The Ultimate in Window-Shopping



A few years ago, when I was working on Summer of Dragonfly Changes, I had the pleasure of shopping for real estate—at least as part of my research. One of the characters, Aunt Kathy, was looking for property in Santa Rosa, California. So naturally, I had to scour the Internet for available real estate at the time and find properties for her.


Can you imagine shopping for property when money is no limiting factor—and it’s not your money to boot? At the time, the real estate prices in the Santa Rosa area were pretty reasonable. And by reasonable, I mean only $3M-$5M—chump change, right? That was one of things that made it so fun—I knew Kathy didn’t have a budget, so I was able to look at all the cool properties that were for sale at the time.

And the two places she scooped up were based on two actual properties that were for sale at the time.

I love how the selling of real estate now includes dozens of photos on-line so you can see EVERYTHING. I was able to print out photos and the seller’s long list of attributes such as; “Beautiful pastures and meadows grace this outstanding ranch. Jaw dropping panoramic views.” I knew everything about these places, and they were real. Pinterest has been fun to pin images to story locations after the fact—but those images are so perfect, almost unreal. I needed actual locations for zany Aunt Kathy.

These last several months, I have been revisiting the photos and information of the spots in Santa Rosa for the next few novels in the Loon Lake Series. It has been fun getting acquainted with the area.

Anyway, if you find yourself with some time to spend (stuck indoors) this summer, check out the Internet for some real estate for fun—pick a spot you’ve always wanted to live or just visit for a season. It’s the ultimate in window-shopping. I highly recommend it!