Ways to Use Public Records for Real Estate Investing

Imagine buying a home, as you sit smiling at your success, you get an outstanding claim on it. This is one nightmare for a real estate investor. An investor or a real estate agent, research public records to find all the information about a property.

Having facts about a house is very crucial during negotiations. Sometimes a seller does not reveal all the details in relation to a property. Digging data is hard work. But the results are valuable in the long run.

Knowing what to look for and where to find it will ease your discovery.  With sufficient knowledge of a property, you will know how much to pay for it. Let’s find out how to use public records to your advantage as a real estate investor and agent.

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How to Use Public Records for Real Estate Information

 #1:  To get an extensive description of a property

In public records, you will get the general details of a property. Information on the physical address, lot number, deed details, and property size in square footage is available.

If there are changes that have made in the square footage of the house, you will still know. This will help you have a clear picture of the property before deciding to buy it.

 #2:  Find a property’s tax information

You can use public records to discover the tax ID of the owner of the property. Go ahead and search the paid amount of taxes concerning the property. If there are any tax liens against the property you will definitely find out.

This is important. You don’t want a property that has tax issues. Dealing with the IRS is never interesting. Moreover, you won’t get your mortgage approved by the lender until the claim has been resolved.

Learn –> How to Invest in Real Estate, Make More Money and Retire Early

 #3:  Know ownership of the property

Information about the current owner of the property is in public records. Besides, you will know how long they have possessed the property.

With public records, the transfer of ownership of a house is clearly indicated. They document the previous owner of the property.

If you conduct a comprehensive search you will know the original owner, the one who built the home. This knowledge will give you the surety that you are dealing with the right owner.

 #4:  Determine cost history of a house

You need a basis of your pricing when negotiating a property. This to ensure you don’t pay more for the property than it deserves. Public records will help you learn the previous selling price of a home.

 #5: Acquire the financial information of a property.

This is essential if you are doing a short sale. You can use public records to know the mortgage loan amount. The paid portion and the balance are easily available.

 #6:  Check for Improvements on the property

Getting a permit issue after purchasing a property can be stressful. You can use public records to detect if there are any renovations that have been done on the property. If yes, find if there was the issuance of the necessary permits.

Learn –> How to Invest in Real Estate, Make More Money and Retire Early

 #7:  Examine the deed history

You can do an online search to see the deed information of a house. But it is advisable to visit the state registry in person to get better records. It is important to reveal any easements or aliens in relation to the property.

Where can you get public records?

You might have the zeal to check on public records, but you have no idea where they are found.

  1. Government offices like city hall and state registry maintain public records.
  2. Real estate sites provide good information about properties. You can search online on websites like realtor.com, Zillow, and Trulia
  3. Tittle companies have free profiles of various properties. They can give you copies of deeds and mortgages
  4. Real estate agents have access to data relating to homes. They can get the history of a home, sales and tax records of a property.

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How do you search for public records?

To get extensive information about a property you need to:

  1. Discover who oversees public records and where they are located.
  2. Have all the details relating to the property. The current owner, lot number, and the address of the property.
  3. Pay the relevant search fees and obtain your records.


As an investor, you can use public records to benefit your business. Information is key in any real estate transaction. Know what you want to find out, get the relevant sources and do a thorough search. With the right facts, you have the negotiating power to get good real estate deals.

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