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Bury St Edmunds women launch AskJoanna to make house buying ‘simple’

When two women got chatting in the gym one day, it proved a true meeting of minds.

Anna Harvey and Josephine Sourial were both buying houses at the time and had become increasingly frustrated with the process.

“We both agreed it was difficult to find simple, clear information to guide you through all the steps,” said Anna.

Josephine Sourial and Anna Harvey of AskJoanna.
Josephine Sourial and Anna Harvey of AskJoanna.

“It was proving a painful process when it should be joyful. We felt the whole procedure needed modernising and streamlining.”

Anna and Josephine, who both live in Bury St Edmunds, launched their website, called AskJoanna, in January.

They describe it as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all you need to know about house buying and selling, through a combination of blogs, downloadable guides, tips, tricks and frequently asked questions.

Having been a lawyer for 25 years, Anna is the legal mind behind behind the venture and hopes to guide people through ‘legalese and jargon’ by using everyday language people can understand.

Josephine, meanwhile, has been a technology professional for more than 15 years and is the tech mind behind the site.

Josephine said: “I have bought and sold more than a few properties over the last 20 years and each time I’m amazed at how little things have changed.

“We are living in an age of interconnectedness, where you can message somebody on the other side of the planet from a device in your pocket - but the process of buying and selling property is stuck in the past.

”If anything, it seems more stressful, simply because everything else has moved online and become easier as a result. Our aim is to make navigating the housing market easier in line with technological advances, bringing the process out of the dark ages.”

At the moment AskJoanna provides a comprehensive information platform for those buying and selling houses from finding a property, to securing a mortgage and moving in. However, the creators also hope to provide a referral service.

Anna said: “We hope to partner with providers such as mortgage advisers, estate agents, solicitors, conveyancers, removal companies, surveyors – and then can act as a referral site.

“We have decided to build up relationships locally initially, although our reach is national, so we can gauge the reaction to what we are offering and our long-term mission.”

For more information, visit: www.ask-joanna.co.uk