by Reese Morgani, Broker and Buyer Specialist
I remember being a kid in school and shrugging every time someone used the word resourceful as it started with my name, Reese…and I was usually not paying attention. Now I find myself using this word all the time as a centerpoint of my business. Being resourceful or “Reese-Sourceful” means using all of the information you can gather to your benefit. In real estate, there are many useful links and resources that can help you along your way.
First and foremost is the use of the map in almost all search results. Most maps come with an aerial feature that is listed as an aerial view or sometimes the satellite view. Using this resource gives you a better understanding of the general area. You can take this map even further and click the icon that looks like a small stack of papers, which will give you a layers menu that usually allows you to pick parcel lines. This will give you an outline of the property you are considering. So many times people are surprised by the lot lines when this simple trick would have helped save some time.
Second, a tip that is just as important as the first, is the use of the Geographic Information Site, or GIS, in the county you are searching. Every county has its own and they are similar but usually have different systems. The GIS is great for seeing more layers than your typical Google map. This is especially important if you are looking for land or want to know a lot about the property you are considering. With the GIS you can view different images of different years to show the change of the land over time. You can look at rivers and streams in the area, and if there are flood zones, topographical maps are available to see contours to determine a property’s open space. Surveys and recorded deeds can provide even more information. You can find property information cards, tax bills, tax assessed values, sales history, deeds, info on easements and rights of way, recorded survey plats, and more using GIS and public records.
To use the GIS, all you need to do is run a search for your county’s name plus the letters GIS. Once you see the public site, you will have to agree to use the site and then you can enter. From there you can search options such as owner, address, and parcel number. If you do not have the full address, just use the street and then use the map to look around. Once you have located a property of interest, you can use the layers buttons to see your options. Make sure to take some time to look around these sites as there is usually much more to use to your advantage than one might think.
If you are buying real estate, remember to be as “Reese-Sourceful” as possible to save yourself a lot of headaches and time wasted. All the info is out there; you just need to be “Reese-Sourceful” to find it.
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