Some information about property ownership is public and therefore easy to access, but not all. While many counties have digital records available online, a property owner search in a more rural area requires visits to the local library and sifting through paper records.
If you want to speed up the process and dig a little deeper, the best property owner search can help you reveal a lot more about a house or building, it’s current owner, and its real market value. Saving time and money? How could you resist?
In This Article –
What is Property Records Search?
If you’re looking to buy a property that’s already on the market, you don’t have to search too hard to find the owner, but if your dream home appears to be deserted, you could have a bit of detective work to do. Similarly, an abandoned house that’s gradually disintegrating can create a bad impression of an area and harm house prices.
If you’re trying to sell your home under such conditions, tracking down the property owner and getting them to deal with the problem could mean the difference between getting your target price and settling for a lot less.
In these instances, however, the property owner themselves may not want to be found, making your investigation even more complex. Fortunately, the best property owner search will take you beyond the public records and into the great beyond where others fear to tread. When it comes to figuring out how to find out if someone owns property, the services below can help you with that too.
Best Property Owner Search Sites and Services: Find public record property ownership documents
While you can access some public property records for free, these won’t necessarily give you all the information you need on how to find out if someone owns property. If you don’t have the exact address, it could make things even more complicated. The best property owner search produces a wealth of information and enables you to find property owner by address or by name. In addition to public property tax records, the best property owner search sites give users access to the following information:
- Current and previous buyer and seller names
- Types and amounts of home loans and who the lender is
- Assessed and market value of the property
- History of tax payments
- Records of sales history including dates and loans
- Property size including square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms
That’s a lot of information to conjure up and it’s unlikely you would manage to unearth even a half of it searching the internet on your own or tracking down records at a courthouse or library, illustrating the usefulness of the best property owner search. The following sites will sift through property history public records, public property tax records, and a host of other documents, so you don’t have to. Save time and money with the best property owner search sites and services.
While the mentioned below services and sites would provide you with a handful of information on the property, but please note, that those services are forbidden for screening tenants. There are dedicated services for tenants’ background checks and screening.
BeenVerified has access to millions of public records and its reverse address lookup service is one of the best property record searches around. If anyone knows how to search property records, it’s BeenVerified and a reverse address lookup report will furnish you with the following information:
- Current owner’s name and contact details, including past addresses, social media profiles, email addresses, and possible relatives
- Names of residents/tenants
- Property size, legal description, and year built
- Sales reports and property tax assessments
- Information about the neighborhood, including demographics, population, average income, and the whereabouts of any nearby registered sex offenders.
Although a BeenVerified property records search contains all this information, it makes only a few minutes to prepare your results. A preview report is ready in seconds and can be viewed for free. The more in-depth report takes a little longer and, to access it you’ll need a subscription with BeenVerified.
Perhaps the only drawback of BeenVerified is that it doesn’t allow you to buy a one-off report. Instead, you must commit to a month-long subscription which will set you back just under $27 at the normal price, although discounts are currently available. It’s not cheap but it will produce a host of in-depth information that will be invaluable when it comes to making an offer on a property or deciding if a specific area is suitable as a future home for you and your family.
BeenVerified isn’t just one of the best property owner search sites, it’s also one of the best people search engines, so why not sign up with BeenVerified today and enjoy a month of real estate investigation while letting a few skeletons out of the closet at the same time? Alternatively, find out what sets BeenVerified apart from the competition by checking out our full review here.
One of the most established background check companies around, TruthFinder offers an effective reverse address look-up feature which will supply you with the following information:
- Possible residents and neighbors
- Location information including zip code, congressional land area, and finance number
- Satellite map
- Census data such as average property value, number of businesses and number of employees
- Demographics data
- Most popular restaurants, clothing stores, ice-skating rinks, etc. in the area
Even if you choose not to pay to open the full report, a quick search will give you a list of possible residents and an overview of the average household income of the area. If you’re using this tool to find property owned by name and track down someone you think lives in the area, this basic free report could be enough. If you’re looking for the perfect location for a new business venture, however, you’ll want to cough up for the full report.
