What’s Next Door, Past Those Trees, or Over the River?

by Nick Molnar on August 22, 2006

Until recently if you wanted to know what was near a home but still out of sight, you had to drive the streets, talk to people and generally spend some time looking around. While this is still an excellent idea when you’re considering where you want to live, it is no longer the first step.

The big three Internet search companies all offer high-quality, free satellite maps that span the United States. If a house seems good, take a minute and browse the surroundings. It may not bother you living near a railroad, cemetery or power plant, but don’t you want to know about it? These quick and painless searches can also reveal positives the sellers failed to mention: the small park two blocks away, a widening of the river or a shortcut to work.

You can start at Google Maps, or if you have a bit more bandwith, Google Earth.

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