When Was My House Built? Learn the Property History

With all of the steps you need to take while buying a home, you may forget to ask some very important questions such as when the house was built and what exactly is its history? So before you get a deal with a home seller and the Closing process, it is important to find out about the real estate history of your future home. Below we describe how to search for the history of a home so you know exactly when it was built, what major renovations were completed, and other key details to make living so much easier and less stressful.


How do I find the history of my property?

Finding the story of a home that you want to own or buy can be an intriguing rabbit hole to immerse yourself in. However, it can also be a little tricky. You will likely begin by doing a search for public records on your local city and county websites, but you may find significant differences in what is offered online on different websites. This also helps you determine how many steps to go through to find your property's history. But don't worry, we'll walk you through the process.

Step 1. Look up summary information

The first step in finding the history of a house is to find the address of the property on a. to search Real estate website. The listed property details include the parcel number (APN) or the tax ID number of the appraiser and the year of construction of the house in the "Public Facts" section. Be sure to write down the APN or Tax ID as you will be using these in many of the steps below.

Step 2. Go to your circle writer's website

A district clerk, also known as a district clerk, locates all taxable assets in the city or district. They identify the property, establish a taxable value on the property, and record other documents such as escrow deeds, retransfers, liens and lien releases.

Step 3. Look at the County Parcel Viewer

The quickest, easiest way to find property information on a county recorder website is by the APN number. If you couldn't find a parcel number for a property on a real estate website, most likely you can use your city or county parcel search feature.

A surveyor's parcel viewer allows you to search by address or parcel number – or visually by zooming in on the property on the interactive map. In most cases, you can choose the map type you want to view, such as: B. Satellite aerial imagery, roads, topographical and others.

You may want to switch between different types of maps to make it easier to find. For example, if you have the address of the house and the location of the house on a map, you can either search for the address or use the aerial map to zoom in and switch to the street map to find the street.

When you click the property, a pop-up window will appear. This field contains basic information about the property. From here you can access various real estate records, including the year the house was built, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the appraised value and tax history.

If a package viewer isn't obviously listed on a recorder's website, you can find it on the city or county website, or using a regular search engine. It can also have other names, e.g. B. Property Information Viewer or parcel search, especially for counties that do not offer a map-based interface.

If the property is made up of multiple tax parcels that are jointly owned or have been formally combined into a single parcel, keep in mind that some of the records may still be listed under the original parcel numbers.

Step 4. Access real estate records online

Next, check to see if the county or city has an online portal where you can look up more detailed data from public records Property taxes and allow. This includes deeds, liens and more. Depending on the district or city, you can often view these data sets online free of charge.

Note that online records are limited in terms of the year they start. Online recordings can start anytime between the 1970s and 1990s. However, if your home doesn't have an online record between these dates, you may need to look for microfilm. Microfilm is a photographic record of documents such as deeds, building permits, or other legal records. Sometimes microfilm recordings are found digitally, but sometimes you need to see them in person.

It is possible that the desired property records are split between city and district databases. For example, the county may have records from 1970 to 1980, while the city may have records from 1981 to 1990. If so, you may need to check both the city and county records to find all of the real estate records for your home.

Step 5. Order copies of real estate records

If you can't view a document online, you can usually order copies. Or you might want hard-copy copies of documents that are available online. Typically, you can get copies of property records in person, online, in the mail, or via Dropbox. If you want certified copies, you usually have to pay the recorder a nominal fee per page or document.

Step 6. Get approval records

Permits can tell you a lot about the original construction of the property and subsequent additions to the home. The city or county approval authority may have an online approval center where you can search for current or past approvals by address or package number.

For some homes, looking up detailed public records is very easy. In other cases it won't. For example, if the house was built in the 1920s and then remodeled in the 1980s, you probably won't know what was included in the renovation until you get the Building permit from the 1980s. The original 1920s permits may only be microfilm and may be little more than a hand drawn sketch.

You can usually find permits records at a planning or licensing office. If the jurisdiction of the property is a city, contact the city for approval documents. Otherwise you will receive the approval documents from the district. Keep in mind that both city and county records exist in some areas. For detailed approval documents, you often have to request them in digital form or make an appointment to assess the originals at the construction or planning desk.

Usually you will find permits for a variety of projects, extensions, conversions of different rooms, finished basements, modernized electrical components, complete renovations or even a change or use, e.g. B. when a commercial building becomes residential.


How do I find the owner of a house or property that I want to buy?

In some cases, you will need an owner's name or other information to conduct a property search for information from public records. So it would be helpful to find the name of the current owner of the house or property.

Go back to the county map, find the property on the map again and click on it. Some parcel viewers will give you the name of the owner. If not, check the property report. This often includes a recent sales history listing the seller and buyer, as well as a change in the ownership instrument, such as a deed. You can often click on the admission number to view the certificate. You may also be able to see the property tax invoice, which usually includes the owner's name and address.

Deeds and transfers of ownership

Another way to find an owner's name is through deeds. If you look at a property in a parcel viewer and find the property details report, you may see the last ownership transfer and document type. In some cases names and dates may appear here. However, you can also only see a number with which you can request the last certificate by e-mail or in person from the appraisal office.

