Researching a Florida Home Using Public Records

The modern home buyer values information. Luckily, with the advancement of technology, researching a Florida home using public records is easier than ever. Here are a few online resources that you can turn to for your research efforts.

County Records

When researching a Florida home using public records, start with the Registry of Deeds. Paperwork related to all real estate is recorded in the county Registry of Deeds. Many counties scan their records and provide an online searching mechanism. First, determine which county a property is located in. Then, search for that county's registry of deeds website online. Next, find the link on the website for searching records. You should be able to search based on the address, owner's name, or book/page numbers. Deeds, mortgages, foreclosures, liens, and other records are available in county records.

Local Assessor's Database

Many cities and towns also maintain databases for assessing data. This is primarily used for calculating property taxes, but the information can be helpful for home buyers. For instance, they often include foundation dimensions, legal number of bedrooms, finished square footage, and more. This can help buyers determine if an addition was legally performed or if the property features are accurately noted in listings. 

Google Address Searches

Another helpful tool when researching a Florida home using public records is Google. If you enter a property address into a search, you will come across a variety of results. Look for things like police records, news reports, previous listings, etc. Viewing old photos, for instance, can provide insight on what a property previously featured and what improvements have been made over the years. News reports may tell you whether a home was the site of a major crime. Consider Googling the neighborhood as well for information on development projects and other community news.

More on Researching a Florida Home Using Public Records

Sellers are only required to disclose material defects on a home. However, as a buyer making a major investment, you may want to know more. Fortunately, there's quite a bit that you can find on your own. Researching a Florida home using public records is an easy way to perform some due diligence before you decide to purchase a property. Keep in mind, however, that online information is not necessarily comprehensive or accurate. Use your better judgement when reviewing any information, regardless of the source.

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