YOU ASK:

I plan to do a title search. How do I look at property records online?

WE ANSWER:

With today's technology, most of the public records have been made available online.

When you are buying a piece of property, the best thing you should do first is dig into the property's history. This can serve as an invaluable piece of information that will help you in your decision-making process.

To do an online property records search, you should have the name of the owner, as well as the address or tax ID number of the property. Most of the county assessors are already online and have posted records of pertinent data on the properties covered in his area.

If you have the file or lot number, you can use this to search. You may also use sector number, category and plot number to help in your search. You can also look for properties in general. Most of these property records are categorized according to classification (institutional, residential, commercial, etc.).

There are also websites that will help you investigate properties depending on the area for a fee. This includes websites like Google Base, Zillow.com, Trulia.com, Vast.com and Realtor.com. They can provide information such as a property title search abstract, which outlines the mortgages and the lines that may be attached to the property. They may also include information on contractor liens, tax liens, property liens, mortgages, tax certificates and vesting and legal documents.

If the documents are not available online, you can visit the county courthouse, the city hall or county recorder. They are tasked to maintain the public documents related to the property. All encumbrances, liens and related information about the property are recorded there.

It is important to do this. Some information (like an impending divorce between the couple who's selling the property, the fact that the seller is engaged in litigation and the seller's filing of bankruptcy) are key information you can use to help you decide whether the property is a good buy or not.

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