TruthFinder gives users the option of purchasing a one-off report for $29.95 or a choice of two subscriptions. A one-month commitment will set you back $27.78 while a three-month subscription is slightly cheaper at $23.02. Given the quality of the reports and the depth of information they provide, this is good value for money, especially for those who are scouting out the best place to raise young children.
TruthFinder is accurate and fast and, with its mobile apps, you can find a property owned by name while you’re standing outside the front door. You never know you could even be meeting the owner within half an hour of entering the address into the TruthFinder search engine.
Do you want to find a property owner by address and work out how to search property records? PeopleLooker is a great site to turn to if you’ve never done a background check before. The site itself is to navigate and, by selecting the property search tab on the home page, you can access property history public records and public property tax records.
While slick and easy to use, PeopleLooker takes a little longer to work its magic than BeenVerified, but it’s worth the wait as the results are some of the most accurate around. As one of the best public records search engines, PeopleLooker prides itself on its easy to read reports and a property records search will give you the following results:
- Name of current and previous owners
- Exact address including house number and zip code
- Square footage
- Number of rooms
- County assessor records
Using PeopleLooker’s mobile apps means you can get updates immediately using the monitoring feature so, if the house of your dreams suddenly comes on the market, you’ll be the first to know.
PeopleLooker has the advantage of being slightly cheaper than some of its rivals, with a one-month subscription costing $22.86. As this gives you unlimited searches, you may as well make the most of it and find out why it’s considered one of the best background check services around. Sign up with PeopleLooker and find your dream home today, or check out our full review here.
Instant Checkmate is user-friendly and affordable, but it doesn’t offer a property records search nor a reverse address lookup. If you want to use this service to find property owner by address, you’ll need to know the name of the owner as well as their state of residence and, preferably, their approximate age.
If you have access to this information, Instant Checkmate will quickly solve the problem of how to search property records. A basic report won’t tell you much in terms of property history public records, but a premium report will give you some surprising details, including:
- Date purchased
- Purchase price
- Latest assessed value
- Property type i.e. single-family residence, condominium, townhouse, etc.
- Assessor’s parcel number (APN) which will help you gain access to public property tax records
- Area crime statistics
- Popular places
- Census data
- Assessor and property tax records
As there is no actual property records search available, using Instant Checkmate to find a property owner by address is a little more challenging, but the in-depth nature of the reports makes it worthwhile.
The price isn’t so appealing, however, and to get just one report, you’ll have to pay $34.78 for a one-month subscription. If you’re planning on finding all your old school friends or searching every state in the country for the best place to live, however, you can opt for the more reasonably priced three-month option and pay just $27.82 per month.
Intelius isn’t quite as user-friendly as the best property search sites, but its clean design makes it easy for beginners to navigate while the turnover time for results was surprisingly fast. Simply enter what you know of the address you’re looking for and Intelius will conjure up a list of possible properties. This initial result will give you some insights into the property, including:
- Plot size
- Home size
- Date built
- Number of bedrooms
If you then access the full report for the property of your choice, you’ll get a lot more detail including:
- A legal description of the property, including building quality, type of heating, number of bathrooms, etc.
- Recent property tax records
- Sales history
- Neighbor’s names and contact details
- Nearby registered sex offenders
It’s not quite as in-depth as BeenVerified or Instant Checkmate’s property records search results but it’s enough to give you an insight into the area. If you’re wondering, “Are property records public information?” the answer is yes, but that doesn’t mean accessing them is always easy.
Sure, you can head down to the city hall, courthouse, or county assessor’s office and while away a few hours trawling through files, but with Intelius offering a one-off report for just $14.95, is it worth your while? It’s unlikely you’ll find neighbors’ names or satellite maps anywhere in the public records, whereas the best property search sites will provide all that and more.
