How to find property owner name for free

How to find property owner name for free?

Years ago, the only way to find out where someone lived was to hire a personal investigator.  Lucky for you, now you can find this information on your own!  This information is readily available to anyone that wants or needs to know.  You just need to know where you need to look.  

Why you would want to find the property owner name

There are several reasons why you would want to find out who owns a property.  These reasons include:

  • Discovering unknown information about a property is required by law and comprehending all the elements prior to buying the home is in everyone’s interest. You will want the entire history of the property from the first heir to the current owner and the state of the structures. It can be useful to learn the various other development projects in the area that you are interested in.
  • You may have come across an unusual property or abandoned property that you are not sure who it belongs to. 
  • You want to learn more about the surroundings and additional environmental factors of the property’s area.
  • It can assist in the process of Due Diligence.  This can help avoid any issues once you have bought the property. 
  • You are required to find out how much the renovations are so you’ll be in a better position to assess future costs.  This will also show if there are any anticipated future financial concerns.

Finding the property owner name for free

There are actually several methods that you can use to find a property owner’s name for free.  This is nice because you can use two sources to double-check if you are an individual that wants to be completely certain.  

Method 1:  Your county’s tax assessor

If you need to find out who owns a certain piece of property, your county’s tax assessor will certainly know.  You can go directly to the courthouse to speak with them about this.  However, you may desire to call first in case they require an appointment. The name and the address of the person who pays the taxes each year is considered to be a public record.  

Before you go to the courthouse, you will want to find the accessor identification number, also known as the AIN.  This will make it easier for the county’s tax assessor to search the database of information you are requesting. 

You can find the AIN by utilizing the Nationwide Environmental Research’s public records.  If you are uncertain where the county’s tax assessor is located, this site can assist you with that as well. 

There are also other ways to identify a property.  If the county does not have AIN, you can also identify the parcel of land as the  Assessor’s Property Number (APN), the Section-Township-Range-Area-Block-Lot (STRABL), or Section, Township, Range, Area and Parcel Number (STRAP).

Once you are on the Nationwide Environmental Research’s public records site, you will need to select the state where the property is located.  Next, click on the county where it is located, and then check to see if the county has an online property search database.  If they do, there should be a link beside where it says “accessor”.  Click on that link to view more information.    

Once you are able to access the database, you can key in the property address.  You will then see the AIN as well as the assessor’s address.  

From there, you can go to the assessor’s office and provide the AIN.  Ask the accessor what information they can all provide you about the owner of the current property.  

While it will most likely be easier for you to obtain the AIN to provide to the county tax assessor, if you do not have it, you can still see what information the clerk can provide for you.  If they can not assist you, they may be able to tell you who can. 

While this information is free, there are a few drawbacks to it.  It can be a very long and tedious process.  And many county websites do not have any consistency in them.  

Method 2:  County Clerk

Another method that you might wish to try for finding a property owner’s name for free is the county clerk.  Many public records can be sought after from the county clerk.  

You can go to the county clerk’s office and ask for information on the property deed. A property deed is recorded at the county courthouse.  This is drawn up to prove ownership of the home.   This will have the homeowner’s name listed on the deed.  

This is a free method that you can use to obtain the property owner’s name, however, most of the time the documents you need will not be free.  Depending on the county will depend on how much they cost you.  While some counties will let you buy just the pages that you need, other counties will force you into buying the whole thing no matter what you need. 

Method 3:  The Local Library

In some local libraries, there are databases that contain various property information.  It is advised instead of making a special trip to call ahead to ask if there is this information there.  Sometimes they will also have this listed on their website.  If they do not have this information, you can ask them to point you where to look. 

Method 4:  Online Property Searches

There are various online property searches that you can do or sites that will assist you in finding out the property owner’s name for free.  

Property Appraiser Websites

There are many property appraiser websites that have map functions on them.  This function can come in very handy when looking for a property owner’s name.  

By using the map function, you can zoom in on a property to see if there is further information about the address.  

Melissa Lookup

You can also go to the website Melissa to look up information that you may need.  There are three methods that you can use to look up the information that you request.   You may use the Property Information lookup for any U.S. address.   You are able to search by address to access property information such as owner’s name, current resident, assessed value, square footage, a visual map, and more.

