Lying in bed late at night unable to sleep, tossing back and forth, annoyed that it’s already 3 a.m. random thoughts are probably crossing your mind. Maybe, by some chance, while staring at the ceiling, you started to wonder about the fact that one time, before you lived there, someone else lived there. Somebody else used to lay awake late at night looking at this ceiling. And before that somebody else did and before that somebody else maybe did. All the way back until when the home was first built. You should probably roll over and go back to sleep. If you can’t sleep, don’t worry.
1. Public Record
Since you’re still drinking your morning cup of coffee and waking up, we’re starting off with the simplest option. While the internet doesn’t have the answers to everything, some databases do have information on previous homeowners. This is especially relevant if you recently purchased your home.
Public record is a great place to find this information.
2. Talk to Neighbors
On your way to your car, make a detour to your neighbor’s house. If your neighbor has lived in their home longer than you have, they could give you some good insight. They’ve seen people move in and move out of your house for years. And they just might be able to remember who the people were. They probably even know some things about them.
3. Look At The Deed
Okay, so your neighbors were friendly and helpful, but their memory of your home’s history was hazy. And you want details. There are two types of deeds you’ll want to search for: the title deed and the property deed. Both should be at your the County Recorder Office, but call in advance to double check. You should also ask how much it’ll cost for you to browse the records, as the amount differs from place to place.
Once there, you’ll get a lot of good information. The title deed will have information about who previously owned your home and the property deed will have information about who previously owned to the property. If that’s not enough information for you, the Recorder’s Office has some other information that you could find interesting, like building permits and inspection information.
4. Find The Title Abstract
Was the deed not enough for you? If you still want more information (and you still have some free time), make your way over to the county courthouse. The courthouse should have a copy of the title abstract. Basically, this abstract will include a bunch of information on the ownership of the property. Specifically, who owned the property, how long they owned it, and what price the property sold for. This information will go as far back as possible, because the the county really likes having all of the details.
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