So if someone comes and asks you, “Are property records public information?” then Intelius is an affordable option for those wanting quick and easy access to public property records but who don’t require details like deeds, assessor’s parcel numbers, or area crime statistics. It’s also ideal for those who just want one report so if that sounds like you, sign up with Intelius today. If you’re not sure, check out our full Intelius review here.
Reasons to Perform a Property Records Search
You may not realize it, but there are hundreds of reasons people might want to find out how to search property records. We’re not going to list all of them but we’ll explore the most popular and a few of the less obvious ones:
Neighborhood Research – your boss wants you to move from Nevada to Idaho, but you’re not convinced the area is safe – do your research by using the best property owner search site to establish the crime rate, the best schools in the area, and how many registered sex offenders live nearby.
Background Check – many of us meet people online but not all of them tell the truth. A property records search can confirm that the person you’ve just met online dating is telling the truth about where they live or what property they own
Avoid Property Scams – you believe a house is up for sale and put down a hefty deposit to secure it, only to find the owner isn’t the owner and the house isn’t for sale. This kind of scam is more common than you might expect but you can avoid it by running a property records search to make sure the person you’re in contact with really is the current owner
Alert Absent Neighbors – the neighbors across the road from you left for the sunny climes of Florida before you moved in, so you’ve never met but now you want to warn them about suspicious activities on their property. Use the best property owner search site to track them down and get their current contact information.
Verify Your Boundaries – you want to build a new wall to keep your puppy safe in the yard but you’re not sure exactly where your boundaries lie. By performing a property records search, you can make sure you don’t annoy the neighbors by overstepping your boundaries.
Alternatives to the Best property owner search Sites
If you’re determined to do the leg work yourself and have the time to invest, you can find alternatives to the best property owner search engines. For instance, you can unearth a fair amount of information via the local county tax assessor’s website, although in more rural areas, you’ll probably have to physically search paper records instead. Nevertheless, the county tax assessor holds public records such as:
- Plot Number
- Public property records
- Public property tax records
This information can be particularly useful if you’re hoping to put an offer in to buy a property. If the owner has a tax lien or is facing bankruptcy, chances are they’ll be prepared to accept an offer and speed up the sales process so they can clear that debt sooner.
The county recorder’s office will also have some information, including public property records relating to the transfer and ownership of land. You’ll also find deeds here, either online or on paper, which will give you the name of the current owner. Once you’ve got that, you can use one of the best public records search engines to find out the owner’s current address and contact details.
If the property you’re interested in isn’t too far away, you could physically go to the neighborhood and scope it out for yourself. There are drawbacks to this, however, and if you look too suspicious, you might alienate your future neighbors. On the other hand, those same neighbors could be a wealth of information, depending on how you approach them.
While these alternatives will, eventually, unearth the same information as the best property owner search engines, they’re both time-consuming and, in the case of visiting the property, potentially dangerous. Hedge your bets, get all the information you need in one place and in one go by opting for a service like BeenVerified to find property owner by address.
It’s not only prospective homeowners who benefit from conducting a property record search and the amount of information available from the best property owner search sites is staggering. Not only will sites like BeenVerified and TruthFinder give you the current address and phone number of the owner, but they can also tell you when the property was built and what its estimated value is.
Although the best property owner search services don’t come cheap, when you consider how much you could save by knowing the current value of a property or by avoiding a potentially devastating property scam, their value for money becomes blatantly obvious.
Find out if the area your boss wants you to move to is suitable for your young family and where the best schools and restaurants are. Make sure you’re not moving to an area with a high crime rate or a cluster of registered sex offenders living nearby. You could even use a property record search to find out when your grandparents’ house was built and reassure them of its current value.
The best property owner search sites offer a host of other background check services, from reverse phone lookups to full reports encompassing academic accomplishments, employment history, criminal records, professional licenses, marriage, divorces… the list is almost endless. They say curiosity killed the cat but, in these untrusting times, a little curiosity can go a long way, especially if you use the best property owner search site to help you.
Still can’t decide? Read our detailed BeenVerified vs Truthfinder Comparison.