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someone was just photographing my house!

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eek Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 10:04 AM
Original message
someone was just photographing my house!

They were clearly shooting it from various angles.
The person driving apeared to be counting windows (judging from her gestures.
Car was running, passenger door stayed open
The photog even checked his pictures before getting back in the car.

Our house is not particulary different to the others in our hood.

We don't even have any politacal signage in the yard like many others do.

He was dressed like a tourist-- shorts, zipper codpiece-bag.
This is not a touristy area at all.
Car was very generic like a rental or (eek!) a cop car.

Anyone else have this happen?
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skooooo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 10:05 AM
Response to Original message
1. It was me..

...just admiring the paint job.
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Eurobabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #1
22. RE agent looking for comps
n/t
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molly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 10:06 AM
Response to Original message
2. When things like that happen to me
I go out and ask them what they are doing.
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bleedingheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. definitely...
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proud patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #2
16. Yep
:thumbsup:
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bleedingheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 10:07 AM
Response to Original message
3. do you have a special house? historic? really beautiful?
I know a friend who wanted to build a house and she went around taking pics of people's houses to give to an architect so that he would design the house she wanted...then the pics were destroyed...

otherwise I would be creeped out.
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Love Bug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 10:07 AM
Response to Original message
4. Happened to me last year
Turned out to be for my insurance company. Apparently they do this every few years to make sure I'm maintaining my house. Call your insurance company to see if that is the case for you.
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MaryH Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #4
9. Might be an appraiser looking for comps on another sale
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trumad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 10:07 AM
Response to Original message
6. It could be an appraiser...
they check other properties when making an appraisal on a given property? MHOP
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KurtNYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 10:08 AM
Response to Original message
7. possibly former residents?
you know, "look how big the trees have gotten" etc.
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htuttle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 10:08 AM
Response to Original message
8. I've done that
Not at your house, mind you, but my wife likes architecture. Sometimes she wants me to take a picture of this or that house/building to show her friends something she's talking about.

I always tell her, "If someone sees me taking a picture of their house, they'll freak out!" I'll show her this message as further weight to my point. ;)

If they were counting windows, however, it sounds like they are looking at your house as 'Real Estate'. Any residential development going on nearby?
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Snow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 10:09 AM
Response to Original message
10. Happens all the time here in southern Cal - it's always a
real estate person putting together "comps" for an appraisal - comparable houses in the same area, preferably that have been sold/bought recently enough that the pricing makes sense. When we bought our house a couple of years ago, we were presented with a very nice appraisal document that included detailed descriptions & photos of the comps. Most informative. Made us happier with our house.
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Jo March Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 10:10 AM
Response to Original message
11. It's an appraiser probably! :)
Appraisers try to get pictures of comps or comparable houses in an area when they are doing an appraisal on a house. So, if the appraisal calls for pictures of comparable houses in the area, the appraiser will go and take pictures of up to 6 houses in the area. That's why the person counted the windows - trying to make sure that your house matched the other house in number of rooms.

Taking a picture of someone's house from the street is legal. They can't come into your yard, though.

I work for a company that does this. So, it's probably an appraiser getting comp photos!

No worries most likely.
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jukes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 10:15 AM
Response to Original message
12. home insurers
hire interns to do periodic re-appraisal reports. usu nothing changes due to the report, but some insurers just like to keep records.
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livetohike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
13. Could it be a tax assessor?
Is your community going through a property reassessment this year?
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mike1963 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
14. As other posters say, maybe appraiser or county tax assessor...they
send people out now and then around here to see if there have been any improvements...doesn't sound too awfully suspicious...
;-)
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Lex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
15. As a person who works in real estate, I'd say
either it was the local city or county tax office doing a re-evaluation of their tax appraisals,

Or, as someone else suggested, someone doing "comparables" for a real estate appraisal,

Or, some sort of survey for road construction or some construction nearly and a report is being generated for what the look of the neighborhood is like right now. (When a proposed road was being widened near my house, several photographs of existing homes in our neighborhood appeared in the proposal to the city to show what kind of homes might be impacted by the widening of the road.)

