How to Know About the History of Your Property? 

how to find property history

You might feel head-over-heels when you saw the perfect house of your dreams. And it is for sale. Wow! What luck you have gotten. Don’t you want to buy it? But you might listen to rumors about this beautiful place. Maybe something suspicious happened here, or maybe not. But stories always come with reality. Are you not curious? Well, everyone wants to know the past of the property.

Are you wondering about staying there, then it’s essential to search for information about the property. Investing in a peaceful place is a good idea rather than investing in a place looking like a prestigious Victorian. I have mentioned this because many buyers do want to know about the history of the house.

They don’t want any problems when buying and staying. The best website for FSBO does have the listing option about their house past. They mention all the elderly buying documents, and the owner details are also mentioned in this option.

A perfect listing with FSBO is entirely by adding little by little information of the property. After contacting the professional experts, we have gathered some details on how you can search the history of your house. Let’s get started.

Property records

Yes! Here is the key to searching history. Searching through the property records benefits you to know the house chain ownership, sales, and tax history. Many of the online websites don’t avail the customers of the property records.

They don’t feel like sharing documents, but some online always prefer the forms to cope with any complaints. You have to see that which one is accessible. But wait! You know, have the chance to ask your realtor to find you the property records.

National Register

Another effective way is to learn about your house near a historic place. Some property near a historical site has a background with profound outcomes. These houses are not capable of living because somehow they consider it more dramatic.

The National register of historic places tells the neighboring house details and also surrounding events if they happen. They provide the search gate and the bar where you can easily add up the information and search the history of your historic place.

Details of past residents

All information about the past member’s living in that house seems useful. You can check this through the census records. Try to buy a modern era home because early census records are destroyed. the census records provide the names, relationships of residents living in the property, their marital status, and their birthplaces and years. Using the census records of property, you can avail yourself of the opportunity to learn from the house’s past residents. Does not it sound picky to discuss others’ personal information? But make sure you are using it just for security measures and don’t use them to spread more about them.


There are many other ways to know the history of your property, but I prefer you to search for this first then go to other ones. I hope to know all your thoughts come to an end after finding the records.

What are the benefits of knowing the history of your home?

There are practical and emotional benefits when you learn about the history of your property. Ideally, you want to know about the house’s past before buying it, as its condition can affect your final decision. On the other hand, knowing a thing or two about the place will help you with the feature if you’ve already purchased the home. Scroll down to learn more about the benefits of knowing your house’s history.

What are the benefits of knowing the history of your home


It’s common for people to renovate the old houses and give them a style of the moment; stripping the houses of their initial beauty isn’t the best decision all the time. The brown paneling over the walls can alter the beauty of a Victorian home, whereas vinyl flooring can completely ruin the style of a Craftsman home.

If you bought an old house to preserve its initial charm, knowing about its past will help you re-create the style it had when it was built. You can discover its original configuration and architectural details. Information can help you see how many rooms were in the beginning or how many changes have happened throughout the years.

You can re-create some of its original style and integrity when you get a clear insight into the house’s architectural timeline. If the home still presents some of its original beauty, you can be aware of the remains and preserve them.

It’s relatively common for new homeowners to end up hiring professionals for the rehabilitation of the houses. Rehabilitation work is different from restoration and combines modern accommodation while preserving the house’s historic character. For instance, a kitchen in a Queen Anne house can maintain its specificity and still have modern conveniences such as free-standing and movable cupboards or dishwashers.


Some people are curious about their houses. They want to know about the physical aspects for practical reasons. Maybe the kitchen looks a tad different from the other rooms of the house, and they wonder what’s the reasoning. If they’ve done renovations, they may have discovered things that throw them off—who knows?

If some homeowners want to know about the physical aspects of their houses, others may be interested in the social history. They want to know who the past occupants were, what did they do in life, etc. Some previous owners may have been decorated soldiers, freed slaves, or local politicians. Let’s not forget about the dark question: did someone die in the house?

Historic designation

One of the most important benefits of finding out about a house’s history is to see if it’s eligible for formal historic designation. There are several historic designations through local, state, and national levels.

Typically, most programs state that a house reveals an evident and essential connection to a person, history, or architecture to become eligible for historic designation.

Researching the history of a house may reveal its importance at the moment for the past or culture. What if your house was home to a famous championship? What if your house is the only left house of Italianate home in the area?

Along with formal recognition and pride to own such a property, you will enjoy other benefits:

  • Technical assistance from experts
  • Financial incentives through tax-credits
  • Special exemptions from building codes


Gardening is the most popular hobby in the U.S., whereas genealogy is the second most popular. When you discover your roots, you can connect with your past family members. It’s an emotional and meaningful moment in your life.

Some homeowners follow the same principle when they learn more about the previous owners of the houses. Unearthing the roots in the backyard and discovering the past owners’ names and life stories fill their lives. Also, they will be able to appreciate the charm and character of an old house when they know details about the past stewards of your home.

The world is constantly moving and knowing about the old places helps us feel like part of this life continuum. It’s an important part that contributes to our emotional and psychological health. More often than not, people who know about their house’s past can have a better view of the present and future. They can play their role in the house’s timeline.

Cut down the spending

When you look into the physical history of an old house, you understand the condition of the building materials, utilities, and finishes. You can check out the last update of the electrical system, if the house is made with lead-based paint or has asbestos, etc.

Sometimes, owning an old house can cause surprises, but not the good kind. You should know as many details as necessary so that you don’t end up spending thousands of dollars on repairs. The more you know about the house’s condition, the better your chances to avoid nasty surprises and big spending. Having as many details about your home will help you set a budget and a timeline for significant projects. You will also be in the know about the regular maintenance your household needs.

Researching the history of a house is an efficient way to avoid unpleasant events, sudden events, delays, and expensive overruns. If you’re not the curious type, be at least prepared to open your wallet big with future repairs. However, now it’s a perfect moment to start asking questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you check out the history of your land?

You can go to the local library and ask the librarian to check out the newspaper archives related to the land on which your house is. Newspaper articles from the past can offer information about important historical events, such as the history of the land your house is built upon.

Is it a bad idea to purchase an old house?

Old houses present more risks than new ones, and insurance companies don’t take advantage of unseen events. Old wiring poses a risk for fire, whereas old plumbing can cause severe water damage. Let’s not forget about concrete foundations that can develop structural issues and flooding.

When is a house considered to be old?

Age is somewhat subjective when it comes to houses, but an unwritten rule says that any house older than 50 years is considered old. Houses built before 1920 are defined as “antique.” However, many factors impact the condition of a home which explains why some older houses look better than more recently built ones.

Do old houses have a better-quality construction than the new ones?

There are many differences between old and new houses; even the walls are made differently. In older houses, the builders would build walls with plaster and lathe, making the walls stronger than the drywalls we find in modern homes. Additionally, the older materials offered a more effective sound barrier and insulation—don’t rule out old houses in good condition when buying.

Do historical houses hold their value?

When the house is located in a historic district, it will keep its value better than if it were located in another area of the town. If the homes in the neighborhood look nice, the house can be worth up to 20% more in a historic district.

About Amanda

I love to buy a lot of products for the home, and dissect them out. I split them into duds and winners, and share the findings here on my site. As a reader of my site, I'm aiming for your next purchase to be an informed and inspired one.

Check Also

Questions to Ask Before Your Home Inspection

Top 7 Questions to Ask Before Your Home Inspection

When buying a home, a thorough home inspection is the most important step. It’s your …