Three ways to use Property Lookup:

  • Type a street address with city and state or ZIP Code.
  • Type or paste a full address into the Free Form box.
  • Enter a Melissa Address Key (MAK).

Method 5:  Ask a Realtor

Realtor’s know a lot of people.  If you are having a hard time finding out the property owner’s name, you can ask a realtor if they know.  If they are uncertain about who lives there, they may be able to find out for you. 

Method 6:  Ask the Neighbors

Neighbors are a great source of information.  They can tell you who owns the place and possibly a bit more about them too.  

You could also stop at a gas station if the town is small and see if the person who is working knows the person that owns the property.  The Postmaster at the post office may also know, or maybe a waitress at the local restaurant would know.  If it is a smaller town, you may have quite a few leads staring at you in the face. 

Method 7:  Mail a Postcard

Mailing a postcard may do the trick into finding the owner’s name.  Once you have obtained the address, you can send a postcard using “resident” as the name of the address.  You can provide your address and number as well with the hopes that someone gets back to you.  Be sure to also include a reason as to why you are contacting them.  Be patient on this one as it may take some time to get a response back from them. 

Method 8:  Local Title Company

You can call your local title company and ask them for FARM (Focused Real Estate Marketing). Under this, there are many basic fields where the information can come in handy.  Such information this can provide is school information, demographics, name, address, mailing address, comparable sales, neighbors, property characteristics, and more. Zoning information, aerial views and a flood zone map may also be a part of this.  

Another option would be to write the title company a letter stating why you desire to know the information or what your intent is.  Let the title company know that you are willing to work with them or the owner of the home for this information.  Many times the property owner is a family friend or member that just does not want to deal with anyone, so they enlist the services of them as to not have direct contact. 

Some counties and states have rules or regulations on what can or can not be included in this report.  If you want a customized report, you may need to pay for it.  

Method 9:  The City Clerk

Go directly to the city clerk’s office.  They should be able to give you the mane of the person that owns the property.  This will hold especially true if there is still water or electricity running there.  

Paid ways to find a property owner name for free

If you have looked for free ways to find a property owner name, but have been unsuccessful, you may consider paying a service to assist you.  Some of the top one’s people trust are listed below. 

PropertyShark

PropertyShark is a hot place to look if you need the property owner name  This site will provide you with a comprehensive list of data, including:

  • Owner name and contact details
  • Foreclosures
  • Property value
  • Property characteristics
  • FAR
  • Zoning 
  • Sales history
  • Title documents
  • Liens
  • Much more

To use PropertyShark, you will be required to pay $19.99 per month if you use one state, and $59.95 per month if you use nationwide search. However, there is a paid trial that you can utilize first.   You are allowed to download up to 150 reports.

LandGlide

LandGlide is a paid subscription that is a mobile application.  Using just the address, you can find the name of the owner.  Data for this is pulled directly from the town or county tax records.  This information is updated on a regular basis.  A monthly subscription will run you less than $20.  

Driving for Dollars App

Another app that can assist you in finding who the property owner is.  You can send direct mail from your own phone.  Search for the property on the app, then click on the parcel you want.  From there, you can automatically send mail. 

NETROnline

NETROnline, also known as Nationwide Environmental Title Research Online has information on millions of properties.  Many investors, financial planners, and real estate owners use NETROnline.  

As stated above, some of the information is free.  This includes environmental records, the assessor’s office, and aerial images.  For other information, you will have to pay.  

US Title Records

This private site service allows one to access details about a property starting at $19.50.  Such information that is included in this comprehensive report includes the current owner, purchase history, sale history, property history, and tax assessor reports. 

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many ways that you can look for a property owner’s name for free.  It is worth giving any of them a shot.  Just remember that finding the property owner’s name will most likely not happen overnight on many of the suggestions above.  So be patient.  

If you have been unsuccessful, do not fret.  You can look into getting a paid membership to one of the places listed above.  Many of them have worked great for countless other individuals that needed to know who the owner of the property was.  You also have the option of hiring a private investigator, although one of the options listed above may be a lot cheaper.

You may also like:   How Long Can Primer Sit Before Painting?