Are you searching to find the owner of a house or property? It happens, and there are a million different ways that you can find what you’re looking for. In fact, deciding on the best option can be overwhelming.
Luckily, we’ve compiled the best strategies on how to find out who owns a particular property – check them out below.
How to Find Out Who Owns a House: Use the County Recorder
One way to find out who owns a property is by paying a visit to the Country Recorder with the address of the property. It is one avenue to explore that can help you find out who owns a house. Here, the clerk can look up who owns the current property and any previous owners. It’s also possible to gather additional information such as existing liens on the property, ownership disputes, and if it has been sold or transferred in the past.
If a business owns the property, the clerk can also check if there are any ‘Doing Business As’ certificates that exist for the property. In most places, an in-person visit is necessary, but some counties have created online portals to conduct this search from home.
Using Wayne County as an example, https://www.waynecountylandrecords.com is the online search portal that allows you to look up land records. By using the ‘Free Public Search’ feature, you can find records based on searching a name. To search by address, sign up for a ‘Pay As You Go’ account and pay a fee of $6 for 15 min of search time.
Not all of these online services are paid; this is something that varies by county. For example, with Nassau County, their online portal allows searches by address for free.
How to Find Out Who Owns a House: Use the Register of Deeds
With the Register of Deeds, you can find the owner of a house by carrying out a deed search. First, you need to find out what county the house belongs to. Then you must find the Registry of Deeds website for that specific county. There’s an online search function that allows you to determine the owner for a given address.
For example, when looking at the North Berkshire County in Massachusetts, their online portal is here. Here, deed records related to a specific property searched by providing the street number and name. By retrieving the most recent deed, one can find the current and previous owners.
How to Find Out Who Owns a House: Check with the Tax Assessor
The County Tax Assessor is the third method by which property records can be dug up for a certain house. With this option, there are online platforms for particular counties, but others will require an in-person visit to the Tax Assessor Office.
By using the address of the house, you can conduct an online search to find property details. Such details include the owner’s name, liens on the property, historical sales, and current disputes.
Here’s an example of a Tax Assessor providing an online search portal for the County of San Bernardino: https://www.mytaxcollector.com/trSearch.aspx
How to Find Out Who Owns a House: Check listings of corporations with the Department of State
Sometimes, certain properties won’t have an individual owner but instead, are owned by a corporation. The previous methods of finding an owner might reveal no DBA (Doing Business As) certificates. In such a case, the Secretary of State or the Department of State’s website will have the underlying owners.
For example, by visiting the Pennsylvania Department of State’s website, you can search for registered business entities here. You can use the corporation name you used to search for the house’s owners to retrieve the registered individual owners and directors of this corporation using this search tactic.
How to Find Out Who Owns a House:
Ask a realtor
Now an easier solution to all this is to find a realtor. Most realtors are well versed in finding out the owner of houses in their area and can help you find this information quickly. Some realtors also have access to private databases to find this information fast, but the ability to use this depends on the underlying reasons for the search.
Related: How Does Rent to Own Work in 2019?
How to Find Out Who Owns a House: Use online tools
Many online aggregated search tools can find property records across many states in the country. These search tools can make things easier than having to find individual county or state respective websites.
Here are a few online databases worth using to help you find out who owns a house:
NETROnline, short for Nationwide Environmental Title Research Online, is a database with millions of property records. It also offers environmental data, historical aerial shots of various areas in the U.S., and public records.
Using NETROnline enables you to quickly drill-down to your respective state’s repository of public information. Use the Property Data Store feature to quickly find the state, county, and available databases that you can use to search. On this database, you can search for property details by address or zip code.
U.S. Title Records
The U.S. TItle Records is a private business that allows you to access property ownership details for a fee. Searching using their service costs a minimum of $19.50. It provides you with a high-level property report illustrating the current owner, sale history, property details, and tax assessor records. The service will produce results instantaneously and can be searched by simply entering the address and zip code of the house.
PropertyShark is another third-party service that can help determine who’s the owner of a house or property at a specific address. It’s a paid service starting at $19.95 per month if searching within a particular state, or $59.95 per month if it’s to perform searches nationwide. This base plane includes the ability to download 150 property reports, and these reports will include comprehensive information such as the owner details, property characteristics, tax, and sales history.
With PropertyShark, you can also get supporting information about corporate-owned properties to uncover who the real owners are. They offer their first report for free after signing up as a way to trial the service and see if it meets your needs.
Sometimes we find ourselves needing to know who exactly owns a certain house, whether it’s because we are interested in the property or have a reason we need to speak to the owner. But it can start to get frustrating when a simple Google search doesn’t reveal their name right away.
Luckily, there are many ways to track down the homeowners these days:
- A town or city’s public documents
- Online tools
No matter which route you pursue, you’ll be sure to get the information you need.