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Business people huddled around paperwork on table
Deciphering data sets

Collecting information about the property and its surroundings

Before investing in property, it is essential you collect some critical data about the property and its surroundings.

When you’re considering buying a property would you consider looking at a map?


Where would you get this location map from?

Have a look at the following 4 maps or views.

The first map gives a wider view of the Geelong area (Australia) and identifies the suburbs and the city of Geelong quite broadly. The second map gives a closer view of the surrounding land (which was subsequently built on) across the road from Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds campus.

Map 1: Waurn Ponds area Map 1: Waurn Ponds area

Using the second map, what locational attributes can you see that would make owning a property in this area desirable for you?

Locational characteristics that should be considered, in order to get a better appreciation of the value of land include the roads and public transport that already service the area. Other features that you could take into account would include shopping and entertainment facilities.

What about owning a property near a university - might that enhance value? What about owning a property within very close proximity of a major suburban shopping centre? What about owning a property across the road from a hospital? What about owning a property within close proximity to a highway? Let’s make the question even larger – what are the benefits and disadvantages of owning a property here, presently and in the foreseeable future and how might they impact on value?

Map 2: Waurn Ponds closer view Map 2: Waurn Ponds closer view

Would you think an aerial view of the subject property would be useful?


Map 3: Waurn Ponds, satellite view Map 3: Waurn Ponds, satellite view

Is a street view of the subject property useful?


Map 4: Waurn Ponds Daly Blvd, street view Map 4: Waurn Ponds Daly Blvd, street view

The street view that you have here is of the properties under construction. If you were seriously considering buying the land on which this property is now located, looking at this property from the street view can be very useful.


Being able to consider the surrounding residential properties and other vacant blocks of land may also add some insight. What if you had a two or three storey building on two sides of the land that you are considering, sitting right on the boundary – how might this influence your thinking about the value of the site as your principal residence?

What about the location of the driveway or street lighting or even the care and maintenance of the surrounding properties – how might this impact your view on the value of the block of land?

As previously stated, the zoning controls of the local government can also have an enormous impact on the value of property. Proximity to amenities and services that are important to you such as schools, churches, recreational areas and so on will impact the value of the property. In what ways do you think?

People say a picture is worth 1000 words and when considering property, it probably is. Visually identifying some of the locational characteristics such as transport and shops and hospitals and universities may have serious influences on the value of the land.

Are there any other maps or views that might be helpful in your area or country other than those available on Google maps?

Your task

Locate land that is for sale on realestate.com.au or another website with similar information about properties on the market in your area of interest.

Identify the surrounding locational characteristics such as shopping precincts, schools, transportation facilities, and anything else that you believe will impact you to consider the desirability of buying that land.

Access an aerial view of the land, so that you can consider the impact of surrounding properties more closely. How does this allow you to consider more deeply the property’s characteristics?

Share your thoughts in the comments section and review the comments from your peers.

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This article is from the free online course:

What Influences Property Values?

Deakin University

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