Researching a Home Online
If you’re like most homebuyers, then you’ll probably begin your home search online. But did you know that you could go beyond just the listings to learn more about a home? With so much information at your fingertips, it can be tough to know where to start. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways that you can research a home online.
Learn about previous owners
If you want to know more about a home’s previous owners, then you can search public records. Start by visiting the website Public Records Online Directory to get connected to your state’s website. You’ll also find information about your local Tax Assessor’s and Recorder’s offices. It’s possible to find information about previous owners, property deeds, lawsuits, and any encumbrances on the house. You may also be able to search your local public library for information about the home’s architect or contractor.
Discover the architectural style
Not sure if the home is mid-century modern, ranch, or something else? Learning more about the architectural style of the home can give you valuable clues about when it was built. But sometimes it can be a challenge to identify exactly what style the home is, especially if you don’t have much experience with home design. Check out this great article from the DIY Network that includes a slide show of many types of architectural styles. By comparing the house to these examples, you’ll gain a better understanding of the home you’re researching.
Find information that isn’t disclosed
While home sellers are required to make certain disclosures about a home, there are some details they aren’t always legally required to share. This could include whether or not there have been any deaths in the home. If the home has been the site of a death, it could potentially decrease its value. This is an important piece of information to have as a buyer. You can research an address at diedinahouse.com to find out whether or not there have been any deaths in the home. You may also discover other types of incidents such as whether there has been a fire or if any illegal drug activity has taken place.
Explore the history
If your home has a historical pedigree, then you can also research its history online. Whatwasthere.com is a website that links Google Maps to historical photos. You can see how the street where the home is located looked in the past. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to see historical photos of the home itself. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is also a great place to find historical land and genealogical records. Their database contains more than 10 million land records including land patents, farm ownership records, and land case entries.
Talk to an expert
While there’s so much you can learn from researching a home online, you’ll find out even more when you talk to a professional real estate agent. Expert agents can give you invaluable information about not only a house, but also the neighborhood, school district, and local market. Partnering with an agent takes your search to the next level and helps ensure that you find the home that’s just right for you!
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