This week UrbanTurf is taking a look back at the best that DC’s residential real estate market had to offer in 2009. From the best deals to the best trends to, of course, the best listings, we believe we have sussed out the cream of the crop.
Even though it was introduced in mid-November of last year, we believe that Google Street View’s arrival in DC is worthy of a mention on this year’s Best Of list.
For those that are unfamiliar with Google Street View, it is an aspect of Google Maps that provides users with 360-degree views of streets in cities across the country. As Google describes it, it is “the last zoom layer on the map – when you’ve zoomed all the way in you find yourself virtually standing on the street.” We admit that this feature is both exciting and frightening (seeing the Street View car with its huge camera roaming the city streets is a little too “big brother” for some). However, for those in the market for a new home, it can be a huge asset.
The modern home buyer spends hours combing the internet for properties that they might be interested in. However, in many cases, they are unfamiliar with the neighborhoods and blocks where these properties are located. Google Street View allows prospective buyers to scout not only the surrounding properties, but also navigate up and down the block, virtually walking around neighborhoods, scoping out local restaurants and bars, and locating amenities like grocery stores and dry cleaners that are nearby.
Real estate search engine Trulia has incorporated Street View into its web pages as have a number of national brokerages. While we are not recommending that you should use Street View as a substitution for visiting a neighborhood where a number of properties interest you, it is a great virtual starting point.
Previous Best Of 2009 entries:
- Best Deal of 2009: The $419,000 Three-Bedroom
- Best Record Set This Year: Mortgage Rates Hit All-Time Low
- Best Local Real Estate Idea (That Went Nowhere): Inauguration Rentals
- Best New Listing of the Year
This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/best_new_tech_for_dc_real_estate_scene_google_street_view/1603
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