Before beginning house research, it is important that you know the legal description. This is not the same as the street address. It is the physical description of the property including size and boundaries. House numbers and street names may change, but the legal description remains constant. If you have a copy of the deed for the property, the legal description will be listed on the deed. If you don’t have the deed, you may be able to get the legal description from your title insurance company or the local real estate tax assessor’s office.

Many municipalities now how property tax information online. You simply input the address you are research and the current owners will be listed in addition to the legal description of the property.

With the legal description in hand you will then be assured you are looking at the correct property as you go through the deed records while conducting your house research. For more information on how to research deeds, see my earlier article on this topic.