Real estate transactions are public records. Anyone can research ownership, sales transactions, amounts paid and dimensions of any property by visiting their county recorder's office, which most often is located in the county's courthouse. Searching the database is free, but you must pay for copies and printouts. Title examiners and commercial services will research properties for a fee, but you can save that money by performing the legwork yourself. Depending on where you live, some information also may be available online. County tax assessors maintain some property records, as well, but the county recorder's database is more extensive.
Visit the county recorder's office for the county in which the property is located to search its records; County recorders maintain a database of all property in a county.
Enter the property address in the "Search" box, and click "Submit" or "Enter" to access property data.
Highlight any item from the list that appears on screen and press "Enter" to access the record. The list will include deeds, mortgages, liens and any other information related to the property.
Highlight any deed, press "Enter" to open it and read through it to find the legal description (dimensions) of the property. The dimensions will be worded similar to the following: "beginning at a point 150 feet west of the NW corner of 1st and 2nd Avenues and running 75 feet N, the 200 feet S."
Robert C. Young began writing professionally in 1989 as a copywriter for an advertising specialty company. From 2000 to 2007 he operated a real-estate development and construction company. His work has been published online at SFGate and various other websites. He graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in economics from Georgia State University.