I wouldn't be worried.

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Nevernose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 10:19 AM
Response to Original message
17. Insurance company
In addition to tax assessors and real estate agents, do this a lot.
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VoteDemocratic2004 Donating Member (691 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 10:20 AM
Response to Original message
18. When I missed a couple of mortgage payments it happened
Sounds like someone is watching us democratic people.
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eek Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. Thanks, All!
I feel better now.

Our house is on a treed, pretty street and all the houses are old and well maintained . Ours is not a standout, though. There is a real showstopper just across the street, in fact.

The real estate or tax things sound plausible as there has been alotta real-estate movement around here.

I am just paranoid because of the pro-Fahrenheit 9/11 messages I'd written on the last batch of bills I sent out. (return address on envelope of course)
I feared I was getting the ol' patriot act.

Thanks again!
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sybylla Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 11:26 AM
Response to Reply #20
23. We had someone doing it to our house several years ago
Edited on Mon Jul-26-04 11:28 AM by sybylla
Turns out the man had lived in our house 40+ years earlier when he was a teenager. We invited them in to see the inside. To thank us they sent an old aerial photograph of the property from about the early 50's and loads of FlavorRite soft drink mix and freezer pops. Turns out that was where the Mrs. worked and she knew we had kids.

Don't be afraid to ask. You might find something out about your house that government records will never tell you.


on edit: love the sig line. Hamlet is my favorite.
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davekriss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #23
25. Similar situation here
My wife walked up to the car and asked outright who she (the photographer) was and why she was taking pictures. Turns out the older lady used to live in the house and was glad to see it again. She and my wife shared coffee.

...but then there were those shiny patent-leather shoes she wore, reminded me of FBI (just kiddin')!
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ScreamingMeemie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 10:38 AM
Response to Original message
19. How long ago since you purchased the home? I'm a real estate appraiser
Edited on Mon Jul-26-04 10:39 AM by MrsGrumpy
and I take pictures of homes purchased within the last year to support the houses I am working on. I always explain, when asked, and I carry my license on me. :hi:

And I carry the zipper bag for extra pencils! :)
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eek Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. we've been here a year but rent.
Our landlords/friends did a gut reno of this place which they bought 12 years ago. They used to live here .
They now live in the next block where they bought another beautiful Victorian wreck that they've re-done.

The neighborhood is tight - everyone knows everyone - but in a good way.
Very "Mainstreet USA" in the real, not TV way. In other words: all mixed up racially, ethnically, lifestylelly, kids/no kids , dogs cats et al.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #21
24. Maybe the owner is selling ...?
Could be preparation for sale.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 11:42 AM
Response to Reply #21
27. Insurance company perhaps. Maybe owners are increasing their coverage.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
26. Location scout for a movie, tv show or commercial?
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davsand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 08:39 PM
Response to Original message
28. Wave "hi" to the TAX MAN!!!
Bet ya money it was the property tax assessor. If they took pictures of just the front of the house it was most surely the tax guys. Usually, appraisers get photos of the front and back of a comparable sale (at least in my area they do) but the tax guy just needs a photo of the front, usually.

Counting the windows makes me think it is the tax assessor too...

I've been out doing just that same thing a few times, myself, and I've had people ASK what I'm doing. We were ALWAYS out with signs on our vehicle that ID'd us as tax people, and we ALWAYS had on picture IDs. Even with all that people still got freaked out.

The absolute oddest thing was measuring however. As an appraiser, I would call first to warn people I was coming. As taxing officials, however, we'd just go out and DO it. It always felt strange to me to do it--but that was just how it worked. I never went out that I didn't feel like I was in Jr High and sneaking in some guy's yard.

Imagine, if you will, standing in some back yard with a tape measure and a clip board and having some dog sneak up behind you and run a cold wet nose up the back of your leg and up under your skirt...

I just about dropped my clipboard and ran, but the guy I was working with just about died laughing.

Fun and games for the tax guys... You should have gone out and asked--it might have made the day for them!!!!


Laura
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