How to Find the Owner of a Property
There can be several reasons why someone would need to know how to find the owner of a property. The condition of the property may require repairs. Someone may want to purchase the property, even though it isn't for sale. The owner may need to be located for a subpoena. Sometimes it can be as easy as knocking on the front door to find out who the property owner might be. At other times, however, the process can be extremely time consuming. If you need to know how to find the owner of a property, then here are some of the proven methods that are being used today to get the information that is needed.
1. Get Involved With the Neighborhood Gossip.
If you can't get the information from the property in question, then take a few minutes to try to speak with the immediate neighbors of the property. Neighborhood gossip can be very informative, especially if the property owner is not seen in a good light. Neighbors can be suspicious of strangers asking questions, so bring along a plate of brownies or other snacks to share while you talk.
2. Search the Local Tax Assessment Records.
Many local jurisdictions have their assessment records online today. All you'll need is the address of the property in question and you'll be able to pull up the full property record. Not only will this include the name and address of the owner, but you'll get taxation information, blueprints of the property, and a number of other key information points.
What if the property owner happens to be a bank? You may have a financial institution listed as the property owner. This does not necessarily mean that the property has been foreclosed upon. A deed-in-lieu process may have been initiated or the title/deed may have transferred for other reasons. Contact the financial institution to determine what your options may be if you're interested in the property or if they have information on the previous owner.
3. Send a Postcard to the Address.
If the property owner has moved to a new location and it was some time ago, then mailing a postcard to the address may give you access to the owner's new forwarding address. If the postcard is automatically forwarded, then make sure to include contact information so the individual in question can get in contact with you at their convenience. If you don't get the postcard back as a “Return to Sender,” then send a couple of follow-up postcards as well to show that you're genuinely interested.
4. Dial #411.
If the new phone books haven't come out yet and the property owner moved away within that year, then your local directory assistance may have access to the information that you need. If you have the street address of the property, you might be able to come up with a name.
5. Use Real Estate Search Sites.
There are a number of real estate websites, such as Redfin or Zillow, that give you access to public records for free. The data you receive will be limited, but there may be a name available. Once you have the name and the address, then you'll be able to start tracking down the property owner a lot faster.
6. Dig into the Physical Records.
If you haven't had any success with the previous methods, then you may need to make a trip down to the tax record office of the region where the property is located. You'll need to search to see if there are notices that have been sent out to the property in question. If there have been or if a lien has been placed on the property, there will be documentation indicating this. Sometimes this information can be found online, but it is still more common to actually get your hands on the paperwork.
7. Hire Someone.
If all else fails, you can find a property owner by hiring a private detective. They will track that individual's movements, send you regular reports on their work, and give you a location if that person is found. Although this isn't a guaranteed method and it can get to be expensive, it also requires less work on your part. If you know how to find the owner of a property, then you can accomplish your goals, whatever they may be. Use these proven methods today and you may find that missing person by tomorrow.
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