The house sold. We couldn’t find the right buy before closing, so we began renting a condo. Renting would afford a more relaxed property search, rather than frantically nabbing something up that sort of resembled what we wanted in a need to call some place home.
There are a number of mesmerizing HGTV shows where a realtor shows a client three options and they pick one by show’s end. There’s obviously more behind the scenes, but our search was exhaustive and nothing remotely resembling these shows. We did tons of research before even asking our realtor’s involvement.
I was browsing the market daily. With utmost obsessive compulsiveness. Compulsivity, if you will. Tucker, one of the largest realty companies here in The Middle has a wonderfully usable map search on their website (most do now, but not always as user friendly) and that’s where I typically started.
I’d also check out the Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors (MIBOR) site for listings I was keeping track of.
I would also check out the local Geographic Information Systems (GIS) map to check lot sizes, neighboring conditions, streams, etc.
Due to a couple early pursuits, I also checked the FEMA maps to see if a property was in a flood plain.
Plugging the parcel number from the GIS map into the Property Info Search, would give me the tax assessed value (these are consistently inconsistent but good to know for negotiations), and the owner’s name. If I wanted to get in touch with them directly, I’d check Spokeo (when it was still free) for a phone number.
Exhaustive. Aggressive. Internet-stalker-creepy? Hey, it’s all out there. I only inched over the creepy threshold once when I contacted an owner of an abandoned home (it was obviously going feral!) that wasn’t for sale. Yet? Maybe? “Wait. WHO are you!?”