As a Realtor I frequently use the Dakota County Real Estate Inquiry website to look up information about properties in the County. It can give me information about tax values, home & lot size, current ownership and previous sales. While logging into the system today I found a new link to the Dakota County Property Information tool and found a really useful tool that many consumers might be able to benefit from as it is more visually interactive than the Inquiry tool.
What is it?
Dakota County Property Information is an interactive web map intended to provide the public with access to information regarding real property in Dakota County.
Using The Tool
When you first log into the tool you are given a large map of Dakota County with a drill down function to zoom into any city or even down to the street/parcel level. For example, below I have zoomed into Eagan’s Autumn Woods and Hawthorne Woods developments which surround Pinewood Elementary. The area has Diffley Road to the north, Dodd Road to the west and Highway 3 to the east. You can easily pick out the individual streets and properties in that area.
That isn’t all that different that features you could find within the Real Estate Inquiry tool. To really get some cool features you can go from the Street View (in the upper left corner) to the Aerial View. That gives you more of a satellite image of the geography below superimposed with the property lines. If you then click on the option called “Themes” along the top you get a color coded overlay showing you which addresses have had sales associated in the last 5 years. You can see an example of the same area near Pinewood Elementary below.
Now we are getting some valuable information!
By using this tool you get to see information about whole neighborhoods and how much turnover they are having. As you can see in the developments above, they have had very little sales activity (only 5 sales in 2009 and 3 in 2008) which can lead to more stable prices when every house close by isn’t trying to be sold. You can also use this to research sales trends in different neighborhoods whether you have a house to sell there or are looking to buy.
You can go even 1 more step to click on an individual parcel to get key information. For example, I clicked on the 1 property that showed up in blue above as a sold home in 2010.
You then get a picture of the property, details about the owner, tax value and building details. While much of this data is in the Real Estate Inquiry tool, I really like the picture of the house front and center (which is different) and the visual quality of being able to click from house to house and see each one.
The new Dakota County Property Information tool is a valuable resource that many Realtors will use on a daily basis and consumers can benefit from as well. Best of all it’s free to use. Go try it out yourself and let me know what you think about it.