There has probably been a time when unanswered questions about the history of your home have wavered into your mind. While an inspector can certainly inspect the home’s bone structure, they cannot tell you about the history of the home. Some questions you might be pondering are, who lived here before, what remodeling has been done or has there ever been any documented disputes or problems with the home? Finding the history of a home can be especially helpful if you plan to purchase a home at auction.
Learning the history of your home is a matter of public record, but you have to know where to start your research. Your trip to the past should begin at your local courthouse or historical society.
Most of the information you’ll want to seek out will be in recorded documents, thus being kept in a public records or clerk’s office. Historical societies also have access to public records and can pull up a house by official lot number.
With consideration that addresses change periodically, recorded information will be organized by the house’s lot number, not the actual numerical address. Once you have the property lot number, researching will be much easier.
A building permit is also great for learning about the initial cost of the home, who built it and when as well as original dimensions and any other constructional information. You’ll need to obtain a building permit, which can be provided at the courthouse or historical society.
A copy of your property’s abstract will provide you with information on the previous owners as well as recorded deeds and any legal transactions. You may have been given this document at the time of purchase, but a copy of same can be provided at the courthouse.
Lastly, don’t forget to peruse through your county’s newspaper archives as well as chatting with neighbors. They will be able to provide a wealth of information if they have been present in the area for an established amount of time.