Real Estate November 11, 2014

A closer look at Santa Barbara

Technology provides us with a lot of great ways to view places and things like we’ve never been seen them before. Sometimes frustrating because of their unfamiliarity and complexity, many advanced technologies have recently become more user friendly and worth the small learning curve to enjoy all of their benefits.

In the world of real estate Google has for some time been taking satellite imagery to new levels along with making accessibility easier than ever. If you have not experienced Google Earth recently to look at close up aerial views of your favorite properties you may want to try it.

Google Maps has for many years allowed you to pin down a location with extreme accuracy, along with navigation tools to access it from any other point of reference. Satellite views can be accessed through Google Maps, however Google Earth allows you to zoom in with more resolution and accuracy, and is capable of giving you a 3D viewing experience. Google has make it easy to toggle between the two applications while exploring a particular location.

Still a stumbling block when viewing properties online is defining parcel boundaries. Google does not give you an easy way of viewing property lines on their images, other than overlaying a map from another source. Zillow does this in conjunction with Bing Maps and information they receive from area assessors. Bing Maps however does not have the same extreme zooming capacity and advanced features now found on Google Earth. For clearly defining property lines in and around Santa Barbara you may use the online County Assessor Parcel Maps website. You must know the parcel number of the property you’re searching, which can be obtained from the address.

It will be interesting to see how technologies advance in the years to come. Of course nothing compares to visiting a property in person, especially in Santa Barbara. Experiencing the scenery and climate up close and personal with all of one’s senses will likely not be achievable or economically feasible through virtual tours anytime in the near future.

I would enjoy hearing about your experiences with available online tools for real estate and look forward to keeping you in the loop on current advancements. Your input and inquiries are appreciated.