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This column, as originally published, contained a typo with the wrong URL. The text below is the corrected copy.

Property appraiser’s web site a gold mine for data

Brett Slattery

 If you have an interest in Charlotte County real estate, you should visit a web site that provides a gold mine of information. It delivers amazing detail on every property in the county.  Realtors refer to this as the “GIS” system. Whether you are a serious investor, curious about your own property, or just like to snoop, you’re going to find many uses for this site.

 The site was launched in 1998 by Charlotte’s property appraiser, Frank Desguin. Realtors refer to this invaluable aid as the “GIS” site. You can get there by going to “www.ccappraiser.com”. Click “Records Search”; then click “Search Real Property Records”.  Enter the street number and the street name of the property you are interested in. Do not enter the suffix. For example, if the street name is “Main St”, just enter “Main”.

 The resulting detail screen includes the name and address of the owner, the purchase date, the price, the current and future zoning, the availability of utilities, the homestead status, and much more.  

 If the property is a home, the detail will include the year built, the square footage, the quality and condition of the home, etc. The appendage section provides construction details. For example, it indicates when the pool was built, its size, and construction materials. The “View Building Sketch” link identifies the builder (ignore the “can’t find” message) and provides a sketch.

 This site also includes something you won’t find on your TRIM notice. The TRIM notice shows “Your property value as of January 1”.  But that figure is typically reduced by up to 15% due to state statutes. The GIS system, however, shows what the county really believes the property’s market value was as of January 1.

 The real fun and power of the GIS system begin when you click the “View Map” link at the bottom of the page. An aerial photo of the subject property and surrounding properties pops up on the screen. The screen displays the property lines (read the disclaimers) and highlights the subject property. You can zoom in to see sheds, pools, etc.

 The left and right sides of the screen contain icons and checkboxes that represent power tools at your disposal. To your left, the hand icon lets you pan in any direction. The “+” and “–“ icons let you zoom in or out.  The ruler icon lets you take measurements, such as the length and width of the property.

 Curious who owns the adjacent property? Do you want to print mailing labels for everyone on your street? Or determine where the nearest fire hydrant is? There are tools for all these.

 Checking the “spot elevations” and “contour” boxes can save you a lot of money. This identifies the elevation of a property at various points.  If you are looking for a buildable lot, and county codes require the slab to be at or exceed ten feet elevation, you may want to focus on lots that are already at this elevation. That can save you a bundle by eliminating the need for fill, a stem wall, and steps.

 The GIS system also provides a link at “www.ccappraiser.com/record.asp” where you can download the raw data that powers this system. There are a thousand ways to cash in on this data. Say you own a pool company. Let’s assume a typical pool needs resurfacing every 20 years. This data gives you the name and address of every property owner in Charlotte County who has a 20 year old pool.

 As a Realtor who takes advantage of this site daily, and a former software engineer who appreciates the complexity of designing such a system, I’ll complete this column by tipping my hat to the Charlotte County Appraiser and staff for a job well done.

 Brett Slattery is broker/owner of Brett Slattery Realty in Rotonda/Cape Haze. Reach him via (941) 468-1430 or www.BrettSlattery.com.


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Note: Brett Slattery is owner/broker of Brett Slattery Realty llc.

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