When you buy or sell a home, the transaction is recorded by local government offices. The basic information is open to search by anyone. While some information can be found online, additional data may require a visit to the local courthouse.
Information available through government offices. Public property records show the year a house was built, the past and current owners, a history of its appraised value for taxes, and the amount of taxes paid. Other records indicate renovations done, as long as the work was completed through the building permit process.
Depending on your state, a property search can be done through the property appraisal offices or the tax assessor’s offices. The local tax collector will have exact figures and a history over the years of taxes collected.
To search either of these sites, the property address, current owner’s name, or the assigned code known as the parcel number is required.
The county clerk’s office keeps deeds, mortgage records and any encumbrances upon the title such as tax or mechanic’s liens.
Real estate search sites. Popular websites like Realtor.com offer a good snapshot of a property but provide only estimates on the value of a home.
Is your identity exposed? Social Security numbers and driver’s license numbers are not publicly available through real estate records.