Real-Estate GPS by Barrett Powell
· Living and working as a Realtor in rural North Carolina, one of our rites of passage has always been walking land with buyers and sellers. While this all sounds easy enough, notwithstanding the needed exercise, it can really turn into AN EXCERSISE if the property lines are not clearly marked, which is the case most of the time. If you are a rural agent or property owner, you know exactly what I mean. Sometimes you may be able to locate a corner marker or two and then try and draw an imaginary line between them. Knowing about where the property line is can be extremely helpful for obvious reasons. But other less obvious reasons to know where property lines are become even more evident when you get right down to it.
One good example for knowing where property lines are would be to locate items on the land and know whether the item was on your property or your neighbor’s. Things like trees, easements, and roads are the obvious. Things like setbacks, stream buffers, and such are less so. In rural areas, we typically have no county water or sewer so we have to have wells and septic systems located on the property. Many times you have to provide your local government with the location of the house and well to have a septic field located on the property. This is to assure a minimum distance between the house and well from the septic field. So there are many reasons for having a good way of knowing where property lines and other features of the property are located.
There are also good reasons to know where YOU in relation to boundaries and other features on a piece of property too. I have walked many a parcel that was heavily wooded. If you are walking a heavily wooded tract that is 10 acres or more it is not difficult to get turned around and not know which was is back to the truck. Don’t ask me how I now this. You especially don’t want to try this at the height of the tic season. It is especially good to walk the property with the current property owner and not simply rely on their recollection of where the property runs. You would not believe how many incorrect boundaries are handed down generation to generation. A buyer will appreciate knowing where they are on the property to help them visualize where they might want to build their house, or locate a barn or other facility.
Over the years, I have found solutions using free public domain software to get property data into my handheld GPS. Today, all my agents use the system to walk property with sellers and buyers. It has become a competitive advantage. My agents get asked all the time about how to get the same capability. So I have put together a link with the software you download and install along in instructions on how to use it. Contact me and for a nominal fee I’ll send you the link to an application you can download and install along with instructions on how to find the parcel or parcels you need and upload them into your GPS.
There is no longer a reason to walk land without confidence.