Are a first-time home buyer? Are you an investor with several rental and investment properties? Maybe you’re a family looking to move to a bigger space. Regardless of which of these categories you fit into, sometimes, it’s necessary to look up information about a house. You’ll likely go through a realtor, who will have lots of information for you, but in this day and age, it’s extremely important to do your own research.
There are several pieces of information you might want to know about a home before you are about to purchase: you may want to know the history of sale, the history of its owners, or the history of the house in general (such as contruction information, additions, etc). Not only that, you may even want to know information about a house’s residents, such as who might have previously lived there.
Here, we’ll walk you through the best resources to use when looking up information on a house.
How to find information on a home by searching the address
With the proliferation of real estate websites that are designed to make it easier for home buyers to obtain information for sales, it’s easier than ever to find information on a home just by searching the address. Here are some good options you can use:
Zillow is one of the more popular real estate sites, due largely to its ease of use. One of Zillow’s best features is its “Zestimate.” By going to the home page of the website and clicking on “Zestimate” and then entering an address, you can get a range of information on the house. Details such as number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, a sale estimate, cooling and heating information, and even last sale are all available to you.
Realtor.com is very similiar in use to Zillow. The interface is slightly different, but like Zillow’s “Zestimate,” Realtor.com has a home estimate button which gives you largely the same information.
Trulia, just like Zillow and Realtor.com, is another site designed primarily for the rental and sale of properties.Trulia takes it one step further and also lets you find out about mortgage information, so it’s a great resource.
How to find information on a house for sale
The three websites above are fantastic resources for finding out in-depth information about homes for sale. Here’s another great option:
MLS stands for “Multiple Listing Service” and normally MLS websites are only available to realtors. MLS.com, however, is designed specifically for a non-realtor user. Through MLS.com, not only can you search for specific home sale types, such as foreclosures, new homes, condos, and even international homes, you can also find out in-depth information about the home once you locate it. This information includes things like lot size, when the house was built, what school district it’s in and more. MLS is a fantastic resource for finding out information on a house for sale.
How to find the history of a house
You may want to know the broader history of a house than simply it’s sale-related information. To do this, you should first visit your local courthouse or municipal planning group to get the official lot number of the house. With the lot number, you can get a lot of information, such as deed and permit info.
Much of this information will either be kept at your local courthouse, at a local historical society, or at a municipal planning group or a building inspector’s office, both of which may be at your city hall. What’s really cool is that you may even be able to find the original blueprints for the home at these local governmental bodies! There’s a lot you can actually find out about your home offline.
How to lookup who currently owns a property
And of course, for some things, you may have to go back to the Internet for the easiest option! For a search of a current owner of a property, visit SearchQ.com. SearchQ will give you a comprehensive property report, including current owner information and possibly even mortgage and lien information. There are also other websites on the Internet with this specialization, and you may even be able to find current ownership information through a public records search, but SearchQ is a great choice.
How to look up previous residents of your home
Believe it or not, there are also websites designed specifically to help you trace previous residents of your home, including plenty of great resources.
Trace My House doesn’t do the searching for you but it is an incredibly comprehensive guide for finding out anything you might want to know about the history of your home. One of the best features of Trace My House is its explanation of the Census and how you can use that to help you find information.
Public Records Websites
Public Records Websites such as CheckThem can also help you find this type of information. All you have to do is type in an address and voila! CheckThem will show you current owners as well as former owners and residents and the years they moved out. This is one of the most efficient methods of finding the names of former residents of your home!
As you can see, there are lots of really great resources on the web and otherwise for finding out information about a house. We hope we’ve helped get you going in the right direction!