How do inspectors go about getting info. On a particular property, i.e. year built, sq. ft.,parcel size, and so on.
Ask my client and view the MLS listing.
What Mike said and…
Property appraiser’s office online. Then do a search.
Some counties have a GIS (Geographic Information Systems) that are well worth learning how to use. Similar to a version of google maps, but with real estate data layers incorporating what Roy has linked to.
Some inspectors pull a CLUE report.
I am lucky as all the counties here in WA have the information listed on the County Appraisers website. I would bet that 75% of the MLS listings up here are wrong when compared to the official county records.
Give this a try!
ACC does it for me.
All the towns around here have record cards online. I look at the listing first, and if I think something’s off (realtors are always inflating square footage in the listings…) I’ll go look at the record. Clients light up when I give them their invoice and it’s a few bucks less than their quote, and I’m sure to tell them that “yeah, when a listing says exactly 2000 square feet, it’s often actually less, like 1920, so I always check.”
City or county property search. Never had a problem getting records.
My preferred source as it almost always linked to the property record and/or appraisal. Sometimes I just google the address to see some photos of the property as the GIS information usually includes one or no photos.
The local MLS records are more accurate, if sometimes partially incomplete, compared to the co, and third party data aggregators (Zillow) have no legal obligation to be accurate.
If the square footage is listed incorrectly, here in NM, the Seller and Listing Agent are potentially liable for the difference, at the $/sq ft the home was sold at !!!
Ken, A GIS is an online search able mapping system, like Mapquest or Google Maps. All the different counties and state GIS I have used have a satellite layer to get a birdseye view of the home/property, therefore a picture.
I just got my NM WDO license (partially through InterNACHI:) ) and will be using a printed version of an aerial view so I don’t need to sketch the home, just indicate areas where any WDO are. More accurate.
Differing state agencies have their own GIS like Environmental (toxic spills) - water management (wells) - sex offenders, etc. I keep finding differing GIS, they are hidden away in all the dept.s, one needs to know where to look, I am sure there are more I don’t know about.
Some days I don’t think I have one
The GIS system can be great as well for those extremely rural homes that google, mapquest, or other gps systems can’t find.
I don’t trust any of the listings I see. Too many times it has the wrong heat system, or number of bedrooms or even if it has a basement or crawl. On occasion the basement will be included in the square feet.
Greg, It seems to be a common refrain on the MB that listing info is incorrect. It must be that the local Realtor assoc. system for ensuring and enforcing accuracy in reports isn’t nationwide.