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How Do I Find Out Who Owns a Certain House I am Interested In?

written by: •edited by: Donna Cosmato•updated: 2/20/2011

You are driving down a street, and you see a home that you love. There is no "for sale sign" but you are curious and ask, "how do I find out who owns a certain house?" The answer to this is that you have to do some investigative work to find the owner. However, homeowners can be tracked down.

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    Property Ownership

    Who owns the property There may be several reasons why you would want to know who owns a property. You may be interested in buying the property or buying an abutting property. In either case, there are instances where you may ask "how do I find out who owns a certain house". Since home ownership records are a matter of public record, there are numerous ways that you can go about this process, which is largely dependent on where you live.

    Before doing any intensive research on property ownership, one of the easiest things to do may be to simply stop in and inquire with the person living in the home. Another option may be to inquire at a neighbor's home. However, if these options are either not viable, or you are not able to secure the answer that you are seeking, then you may need to turn to public records to find out who owns the property.

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    How Do I Find Out Who Owns a Certain House?

    Research When you are trying to find out who owns a certain house, you may be forced to turn to public records. This may include something as simple as seeking information from the Town Clerk or as involved as requesting a title search. Here are some of the options that are available to determine who owns a property.

    Town Clerk/Tax Assessor's Office - The local town clerk or tax assessor's office may be able to help identify the owner of a property. They will have ready access to tax records for the property. In most cases, they will require only the street address of the property to provide you with the current owner's name;

    Request or perform a title search - Conducting a title search is another valid method of searching for the owner of a property. Title searches will generally start with the town clerk as they may be able to provide you with the information needed when you visit the registrar of deeds;

    Use online services - Many states offer the ability to search registrar records online. For example, US Land Records is one of these services. It is important to note that you should never pay for this type of service as a visit to your registrar's would allow you to access the information free of charge.

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    There are various reasons why someone would want to know who owns a specific property. Since property ownership records are a matter of public record, it is typically not difficult to find this information. Regardless of the information that may be obtained it is important to note that the owner of record may be deceased, incarcerated or incapacitated and the property may be being managed by a third party. There may or may not be court documents that provide the information as to who this third party may be. Identifying the owner of a property should not cost you much in the way of money, though you may be required to pay for copies or research time. However, it may take you some time to contact that owner or their representative.

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    Source: Author experience

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