How to Research Property Ownership

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Potential buyers are usually interested in knowing the current and past owners of a property that they are planning to buy. However, they don’t know how to research the property ownership or from where they can get such information. Ownership and other information about real estate can be obtained from local government entities such as the recorder or assessor’s office. In the past people were required to visit government offices in person to do their research, but nowadays all such information is available online and you can obtain it by simply visiting the websites of public or private search companies.

Note the name of the city and province in which your estate of interest is located. Now visit the official website of the provincial property assessor or province recorder’s office to know the details related to your property. To search the official web site of the property assessor or recorder’s office, open Google’s search engine and type in the name of the province, add the phrase “property records” and hit go. Google will provide you multiple link’s to the local recorder or assessor.

If you have any difficulty in finding the appropriate department or web site, call the provincial government and ask them to refer you to the concerned departments. If the local government is not that advanced and does not have an official web site, then you may have to visit the local recorder or assessor’s office after all.

If you want to research ownership of multiple properties at different locations, and are willing to pay fees, then sign up online with a records aggregation service.  The basic report provided by an aggregation company includes information on the type and location of the estate as well as its characteristics, all recent sales of the property and its current ownership. If you seek a more detailed report, it can also include information on mortgage and taxes. There are also some search sites that offer more specialized services free of cost.

Whether you are consulting a public web site or are signed up with a private search company, it is recommended you have a little knowledge of the property you are interested in. This will help narrow down the search and you will get more specific information. Web sites also offer various search tools to help you narrow down your search. For example, most real estate web sites provide mapping facilities with a zoom tool that allows you to have a closer and clearer view of the locations you are interested in.

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