Sunday, 20 September 2015

Find Your Dream Home - Polygon Searches

Find Your Dream House
Polygon Searches
Swanage to the Solent
Highcliffe - of Selfridge Fame

Having recently put my home on the market, I started to think from the point of view of a purchaser about how my home could be more easily found?

It is pretty well known that there are a multitude of websites around that specialise in making available information about houses for sale and many offer various means to create (and save) search criteria.

Many estate agents have arrangements to provide details of the houses ‘on their books’ to one or more of these websites; for example, my estate agent, a branch of Winkworth, makes information available to Rightmove and Zoopla, amongst others.

By going to one of these sites on the internet, you can simply base a search on a location (village, city, postcode) and a radius (Immediate area, ¼ , ½, 1, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 or 40 miles) to create a search-circle. Additional criteria may include type of property, min &/or max price, min &/or max bedrooms, etc. as well as sort-style – lowest or highest price first.

Also, the choice of the initial display format - such as a (long) list of all properties meeting the criteria, a grid of properties with many more properties being shown per page for an easy, quick scan, or a display of the location of the property hits, on a zoom-able map.

The circle-search is fine for certain self-evident search requirements but for some situations, a more flexible kind of search may be more appropriate.

For instance, my home would be particularly of interest to firstly, those looking for a retirement home on the South coast, with the additional offering of extensive accommodation that might suite professional people requiring a consulting room with private entrance, or accommodation for an extended family.

A search that would help finding such a property is called a polygon search or Drawn Area (by Rightmove). This simply means that an area is drawn on a map by marking down points that result in a set of straight lines to eventually create a closed loop – termed in geometry, as a polygon. Once created, the points can be individually dragged to fine-tune the resulting search area.

Polygons can easily be created for unusual shapes such as coastal areas or strips, mountain valleys, parts of the Lake District or road corridors, like Salford or the M4, etc. All the other criteria, in this case 6 or more bedrooms, are simply applied to the polygon, rather than a circle, to produce the required hits. Finally, the search may optionally be saved with a descriptive name.

Here is an example below of a search to find 5+ bedroomed properties on the stretch of the South Coast between Swanage and the Solent. The fact that Highcliffe Castle is of Selfridge fame is not a valid criteria!

To do this using the more well-known circle search would either mean one very large circle with far too many unwanted hits away from the coast line, or a large series of small circles which would be time-consuming and very tedious to work with.

John Passmore, Rothesay Drive, Highcliffe, Dorset September 2015

 Map View Results:

Grid View Results:

List View Results:

Panorama Views:

To view a search example in an internet browser, Link (Copy /Paste into browser or try Control/Click on this link):