• Locating Houses

    Wed, 02 Jul 2014 07:12:30 +0200Posted by André Landwehr

    [News] [Tips & Tricks]

    We decided to stay in the area of Minden and thus we're looking for a house to buy. It's great that the real estate brokers show their stuff on the web nowadays, but unfortunately they don't add the address. Doh. Thanks to several free maps available on the net, this fortunately is only a minor inconvenience and not a showstopper anymore though.
    When trying to locate a house, start with a map showing the area covered by the postcode (the brokers offer that information at least). Now look at the pictures showing the outside of the house. When you're lucky, there is a bus stop or some other public transport sign there. Even if the sign is unreadable, you can narrow down the search further using the transport layer of OpenStreetMap.
    Sometimes you see a house number. This is helpful not only for the final verification that you found the correct house but also in the early stages, especially when it is large: the street has to be quite long in that case.
    Now comes the hard part: look at the pictures again and try to imagine how the house will look in birdseye view. Remember the general shape, the color of the roof an of the walls, how many chimneys exist and where they are, if there are dormers or balconies and, if visible, also some features of the surroundings or neighboring houses. Then open Bing maps, switch to birdseye view and compare.
    Here in Minden, it normally takes me about two hours to find a house. That's a long and tedious two hours, but it's way faster than contacting the broker and waiting for a week until he's ready to meet you, only to find out within minutes then that you don't like the site.