Whether you are engaging in genealogy or just taking a trip down memory lane, you may want to find out who lives in your former house. Property records are open to anyone who asks. Many records are available online.
Determine the property's current address. Do not assume it is the same as when you lived there. Many property addresses have been changed or updated because of 911 emergency service regulations. If you are not sure of the address, sketch a map of the area and compare it with the larger survey map that should be available at the county assessor's office or elsewhere in the county courthouse.
Check online to see whether that county's property records are posted, or go to the office of the tax assessor who has jurisdiction over the area where the house is. This office is usually in the town hall or county courthouse, but in some jurisdictions it is in a separate building.
Ask at the city clerk's or assessor's office about the property rolls. The list is usually available from the assessor's office or the tax office. It may be on paper or on a searchable database at the office. Some jurisdictions' records are online.
Scan the list for the address you want. Property records include the owner's name and contact information, as well as ownership rights and the property tax due on the property. Land use and sales history should also be included.
Ask where the deed to the house is filed. It may be at the county courthouse or another county building. The deed will show the names of both the sellers and buyers of the house. Deeds are public records, available to anyone who asks for them.
Do not assume that the current owner will be thrilled to see you. If you want to see the home's interior, call ahead or send a request for permission to visit. Don't just show up unannounced.
Tips and warnings
- Do not assume that the current owner will be thrilled to see you. If you want to see the home's interior, call ahead or send a request for permission to visit. Don't just show up unannounced.