Monday, June 04, 2007

The Habitat...

While I have what many might consider to be an overactive imagination, I have found when writing that it helps me to have pictures. And I don't just mean pictures of heroes ;o) But pictures of where they live and the cars they drive.

I'll probably never get so detailed as to really need the pictures, but they help me just the same. And I wanted to share with you all some sources for these items if you haven't discovered them for yourself yet. will allow you to search the MLS of any area in the US and they are actually affiliated with the National Association of Realtors and the MLS services, so it's a complete listing. As far as I know. What's great about it is, as opposed to many websites for individual realtors, you don't have to enter any private info to search the database and look at info on a property. Then you can save the pics and info to a file on your hard drive and you have a REAL house in a real area and you know the price range and all! Note: the MLS changes when a home goes under contract or sells, so be sure to save the info. If you bookmark it, it may not be there when you go back to it.

For cars, one of the simple pleasures I derive out of research is building cars. Not physically, but virtually. Go to any major manufacturer and they have an area on their website where you can look at specs for a car model, pics, and even build your own custom car. And they'll even tell you the price. No point in settling your struggling-to-make-a-living heroine or hero with an $80,000 Audi.

The truth is that I just enjoy building it. Until this year, I would go and build a Ford GT each time just for the fun of it. I love this car. Sadly, they aren't building them right now. :o( Not that they built that many when they were building them. At a starting price of $150,000, only a little over 4000 were produced in the two year production run which began in 2004. Of course the first one went for over $500,000 and they routinely sold for over $300,000 despite the $150,000 base price. With a V8 and top speeds of 200+, the car was highly prized.

I saw one a few weeks ago, to my immense surprise. We were driving around downtown and hubby said, "Look, a GT!" He knows about my obsession with them.

I was shocked. We don't live in big-city-USA and so I never expected to see one. It looked a lot like the picture below.

I know it seems silly to obsess over a car. Especially one I couldn't ever own, or wouldn't know what to do with if I did own. But I still love the thing.

Not sure when this post turned into a diatribe about GTs... What was I blogging about?

Oh yeah, resources... While you can't build GTs online, you can build tons of other cars, and save the pics to your hard drive. If you find you need the info.

Really, it helps me make sure I don't give a character a Honda in one scene and a Pathfinder in the next...

What about you? Do you look up housing or cars for your characters?



Cole said...

You know if I hadn't just gotten an email from you telling me you'd gotten lots of writing done, I'd for certain be saying I KNOW why!!!! ;)


Lis said...

I do the real estate thing :) Nothing more fun then taking the virtual tours of houses. A few ms's ago, the house I use actually had its own video. Still have it saved on the hard drive.

Didn't know you could build cars online like that. Have to try that out. :) Most of my car research I do when Speed shows the Barett-Jackson car auction every year. :) I love watching the Shelbys get auctioned off