Using Bing Maps Bird’s Eye Viewer can save you a LOT of time!
The internet has definitely transformed the way Buyers search for homes. I vividly remember hearing conversations about how this app and that app were going to make agents obsolete. Not likely… I can give you a litany of reasons why some computer algorithm will never replace a human being but that is a topic for a different blog post. Road noise, pet smells, musty dampness and sticking doors are just a few examples. Here though, I actually want to celebrate the advances in information availability – particularly mapping.
We recommend Bing Maps Bird’s Eye maps
We recommend Bing Maps Bird’s Eye maps to our Buyer clients because that is what we use to screen properties. Why? Let’s take a look.
The photo above is an example from Bing. Although we use both Bing and Google, we like the Bing Bird’s Eye viewer best because it is 3D – so you can see more. It also allows you to spin around the house with 4 different views – and usually not 4 different versions of the same photo. It really is 4 different photos. Sometimes the season of the photography is even different. The aerial photography above was taken in the winter months with the leaves off of the trees. This is my favorite season for aerial photography because we want to see things when they are at their worst from a privacy perspective when we am representing Buyers. It will only get better from there.
The photo below is an example from Google Maps. The aerial photography was taken in the summer months with the leaves ON the trees. Why does that matter? We will see in the next couple of photos.
As you can see from the photo below (winter photography) there is something lurking in the distance behind the house… Let’s spin around and zoom in!
Looks like a house with a semi-permanent blue tarp on it, several “vehicles” in the yard and some sort of shed out back? My thoughts immediately go to our rule: There things you can “cure” and things you can’t. Yes, you could plant lots of evergreen trees to screen this out if you did not want to look at it so technically is IS curable. However, one could easily buy this house in the summer and be in for a rude awakening when winter comes around. My only point here is that we equip our clients with the best tools available to make sure they know what they are buying regardless of the season. When tools like this are available online, we want to use them because in this case it may have saved everyone a trip out to see this house…
Ok, one last comment on this and I promise this diatribe will be over. Are you looking for lake property? Bing and Google maps are ESPECIALLY helpful when you want to know if the dock ever gets dry. Interestingly, most aerial photography for engineering purposes is taken in the winter so the ground is visible. These photos are used to map topography and flood zones. The cool side benefit is that winter also happens to be the season when the lake water levels are at their lowest. Good information to have to make sure the seller is telling you the whole story 🙂