Market Research

I have a couple of quick questions for any realtors that would be so kind as to offer help.  I plan to make a transition into Realty over the next year or so.  My wife and I are moving from VA to FL in the near future (our house is currently on the market).  That said, I would like to do as much research as possible before jumping into Realty in an area I am not very familiar with.  I am focusing on the Jacksonville/St. Johns/ St. Augustine area of Florida.

My questions:
1. Is there ever a "bad" time to enter the market as a realtor?  (I realize some market conditions make it harder at times, but I'm wondering if there signs that might warn me against becoming a realtor in a given market)

2. Are there any market research tools/websites I can use before getting my real estate license that would assist me in creating a solid Realtor business plan?

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