If you’ve ever purchased real estate, you know how complex it can be. There are lots of moving parts, which means that you can easily overlook important components.
Proper real estate pre-investment due diligence is essential for maximizing your return on investment. One of the most important things you need is current information about the property. When you don’t have all the information you need, you risk making a bad deal and losing money.
It’s easy to get the information you need when you have access to the property. But, if you’re planning to make a remote purchase, you may choose not to personally inspect the property. That means you need to find other ways to get the information necessary to make an informed decision about whether to purchase the property.
Here are a few tools you can use to remotely inspect properties.
1. Gather property data with Zillow
Zillow is a leading real estate marketplace that helps home buyers and sellers share vital information about real estate. When it comes to gathering data about a home or real estate, Zillow is a great resource. It can help with land valuation as well as finding local realtors who can help you close the deal.
2. Gather additional data with AgentPro247
AgentPro247 is a self-service research tool for real estate professionals. You can use it to get transaction history with mortgage and foreclosure information as well as comparable sales. Not only does each property profile give you an aerial view, you also get an assessor map showing the property boundary lines.
This service is not free. There is a monthly fee to get up to 20 property profiles.
3. View the property on Google Street View
If you’re a real estate investor, you’re likely familiar with Google Maps Street View feature. However, you might have noticed that using it to research potential investments can be tedious.
A faster way to get to the location you want to view is to use Instant Street View. It saves you a few steps and takes you immediately to the address you entered into the search box. This third-party search engine uses Google Street view, so you are getting the same image regardless of which method you choose.
Regardless of whether you use Google Maps Street View directly or use Instant Street View to access the same data, relying on Google’s data alone is risky. The images they feature can be several years old.
4. View the property on Google Earth
One of the drawbacks to Google Street View is that it only shows you the front of the property that faces the street.
To get an aerial view of the property, you can use Google Earth. Once you get to the Google Earth page you have to launch the web application by clicking “launch Google Earth.” If you are using your mobile device, you can quickly access Google Earth through its app.
Once you have opened Google Earth, click on the search icon in the upper left corner. Then type in the address you wish to view. Then sit back and watch the amazing animation that zooms into the property. You initially get a high-level view of the property, so you can see the surrounding areas. To get a closer look, click the zoom button represented by a “plus” sign in the bottom right corner.
Again, be careful relying on the Google Earth images, as they can be several years old. Even so, this tool is a great way to examine buildings, the area immediately outside the buildings, and surrounding properties.
5. Use WeGoLook
WeGoLook is a company that uses a workforce of more than 40,000 to help people and businesses know what’s true anytime, anywhere. These individual “Lookers,” as they are called, are available across the country and the globe as an unbiased third party that can verify the claims made by sellers. This helps many investors avoid traveling to a property themselves to examine it, saving time and money.
Consider that WeGoLook has hundreds of drone pilots across the country available to inspect any property that may fit your investment criteria. Instead of traveling yourself to the property, you can pay a nominal fee to have a drone pilot take videos and imagery of the asset to send directly to you. This holds true for vacant land, which may be difficult to inspect in its entirety. A drone pilot or Looker can provide you with the data you need to make an informed investment.
Getting a Looker to verify your potential property investment is easy. Simply head to our Getting Started page and click the option for business solutions. Fill out the form and one of our representatives will get in touch to set up your first Look.
Every real estate transaction is different, having its own unique set of considerations and conditions to validate. Doing your homework is key. Be sure to use the online tools such as Zillow and Google to do your initial research on a property. If the initial data checks out, then you can leverage an on-demand worker to dispatch to the real estate asset to provide more comprehensive data on your potential investment.
We’ve come a long way over the years, and real estate investors now have powerful digital tools at their disposal to make more informed and cost-effective investment decisions. Start making yours!