You may see a parcel of land advertised for sale either by street address, legal description or tax parcel number. But this only gives you a clue as to where the parcel is located. Not so long ago, you would have had to pull out a road map, locate the street and take a drive to find the address. If you only had the parcel number or the legal description, a trip to the courthouse to ask for assistance would have been in order. With today's technology, however, you may be able to locate the property from your home.
Search the address by entering it into a search engine such as Google or go to MapQuest's site and enter your address in the search field. Results will include street maps and options for detailed directions to get to the property. Choosing Google's street view may even allow you to see pictures of the subject property with the ability to zoom in for a closer look or zoom out to see neighboring properties.
Go to the website for online land tax records by typing the name of the county, state and office where land tax records are housed into your search engine if you wish to search by tax parcel number. For instance, to search for the Jackson County, Alabama, records, type "Jackson County, Alabama, Tax Assessor." If your search reveals an official government site, navigate to the search page using available menus or other visible options. Many sites will allow you to search a parcel number by entering it into a specified location on the search page. Once entered, search results may include tax information, assessed owner name, legal description and street address. Some sites will provide a link to a mapping program displaying a map of the property's location. Depending on the sophistication of the mapping program, you may be able to zoom in or out, obtain an aerial view or measure distances with available tools.
Contact a title researcher, surveyor, attorney or other individual familiar with plotting legal descriptions if working with a description of the property only. Any one of these individuals may be able to assist you using either county courthouse records or online digital maps. Clerks at the land records office at the courthouse may also be able to help.
- Some government websites impose a subscription fee to access their court records online.
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