this can be a good time saver for both buyers and sellers . For purchasers houses they eventually view in person are far more likely to make the grade. And for sellers these are people already interested in the property and more likely to make an offer. Other useful internet tools include registering for email updates - so you can view new properties as soon as they hit the market.
Many estate agents will display their properties on national websites such as Fish4Homes or Rightmove.co.uk
The Evening Gazette's Homemaker is essential reading for the region's home buyers and sellers - but can also be accessed online by logging on to www.homemaker.co.uk. The easy-to-navigate website lets you search for properties for sale and to let in the local area via the fish4homes site - wwwfish4.co.uk/iad/homes. Many estate agents will display their properties on national websites searches such as Fish4Homes or Riightmove.co.uk - but you can also check out individual websites to view properties on their books and find out more about their services.
But what if you want to buy brand new? There can be many benefits to a new build home - little or no maintenance required and the long term peace of mind that comes with warranties that come from organisations such as the National House Building Council. To find out where developers are building log on to www.smartnewhomes.com which provides access to more than 85% of all new homes for sale in the UK.
You can choose from more than 120,000 new homes a year being built by almost 200 developers at over 4,000 developments across the UK plus register for other services such as email and SMS property alerts. If you have a location or developer in mind, check out individual websites. Here you can often view site and property plans, see artists' impression of house types - particularly useful when a development is in the early stages - check out prices and availability and contact sales staff direct.
Checking out house prices and location Things are constantly changing in the housing market. If you're buying or selling, keeping your finger on the price pulse is vital. And there's now some great websites out there that allow you to do just that. Even if you're not looking to make a move right now, they're fascinating for finding out what your house - or others in the street - is worth.
You can discover what houses in your street have sold for in recent years and register for updates when a property is snapped up on your doorstep. It's a good resource if you're moving to a new area and need to gauge how prices in the local area are moving. Or if you're thinking of selling it could help you discover how much money you'll make - or how big your budget is for your next dream home.
For the last two years the Evening Gazette has teamed up with online experts www.OurProperty.co.uk to give an in-depth look at real selling prices across Teesside. By logging on to www.gazettelive.co.uk you can take a detailed look at the top 10 most expensive and top 10 least expensive streets in the area - as well as the streets with the biggest volume of sales. Plus there's graphs of monthly price trends for every type of house, along with vital information about each postcode, interviews with families who live there and a real insight into the market with comment from local estate agents. You can also check out the essential facts about any of the areas - from the nearest school and hospital to the handiest pub and shopping centre.
Alternatively log onto www.OurProperty.co.uk to find out more about the street where you live. You can also search the UK Land Registry database by postcode or address for recent house prices in England and Wales at www.houseprices.co.uk. Other websites include www.nethouseprices.com and www.mouseprice.com.