Use Google Earth & Drones To Avoid Buying a Nightmare Property!
When you are looking for property, especially rural or remote property, it can be very difficult from the ground to know what lurks nearby on Government land, or private properties. How do you know if there is any resource based operations close by, or if the neighbour next door has a property littered with toxic substances? You won’t, and it is likely the seller of the property will not know, or if they do, may not disclose this information or simply plead ignorance if it ever ended up in court.
Due Diligence is paramount when buying land. For the most part it is up to you to find out what industry is in the area and any other negative aspects that might effect your future enjoyment of the land.
One of the easiest, although not 100% accurate due to outdated imagery for some areas, is Google Earth. When looking at property, Google Earth is a gold mine of information for the area surrounding a potential property. However, an aerial image from 2010 may not show recent developments or changes. But it is a good start and is very useful in determining if a property is worth looking at and taking the time to view it. Google earth can also provide insight into road access, elevations and nearby sources of water, timber and so on.
That said, as noted, Google Earth may have outdated images, or simply lack closeup details for remote or rural areas. Street view in rural areas does not show you what may be hidden on the properties themselves. For this you will need a better tool – A Drone!
Assuming you have taken this first step and found a property you want to view in person, it’s time to check it out. This is were an economical drone like the DJI Phantom 3 Standard can come in very handy. It sells for less than $500 and can be used for other things in the future so it will be money well spent (see our video on Drones for SHTF and Prepping Here).
The use of a drone when viewing property will give you a birds-eye view of the area surrounding the property, or follow a stream , checkout nearby lakes etc. But most important, it could reveal negative aspects near the property that could ruin your future enjoyment of the property, or worse, reveal dangers that could effect your health and well-being down the road.
When you combine the use of Google Earth with the aerial surveillance capability of DJI drones, you greatly reduce the potential of buying a nightmare property. In our opinion, the $500 (or less) investment is well worth it. It can prevent you from buying property that may be close to toxic substances, resource operations and so on. All of which can effect your health, property value or property enjoyment, or all 3.
Why take a chance, next time you are looking at properties, make sure you view them on Google Earth first, then head out with a drone to check them out in greater detail – from the air!
Word of Advice… if flying over or near private property, be mindful of privacy and keep a respectable distance. People who live in remote areas like their privacy and may not take kindly to a drone hovering in the backyard so to speak – they may even blow it out of the sky if you get close enough – be careful in this respect.
Drones may provide insight into the area near a potential property, but they cannot fly 30 miles up stream or long distance for any purpose (nor are you allowed to fly these distances). It is always a good idea to research industry located nearby (within 50 km | 30 miles) that could present a danger from spills into water sources on a potential property, or air contamination.