our everyday life

How to Look Up Property Owners

by Elle Di Jensen

Here's the scenario: you're shopping for a new house, but haven't found anything you like among the homes for sale. When you pull up to one of the houses on your list, you aren't impressed, but you are wild about the house next door -- the one without a For Sale sign in the yard. Even though the house you want isn't officially for sale, it's always worth a try to contact the owner to see if he's open to selling. First, though, you have to find out who the owner is in order to obtain contact information.

Use a reverse directory to find the property owner. Enter the property address of the home you're interested in to get a listing of the person who lives at that address. Contact the person whose name you found through the reverse directory to inquire if he is the owner of the property. You can do this by phone, if a number is listed, or by mail.

Ask the resident for the property owner's contact information, if the resident is not the owner. Some people may be uncomfortable giving out that kind of information, so you might have to provide your contact information and ask that the resident have the owner contact you.

Visit the county tax assessor's or tax collector's office. Ask to see the tax records for the property address you're interested in. Tax records are public information and will list the owner's name and address.

Tips

  • The county tax offices may have information posted on their website that will save you a trip to the physical office.
  • Some county offices provide bulk property data on CD-ROM for a fee. This option for finding property owners is valuable if you're looking for multiple properties for investment purposes, as CDs list information on all the parcels in a county that have certain use designations, like commercial or multifamily use.

Photo Credits

  • PhotoObjects.net/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images