Sunday, July 23, 2006

Real Estate Meddling

If I were to ever be accused of stalking someone it would be by way of real estate. I've become obsessed with the Ohio real estate market since buying our home over a year ago. When I see a For Sale sign in our area I start itching to get home and log on to a realtor website just to view the statistics: number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square-footage, what price it is listed at, and what year it was built. I then compare it to the number of our bedrooms, bathrooms, square-footage, payments, and age to decipher if we paid too much or actually snagged ourselves a deal.

It wouldn't be so bad if it ended there but during our home search last year I came across this wonderful, free website provided by our county that maintains far more detailed information. Among other things, it gives me a list of all previous owners of the property, what they paid for it and when, any permits that have been issued for the property, and the actual amount the house appraises for. While I haven't set foot in any house on our cul de sac other than our own, I know that we are one of only two houses with two wood-burning fireplaces. Though I have not yet met the couple that just moved in three doors down I know their names and that they paid $2500 over the asking price, all thanks to this website.

Unfortunately my neighbors aren't the only victims either. I've also investigated all family members on both my side and his, along with any and all properties we viewed or thought of viewing during our house hunting. These poor strangers have me looking at their personal, yet public, information just to find out if I would have spent more or less on the house they purchased instead of me. I have yet to fess up to anyone in our family that I can tell them what the county rates the condition of their home, or that I've seen blueprints. The opportunity never seemed to present itself.

I know it sounds crazy and borderline stalkerish but it started off small and escalated.

I didn't mean to be so nosy, honest.

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