You can also find the owner via a data record search for the property and finding the "giver" and the "giver". Usually the grantee is the seller or the one who enters into a deed or mortgage and the grantee is the buyer or heritage, or the bank holding the trust deed or mortgage. Note that properties nearby may also appear in some search results. So make sure that the parcel ID matches the one you researched.

Census and planning documents

Other options include census records depending on the year. These records can give you details about the residents and their relationships over time. And if your property is connected to the city's water and sewer system, you can ask your local planning or inspection department for side sewer maps. Side sewer maps can show you the dates when side sewer systems were installed at a given address – and the names of property owners and contractors. Keep in mind that you will usually need the parcel number or address to find side sewer maps.

What kind of property details can I get from public records of a home's history?

As discussed earlier, the local parcel display is a great place to start looking for real estate records. The accompanying property report gives you a wealth of information about the home including year of construction, floor plans, photos, condition, property size, and tax history.

Some of the object details you can get from public records include:

  • Property information: This includes the owner's name, address, maps, parcel and block number, zoning, jurisdiction, and any historical state of preservation. You can also see the property tax information and its status (if it has been paid or is overdue). Other property information includes the size of the property, square footage, floor plan, number of rooms, certain furnishings, number of floors, when the home was built, and whether the home has been remodeled.
  • Summary of the appraiser, role values ​​of the appraiser or tax lists: Tax lists contain basic descriptive information about the property such as the name, legal description, taxes paid, and the property's appraised value. You can usually find tax history in the property report.
  • Zoning, special usage areas and regulations such as additional residential units (ADUs)
  • Environmental information and environmental impact declarations: This can give you specific information about the land and property, including potential air pollutants, Flood risk, seismic dangers and slope information.
  • Cards: Maps can show you how the area, lot, lot, and street layout have changed over time.
  • Survey: You may be able to view a land survey on the charter's website. A land survey will show you the house Property boundaries. If it's not online, you can request copies from the keeper of the minutes. You may also find surveys in a land registry section of the map. Note that surveys are not always indexed by package number. Therefore, in many cases you will need to copy and paste the abbreviated legal description.
  • Active and completed permits: Permits usually contain the name of the property owner and the contractor as well as the address. Permits may be listed in the property report.
  • Complaints from the planning or construction department.
  • Encumbrances, mortgages, deeds and easements.
  • Plumber permits, septic system records, and private well records.
  • Photos: These are usually searchable by parcel number or legal description and can often be found in the city, district or regional archives. You can often see an outside photo in the property report through a parcel viewer. Real estate files usually contain photos. Finding aerial photos isn't always easy, but you can find some city or county agencies that make them available online.
  • Area reports as part of the property report: This includes the tax district, maps, the typical valuation of the area, and other details. If you are lucky, you will also find a report from the Neighborhood Expertise Office here. A Area report can contain a one- to two-page overview of the area in which the house is located, including the topography, the typical condition of the apartments and the specific sub-areas of the neighborhood.


What if i look at an older house?

If you are buying an older home, you may want to learn more about the history of the property. You will also likely want to know how the house has been upgraded over time, if anything was different on the property before, and if and how the land was divided.

Historical materials are often found in various local agencies. A starting point is the archive page for your city, county or region. You can usually find proof of ownership cards in the archives department. These maps give you photos and historical information about the property. From there you can access index cards with a package number or the abbreviated legal name.

Ownership lists may include photos and exterior sketches, description and date of construction, ownership information, and permit numbers. Typically, to search for proof of ownership of a historic home, you need the parcel number, address, or legal description. Note that the parcel number, street name and house number of older houses may have changed over time.

the Sanborn Fire Insurance Cards are a great resource for seeing if the structure of an older home has changed over time. These maps show the size, shape, and construction of the building, as well as firewalls, positions of windows and doors, sprinkler systems, and types of roofs and neighborhood infrastructure such as water pipes.

You can also search for reports on the history of a specific district. A report gives you a full historical insight into a broader regional area that includes your property. Unlike the in-depth neighborhood or smaller area reports that you might find from your county, these historical reports provide more detail about the history of land use. You can also use the special collections at your local library to learn more about the history of the area.

Can I do a free online search for real estate stocks?

The short answer is yes. While most of the resources outlined above are free or very inexpensive, one gets more comprehensive Title search will take some time. However, if all you want to know is when your home was built, or who currently owns a property that you want to buy, you can probably find out in minutes.

For example, you can often see the property's sales history in the property details displayed in the parcel display described above. The sales price, the name of the seller and the buyer and the type of document are displayed here. Sales history also shows you some, but not necessarily all, of the recorded ones Easements and loads.

What if I have questions about the process?

While many types of real estate records are simple, others can be more difficult to understand. Fortunately, there are professionals who review these documents all the time, including real estate attorneys, trustees, and Real estate agent. So, once you've started your search and have any questions, get in touch with your real estate agent or other trusted real estate professional.

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