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Find the Topography of Any Property in the World


– [Seth] Hey everybody, this is Seth from the RE Tipster blog. I wanted to take just a few minutes here and show you a little trick
that I have been using for the past few years. Whenever I’m trying to buy
a vacant parcel of land, and it’s something that
I think a lot of people don’t even really think about when they’re doing their research process but it’s really, really important. And that is to find out what the topography of the property is. And, basically, what that
means is the actual elevations and hills, valleys,
ravines, anything like that, or if it’s just a flat piece of property. And the reason this is
important is because if you want to build or really
do anything on the property you’re really going to want
to know, is it buildable? Is going to be too steep? Is it going to be on a cliff? What exactly does the
lay of the land look like if you’re actually
standing on the property or even if you’re trying to do something substantial with it. So, just to give you a little idea of how I use Google Earth to do this. It’s actually pretty awesome. I’m going to start just by showing you what Grand Rapids, Michigan looks like, because that’s where I’m from. So let’s just put that in here and I will give you just an illustration of just how flat Michigan is. In my particular city and county, and really anywhere in my state, I don’t really have to worry about this because there’s not a
lot of hills around here. But all you do, and
right now I’m using a PC, all I’m doing is using my mouse button and hitting the control key. It allows me to really
do this kind of thing, look at the horizion, and
I can even go downtown, I can get more detail on it, and really as you can see
as far as I can possibly go it’s just flat everywhere. In my particular state,
things like hills and valleys are not usually something
I have to worry about because there’s not a
lot of that going on. But what if you live out west? What if you’re in Alaska? What if you’re in Colorado
or Texas or California or really any of these
states that do have mountains and have a lot more topography to them. I’m just going to give
you a quick example here. We’re going to go to the Grand Canyon and we’ll see just how different it is and how Google Earth
can help you with that. Okay, now, obviously from up top here, it doesn’t look like
much, but if we again, and just do you know I’m
using my right mouse button and all I’m doing is clicking and dragging and it’s bringing me in here, and when we go in here, it’s like “woah!”. Wow, this is a lot more detail
that most of us are used to with seeing just satellite maps. We can actually get into the canyon and really, you can pick
any pinpoint on the globe and zoom in on that and see exactly what the
elevations look like. So, obviously this is pretty helpful if you’re trying to figure out
what the lay of the land is. Now, I’m just going to
give you a quick example using AgentPro. And, again, I’ve got a few
other videos on AgentPro and how you can use this. But AgentPro is the software that I use when I’m trying to research properties and as you can see, I just
picked this random property not far from Colorado Springs. And as you can see from
the satellite picture here, this doesn’t give us a lot detail and it shows us the parcel
shape, which is helpful, and we can even zoom in and you can see some helpful detail but, still, it just kind of looks flat because there’s no dimension
and you can’t see anything. But what happens when you
pull a profile report, actually dig into the
details a little bit more, and I’ll show you in just a second. Now what happens is it gives us this profile report of the
property which tells us not everything there is to know, but a lot of things that are helpful. We’ve got the Legal Description, we’ve got the size of the
property, this one is 75 acres. Particularly what I’m looking for here is the latitute and longitude numbers. So what I’m going to do is
highlight these numbers here, and paste them into Google Earth. Put this one first, and
then separate it by a comma. Let’s get the longitude and paste that in here. And this is going to take us
all the way to that property. And we’re going to be
really able to zoom in here and see just how flat or
not flat it actually is. Again, using my right mouse button and you can just zoom in here. By the way, if you’re using a Mac, you can do all the same stuff using your control and shift keys. And here, if I hit the shift
key I can tilt it, zoom in, and really as you can see, this
property is not flat at all. In fact it’s actually pretty doubtful as to whether or not this
this thing is even buildable because of how crazy the, you know. Look at that, it’s
almost a 45 degree angle. I don’t want to say it’s
impossible to build there but, if I just had that
parcel map over here and if this was all I saw, I would be clueless as to
whether or not this thing was on a mountainside or out
in a field somewhere. So, as you can see, this just really gives us
some helpful information and just perspective as far as is the property flat or is it not? And not to mention, if you’re
just trying to get an idea for the property’s surroundings, you can pull up these pictures
that other people have posted really just right there, and you can also, though it’s
probably not available here, Google Street View, if you’re
in a more populated area can be really helpful because you can actually see
the property right up close. Just so you know, at the
time of this recording, Google Earth has done a
lot of innovative stuff that has really given us a lot of options as far as what we can see for properties. And they’re releasing
new stuff all the time. So, as you’re watching this video, Google Earth software could
be even more sophisticated than it is in the video that
I’m showing you right now. Really, all you’ve got to
do is just go to Google, type in the word “earth” and it’s probably going to be
the first thing that pops up. Again, I encourage you to check this out, and as you can see, it’s pretty darn cool, you can go just about anywhere and see a lot of helpful info. For example, one of my favorite places is Glacier National Park in Montana. This is just awesome. The detail that you can see, you just couldn’t do this kind
of thing a couple years ago. So, obviously it takes
a few minutes to load but this is the kind
of thing that you have at your disposal. Especially when you’re buying vacant land, and especially if you’re
buying vacant land out of state that you can’t just
drive and see yourself, this is probably the best way I know of to really just find out the
details that you need to know for any property that you are buying. So, yeah, just thought I’d
share that with you guys and hopefully it’s helpful. If you’ve got any questions, let me know.

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