There’s a ton of useful sites on the web that may help you decide where you’ll want to settle once you move to Australia.
We’ve already spoken about the Australian Suburb Profiles which are available over at Domain.com and theres a number of great real estate websites which you can use to identify properties to buy or rent before you get out here; the main of course being Realestate.com.au
One of the problems with selecting a house to rent or buy when your on the other side of the world though is it’s often difficult to get a feel for what the surrounding streets and suburbs actually look like.
You can always try asking in our Australian Real Estate Forum as there’s a good chance that for the more popular area’s we may have a member who already lives there. Having said that Australia is a pretty big place and for the smaller suburbs this may not be an option.
Let me introduce you then to Google street View.
Google Street View is a feature of Google Maps and Google Earth that provides 360 ° panoramic street-level views and allows users to view parts of selected cities and their surrounding metropolitan areas at ground level.
When it was launched on May 27th 2007, only five American cities were included. It has since expanded to hundreds of locations in the United States, France, Italy, Japan and as of the 4th of August this year. Australia :)
Google Street View displays photos that were previously taken by a camera mounted on a car, and can be navigated using either the arrow keys on the keyboard or by using the mouse to click on arrows displayed on the screen.
Using these devices, the photos can be viewed in different sizes, from any direction, and from a variety of angles. Lines that are displayed along the street that is shown indicate the direction followed by that street view camera car.
It really is an excellent way to check out the surrounding suburbs and houses. It’s also a nice way to get a feel for your future home… Australia 8) Seriously guys. The geeks at Google have done good!
To check out the street map view. Head over to google maps. Type in the address and if the Google camera car has been past the street by then you’ll be offered a ‘street view’ link.
Looking at our own house it looks like the street view camera car past about 3 – 6 months ago. Still, It’s pretty damn clever.