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Investigative Journalism

Land & Property Records Overview

Physical property records are maintained locally, usually at a county courthouse, county recorder, or city hall. There should be personnel at these sites to help you get access to records. Online, you can also find databases that allow you to search property tax records for each state. Many of the resources listed below are specific to Indiana, and similar resources are available for those conducting research in other states.

Indiana Property Records

Indiana Assessor and Property Tax Records Directory: This database contains real and personal property tax records that are kept by the County Assessor Office of each Indiana County. Land and land improvements are considered real property while mobile property is classified as personal property. The records for some Indiana counties are not online, but may still be accessed via requests made over the phone, in person, or in writing.

Indiana State Land Office: The State Land Office Serves as the repository for deeds and plats of land previously or currently owned by the State (with some exceptions). The Office maintains approximately 6,000 deeds and draft overview maps of state properties in an accessible GIS (Geographic Information System). You can find the GIS by clicking on the link “Interactive State Property Map & Records.”

Indiana Land Records and Deeds Directory: Includes deeds, mortgage documents, easements, liens and other document recordings that are managed by the County Recorder in each Indiana county. Some counties offer online access to recorded documents.

Indiana Property Tax Records: Provided by the Department of Local Government Finance, this database has an easy-to-use format that allows the user to search by taxpayer name or billing street address.

Nationwide Environmental Title Research: This database offers the option of searching for public records by counties in Indiana. Click on your county of interest, then click on the green “Go to data online” link to the right of “County Assessor.” You may have to create a free online account to view the data.

Monroe County Property Appraiser: Property search. Computer-based mapping system, containing land records which date back to the 19th century. Information topics include road infrastructure, health data, parcel boundaries, emergency management and more. Users can create custom maps to meet particular needs.

National Property Records

Property Shark: This is a relatively easy-to-use site that you can use to search ownership information that is pulled from multiple sources, including title documents, assessment rolls, permit data, and others. This tool queries all properties owned by an individual or a corporation since 2000.

U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management: This site provides access to information on the initial transfer of land titles from the Federal government to individuals. This site contains digital images of historical documents such as survey plats, field notes, land patents, and land warrants dating back to 1810. However, this site does not currently contain every Federal title record issued for the Public Land States.

Digital Sanborn Maps: A repository that delivers detailed property and land-use records (1867-170) that depict the grid of everyday life in more than 12,000 U.S. towns and cities across a century of change. The maps provide a wealth of information, such as building outline, size and shape, windows and doors, street and sidewalk widths, boundaries, and property numbers.

The Official Federal Land Records Site
Documents and title information related to the initial transfer of federal land to individuals. Includes records back to 1820, although geographic and date coverage varies.

Real Estate Resources

Realtor.com Enter street name, city and zip to view list of homes sold in the last 6 months. Can also filter by price or number of bedrooms/bathrooms. Click on more filters to search by type of property, lot size, house size, house age and to expand your search to include other properties in a 1,5, 10 or 20 mile radius. Lists buyer and seller agents, offers property details and displays 3 years of tax assessments (except for new construction). For Property Valuation: Use the "Buy" link and enter a city of interest to view a list of street names. Click on name to get list of all residential properties on that street along with their estimated value, displayed from highest estimated value to lowest. Includes off-market, for sale and recently sold homes. Recently sold homes will list selling price and date.

Zillow Property Value Estimates Enter address after clicking on the Zestimate tab to get information on a property's value.

Zillow Search for homes for sale or rent by property address, neighborhood, city or zip code. Rental properties include landlord contact information. Can filter search by type of property including foreclosures and anticipated listings as well as "recently sold." Includes tax records where available.

Trulia Similar to Zillow, Trulia pulls from Multiple Listing Service (MLS) but also includes real-time crime map with list of nearby crimes and medical emergencies that occurred in the last 30 days. Also provides basic demographics about those living in this area (age, marital status, education level).

Whitepages
Provides various forms of finding public information on persons, including name search, reserve address search, reverse phone search, and business search. Provides additional persons information including public records, age, family members, and previous addresses.