Commercial Loans Blog

Inspecting Commercial Properties Using the Street View Feature in Google Maps

Posted by George Blackburne on Tue, Mar 22, 2011

Commercial Loan Underwriters Can Now See a Street View of Many Properties From Their Desk

As the owner of a hard money commercial lender, Blackburne & Sons, I have to try to underwrite commercial loans located all across the country. It's economically infeasible for me to fly to New York City from Sacramento to inspect a commercial property when the loan amount is only $400,000. Nevertheless, we have learned the hard way that if you don't "touch" every property that you finance, the consequences can often be disastrous.

Fortunately, Google Maps provides a partial solution. If you type in the property address into Google Maps and then click on the Satellite button in the upper-right-hand corner of the map, you can see an aerial view of the property. This allows you to see if the property is located in the Boonies or in a thriving commercial area. You can use the wheel on your mouse to zoom in on the property from the sky. You can send your investors or potential clients a link to the satellite image of the property by clicking on the Link button, directly above the upper-right-hand corner of the satellite image. Just cut and paste that link right into your presentation.

Street viewTo see a street level picture of the subject property, look at the column to the left of the map. If the property is located in a major city, you will often see a street-level picture of the property. (By the way, never trust Google to point you to the exact building because the addresses are OFTEN wrong.) To see up and down the street, to get a feel for the neighborhood, click on the "More" hyperlink directly below the street-level picture of the property. Then click on the choice, "Street View".

You can also create a link to this street view of the property by clicking on the Link button, directly above the upper-right-hand corner of the street view image.  Here is such a link. (Please allow it 20 seconds to load.)

Be sure to take a moment to play with this. If you move your cursor around, you can enjoy a 360 degree view of the property and the neighborhood. These are wonderful tools. Reminder to myself: Be sure to use them!


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Topics: map, satellite map, aerial map, aerial view, street scene, street view

Imbedding a Satellite Map in Your Commercial Loan Application

Posted by George Blackburne on Wed, Mar 16, 2011

You Can Use Google to Give Your Lender an Aerial View of Your Commercial Loan

A mortgage broker submitted a hard money commercial loan to Blackburne & Sons today by email. It was a land loan request, and normally we would not even look at a land loan request; but the mortgage broker did a very clever thing. He included a Google map of the property.

satelliteBetter yet, the map was a satellite view of the land. By moving the roller on my mouse, I was able to look closer and closer at the land. What I found was interesting. The land was right on a major thoroughfare.  Sewer, water, and power was already available to the site. Most of the surrounding land was already improved. All of the surrounding buildings were modern and attractive, and the area looked reasonably affluent. Now I don't know if we are going to make a land loan during the Great Recession, but its fair to say that because the broker provided a link to a satellite view of the property, this land loan might actually have a chance.

So how do you attach a zoom-able satellite map to your commercial loan packages?

  1. Go to Google.com
  2. At the top left of the page, click on "Maps"
  3. Type in the property address
  4. In the upper right-hand corner of the map, click on the square labeled, "Satellite"
  5. Using the roller on your mouse, zoom in to the right height
  6. In the upper-right-hand corner of the map, find a box labeled, "Map". Right above it you'll see the "Link" button. Click on it.
  7. Cut and paste the link right into your email to your lender.
  8. Voila!

Every commercial loan you now submit should include a link to a satellite view of the property.


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Topics: commercial loan package, commercial mortgage package, map, satellite map