Call me a nosy neighbor. I’ve always liked checking out Sunday open houses, especially houses for sale around my area of St. Petersburg. And I’m a huge fan of HGTV shows like “Flip or Flop’’ and “House Hunters.’’ Maybe that’s why why I ended up four years ago as the Tampa Bay Times real estate reporter. It’s a great job, especially now that the market is hot. But there’s a lot more to real estate than pretty (or not so pretty) houses. I’ve reported on a good number of scams and the colorful characters behind them, including one fellow that my stories have sent to federal prison - twice! In my off-hours, I like to travel (was a foreign correspondent for 12 years), figure skate, hit garage and estate sales, read and check out new restaurants. I’m probably one of the few people who remember when downtown St. Pete had only four restaurants — the lunch counters at Maas Bros. and Woolworth’s plus Aunt Hattie’s and Uncle Ed’s. Alas, Aunt Hattie’s closed in the early ‘80s after a rat ran over a restaurant critic’s foot.