Friday, December 31, 2004

The PUBLIC you

Kristi and I were taking a Sunday drive in the beautiful weather we had yesterday when we ran across a home for sale. Well, maybe it was for sale and maybe it wasn't. You see, the "For Sale" sign was very old and hard to see from the road. The house looked like it was no longer occupied (no visible furniture) and the yard no longer maintained (lots of leaves).

It was obvious the house was once loved, but today it really needs a helping hand. Maybe what this old house needs is our helping hands. So we decided to do some investigating...

First, we looked at the real estate listings. Nothing there -this is a dead end.

Then I checked the county website for property tax assessments. From this I found the owner's name, learned the property was purchased in 1970, and the house built in 1978. I learned the owner no longer lived there because of a lost Homestead Exemption (it's a Texas thing) and the owner was over 65 in 1992.

Using Google I was able to discover the owner was mayor of the town in the early 70's.

After thinking about his age and how the house was lived in anymore, I was able to discover some information on about his recent death.

During this stage, our search became a quest to fill in the missing pieces. Going back to Google we discovered information about his family, profession (dentist), and hobby (golf).

After a little more searching, I can now tell you about his last house. Further, I can tell you the land her mother lives on now was previously owned by their daughter, a real estate agent, through a series of companies.

One of his sons took the same profession and would seem to be a successful dentist in town.

All of which leads me to say, it doesn't take much to find out all about you and yours. Heck, if I feel a little bored tomorrow I might be investigating you!


Anonymous said...

Sweet! I'm shaking in my boots!

Glenn said...

So... is the house available?

Anonymous said...

I remember how freaked out I was the day I realized you can find out someone's address by typing their phone number into google. Creepy creepy creepy. But, still, I guess that if someone wanted to stalk a person THAT much they'd find a way without the internet.


Jeffrey Davidson said...

The son of the former owner, that is the one son I did not spend any research time on, is the one who returned my call to the house. It turns out he lives nearby, the house if for sale, and the family is happy to sell it without using a realtor. He agrees the house needs maintenance & attention. He told me about how it was built in 1966 and modified since then (the online records were wrong, it was not built in 1978). Lastly, he said the asking price was $700k, which puts in about $250k above the county's tax roll estimate. Oh, and the asking price does not include the .75 acre lot next door, also for sale.

Kristi thinks I am living in a dream world and does not even want to see the inside. Maybe next time.