Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Jumping the Gun

OK, I was going along all nice and chronological, and my next post was supposed to be about how I house shopped from far and near, but I am here in Titusville right now, and I just have to post a bit about the here and now.

The weather is a bit unsettled, with some storm fronts scudding across, yet it is also sunny in between, and the temperatures are balmy, in the low 80s. The weather man says we have some fronts to get by before we come up with perfect weather for the weekend.  In Detroit it is cold and gloomy and windy and rainy, and the power has been knocked out a time or two. I am glad to be here! 

Florida Today is predicting Winter Weather tonight.  Here is what they call winter weather:

Temperatures tonight will dip into the mid-50s and only rise to about 72 tomorrow. These temperatures will be the norm through the weekend, NWS forecasters said.

Bring it on!

My faithful dog Ginger is busy chasing lizards in the fenced yard.  It is her new mission in life to exorcise the world of chameleons and geckos or whatever they are.  I, on the other hand, having watched them expertly catch many gnats on the screen in front of me here, really wish to preserve the little creatures, as they are performing a valuable service. Anyone trying to enjoy an evening walk while surrounded by a cloud of gnats will doubtless agree with me.

There was a huge ominous black cloud going over and a lot of wind.  The temperature dropped a lot, into the 70s it feels like.   It's lightening up now, looks like it missed us, at least this part of it.

Back to the Chronological Order of the Tale

I left off the story heading home from Titusville in March 2009, with plans to return the next February.  Back home in Detroit, I was interested in what kind of homes were for sale, as the real estate market was really starting to change.  I wanted to keep track of the market in Titusville, and see if anything really interesting came up.  Researching on the Web, I found listings on several different sites, and subscribed to some of them:

Realtytrac monitors the foreclosures, preforeclosures and auctions in any given area.  You can sign up for a seven day free trial, and after that, there is a monthly fee, or you can cancel.  This site seemed most helpful in identifying distressed property, so if you are interested in that, it's a great resource.

Zillow is another site that will show you what is available in any given neighborhood.  It might not be the most up to date, but it has a lot of information on some of the houses in any given neighborhood.  I found this one most helpful, because I could use their maps to explore an area and then narrow it to look at a specific block.  This is a free site.

Florida Today is a local news site for Brevard County, of which Titusville is county seat.  Their real estate search is powered by and you can customize the search to fit your interests. It is another free site.

The Brevard County Property Assessor provides full information about any particular property you want to look up.  Program the search engine for Real Estate Records by Property Address in most cases. You can find the owner name and information, square footage, tax information and more. Plus they have great aerial maps of the homes.  With a little practice, you can look up places by tax ID number if that is the only info you can find on the property.  Some sales sites will hide the address and just give the tax ID number.

I had a few other sites I looked at but these were the workhorses for my search.  They helped me identify which neighborhoods I might be interested in, by proximity to shopping, the Indian River, exits off I-95,  and more.  I also used the map programs, like Google maps, and Bing, to look more closely at homes that caught my interest, and to identify resources in the neighborhood. You can program Google Map to show you restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies, churches in the area of the home in the Search Nearby field.   I liked the Bird's Eye view on the one site, and I liked to "drive" up and down the streets to look at the neighboring houses in the Street View feature.  Next best thing to actually being there.

Over the course of the summer, I compiled a list of houses I might like to see.  I contacted a realtor who sent me listings from her company's site, Tropical Realty.  These were very helpful as well.  The realtor told me that I could not expect to find these same houses still for sale in February, but she would help me whenever I needed help to see a listing or find out more about one, or any way she could help me.  She has now moved on to Re/Max which also has great listing information available. I recommend this realtor, Anita Lytle, for any realty issues in Brevard County.  She is very knowledgeable of the area and real estate in general.

To make a long story a bit shorter, come the next February, I did get in touch with Ms. Lytle, and we looked at some of the very houses I had listed in the summer. Real estate was not moving so much.  We came up with the same objections from Dear Husband, the ones in the neighborhoods I like were "too cheap."  Well, we can keep looking.

Next time:  We find The House in The Neighborhood that DH wants!

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