How to Find Out Who Owns a House

The PropertyClub Team
Jul 25th 2020
Finding out who owns a house is easier than you think, and you can even do it for free if you don't want to pay a company for the info. Here's what you need to know and where to look.

Uncovering the mystery of who owns a house can be tricky, but once you know where to look, it’s not that hard. Maybe you want to find out who owns the vacant home across the street from you, or perhaps you want to notify the owner of a particular home about something. Or it could be that you see a home for sale and are being nosey, or possibly you have some information that you wish to verify. It would even be understandable for you to simply want to know who lived in your home before you. Whatever the reason for locating the owner of a home may be, there are some tips to assist you.

How to Find Out Who Owns a House For Free

Luckily, determining the owner of a house can be done for free, and often from the comfort of your own home. In other cases, it will require a little bit of work on your end, but it is certainly possible! Figuring out the owner is not work only for the detectives. Property information is available to the public for free if you know exactly where to go and who to ask. It should be noted that some counties have owner information available online for free, and others will require you to do some legwork and visit some local government offices to request the information in person.

County Property Appraiser

You should be able to locate your county’s property appraiser and have online access to it. Upon finding it, all that you need to do is enter the address, and the owner history should auto-populate on the clerk and comptroller page of your county’s website.

County Tax Assessor

In short, when someone owns a home, they should be paying property tax on the house. Because of this, your county’s tax assessor will have the homeowner’s information. The tax assessor’s office maintains a record of ownership for all of the properties that have been assessed for their property taxes. You will need to go in person, but before you do this, doing some homework will make this process easier.

Locating the accessor’s identification number, known as the AIN, will allow you to make this process much easier. To do this, head to Nationwide Environmental Title Research’s Public Records. Choose the state where the property is located and then select the proper county. If the assessment office for this particular county has an online property search database, you will then be provided a link that will give you any information for the assessor. Once you tap into this database, by entering the address to the property in question. This will provide you with some information on the address to that assessor’s office address and, ultimately, the AIN.

From here, you may bring the AIN into the assessor’s office and ask for information and details on the current owner. It should be noted that most assessors’ offices do not accept requests over the phone, so it is recommended to go in person.

County Clerk

As with the county tax assessor, the county clerk will have public records on file, including property deeds. By heading down to the county clerk’s office, you can request this information. The clerk can look up the current and past owners and can even pull other information such as existing liens that are on the property if there are any disputes, and if it has been sold or transferred in prior years.

If it so happens that a business is the property owner, you may be able to see if this business is doing business out of this location or not.

Local Library

It is worth mentioning that sometimes, local libraries will have a database available which allows you to retrieve property information. If they do not have a database there, the librarian will most likely be able to point you in the right direction to where you can go to find public records.

Property Deed Search

The government office which is responsible for deeds of ownership records property transfers and a plethora of other legal documents, is called the recorder’s office. This is sometimes also referred to as the registrar of deeds. They will have the most up-to-date and accurate property records, along with the most recent transfer documents and property deed. These items will contain the name of the property owner.

The county recorder’s office is typically housed inside the courthouse in your county. They can sometimes have their office set up in city hall as well. Most counties allow the public to visit the recorder’s office in person and utilize one of the public terminals to conduct research. The government staff is able to assist you as well as provide copies of documents that are considered to be public record.

Listing of Corporations With The Department of State

In some situations, properties will not have an individual owner, and a corporation is the owner. If other methods are unable to find out “Doing Business As” information, the Department of State will be able to reveal who the underlying owners are.

Online Property Search

By conducting a quick online property search, you may be able to find a website in which you can create an account to pull the information you are seeking on the property owner. Many real estate databases online have put together a lot of property owner information for houses that are currently for sale in your area. Websites such as Realtor, Zillow, and Trulia are known to be able to allow you to search for sale properties by the location, and some will even provide information on properties that are not currently listed for sale.

Tracking down who the owner of a specific home is may prove to be a little tricky, but by pursuing one of these routes, you will get the answers that you are seeking. Happy hunting!