Have you just transferred to a new home? If only those walls could talk, right? If you’re curious about the history of your latest house, don’t worry, you’re NOT alone. It especially holds true for people living in old farmhouses, Victorian beauties, and even contemporary new builds! No matter how old or newly built, every house has a history– some more interesting than the others.
Uncovering the history of your home can help you better appreciate its quirks and charm and will also be helpful for preservation purposes. Fortunately, scouring hundreds of records is no longer your only option, thanks to the internet!
Here are 9 Ways to Find Out Your Home’s History.
Get information from your realtor
The best person to ask about your new home, even before you decide to move, is your real estate agent. They should be able to tell you whether or not the house is in a designated historic neighborhood, assist you with finding the names of previous owners, and be knowledgeable about the rules and regulations of your home’s historic district (if it is within one). These rules usually pertain to a home’s exterior appearance and aim to help maintain the neighborhood’s overall look and appeal.
Contact previous owners
Most homebuyers have an opportunity to meet the sellers, so if you do, ask them what they know about the house. Chances are, you won’t have a hard time getting a brief history of the home out of them. In fact, they may even consider it a selling point. If that’s not an option, reach out to them after moving. As you learn previous owners’ identities and contact information, connect with them and ask questions.
Visit the tax assessor
Check the tax records of your home. If they’ve been conscientiously maintained, you should see a list of every land owner where your house sits, together with the assessed property value, year to year. If you see a sudden jump in valuation, it may suggest a construction of a new home or the completion of a substantial addition or renovation.
Stop by the county clerk’s office
When visiting the county clerk’s office, you should be interested in three files– the Registrar of Deeds, the tract index, and the grantor-grantee index. They offer a comprehensive listing of all transactions that have involved your lot, including names and dates of previous owners and any salient details of any lawsuits or liens filed over the years.
Find a local building inspector
If you know a local building inspector, ask him for any building permit applications associated with your street address. These documents are usually required for new construction and remodeling and may reward you with information about any changes made to the structure. You may use them to narrow your scope when researching community documents.
Go to community libraries
If you’ve been to a community library, you’ll know that most devote sections to local history, archiving historical maps, original building plans, and even old photographs. Check the real estate listings in decades-old newspapers around the time the property was said to be built and consult the census records for your area.
Refer to old census records
If you’re curious to know who lived in your home long before you, you can start researching census records. It should be able to give you the names of the family members who lived on the property, their ages, birth states, marriage status, occupations, personal belongings, and other information. Note that not all of this information is available for every census.
Inspect your home’s style
Like any trend, architectural style waxes and wanes depending on generation. Use your knowledge of these to determine when your property was built. The Italianate style was an 1850s favorite; Colonial Revival was all the rage in the 1890s; by the 1900s, Craftsman-style houses had started popping up everywhere. You can also consult a professional architectural investigator for assistance.
Conduct a title search
Did you know that you can conduct a title search online? If you are purchasing a new home or want to find out who lived in your home, you’ll most likely do this anyway. Title searches sift through tax records to show potential homebuyers the names of those who have legally owned the property from the beginning to the present day. This way, buyers know with absolute certainty that the person selling them the home is actually the owner.
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🤔Are you curious to know the 🔍history of your home?🏠 If only those walls could talk, right?🤯 Since they can’t (fortunately!🙏), here are 9⃣ Ways to Find Out Your Home’s History.🏠
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