There are many reasons why a person might want to know who the owner of a property is, but did you know that the owner of a property is a matter of public record? Every county in the United States has a property tax assessor whose job it is to establish a value for every single piece of property in their counties. The assessment will include assigning a value to the land and all of the structures on that land. If deemed appropriate by the county and the state in which that assessor is located, it is also the job of the assessor to collect the property taxes for the properties in that county for the county and also for the state.
As a result of the meticulous job assessors are charged with to both identify properties, assign value, assess taxes and collect the taxes, assessors must keep thorough records regarding who owns each parcel of property within a county. In some states, there are both county and city tax assessors. Cities collect taxes for their local government purposes, including police and fire departments, park upkeep and other infrastructure, etc. In order for assessors to know who is responsible for paying the property taxes on the parcels of property within their jurisdiction, it is imperative they know who owns the property.
So, if you want to know who owns a property, the local assessor in the city or county where that property is located will have that information and since this is tax collection information, it is a matter of public record. This means that anyone can have access to that information upon request.
These days, most assessors’ offices have interactive websites that make obtaining the information regarding the name of the owner of a property easy to achieve. In areas where the assessor does not have an official website with the information readily available, an interested person can either visit the assessor’s office and request the information in person, or can mail a request for the information. In some instances there is a charge for the assessor to provide the information, but in many cases information obtained via the internet is free.
Why you should not neglect the exterior of your rental
By: Eveline Brownstein (c)
Everyone wants a desirable rental property that has tenant longevity. Here are my four tips for making your rental the most desirable one in the neighborhood.
1. Landscaping. Most rental referrals are from yard signs and people who drive past the property to view the neighborhood and the property itself. Don’t underestimate the power of a pretty yard. Frequently mowed grassy areas, clean flower beds and property trimming of trees and shrubs can go a long way to make a strong and positive initial impression of your property, making potential renters more interested in seeing the interior of the property.
2. Exterior condition. If the paint on the exterior of your house is peeling and faded, the initial drive-past could make a potential renter drive away permanently. Maintaining the exterior of the home by touching up the trim paint and painting the exterior when necessary will make your rental home a place renters want to call home.
3. House numbers. There’s no point in advertising a property if your rental home cannot be found or can easily be mistaken for the property next door. In addition, emergency personnel need to be able to easily identify your property (this is a good tip for owners and renters). Make sure that the property numbers are clearly displayed and easily readable, from the street. This can be achieved by regularly painting your curb numbers and by erecting onto the house some large house numbers that can be seen from the street. Make sure your rental can be found and identified by potential renters and the people they may invite as guests and the emergency personnel, who may need to find the home.
4. Don’t neglect the mailbox. A leaning, missing or broken mail box can send a message to a potential renter that you do not care enough to make minor repairs to the property. After all, new mail boxes are not expensive investments and repairing the posts for them are generally simple and easily done. A sad mailbox could signal to a potential renter that the interior of the house is as sad and that a landlord will be difficult to deal with when it comes to making home repairs.
Don’t neglect the exterior of your rental home. It is the first impression a renter will have of the type of landlord or property manager you are and what they can expect in the future. Sadly, you will never know if a potential renter was disappointed with the exterior of the home as most will not bother contacting the leasing agent if they were put off by the home’s exterior. A renter may even overlook minor imperfections in the interior of the home, if the exterior makes them interested enough to enter the home for a viewing.
Why you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet when it comes to real estate.
Indeed.com did a survey of the job opportunities offered in the most populous areas of the country and several publications used the survey information to write articles, based on this survey. However, the most populous cities in the country tell a very small part of the story and the caveat here is that by the very virtue of these areas being the “most populous” it suggests that no matter how many job postings per 1,000 people there are, there will be much more competition for those jobs both within that metro area and from outside of it.
However, I suggest that there are smaller, less populous towns that provide better opportunities for employment, lower median home prices and a lot of the things that people look for in a neighborhood. I will let the big media companies tell you the large metropolitan areas where they believe you can get a job and afford to own a home, even though the one on the top of the list at aol.com has a median home price of $369,999, with a 20% down (in this very difficult mortgage market, most buyers are required to have at least 20% down) of just about $74,000. This target down payment is tough, especially since the mortgage repayment, plus taxes, insurance, etc. may end up costing the homeowner around $3,000 a month. Given that many lenders require that a mortgage be no more than 33 to 36 percent of one’s income, the income a prospective homeowner (or homeowner couple) needs to earn each month is in the range of $10,000. This cuts most of middle America out of the ability to own homes in these so-called desirable work areas as one must clearly one possess advanced degrees, extraordinary experience and unusual skills in order to compete for these $120,000 (or more) a year jobs.
So where can the rest of us hope to get jobs, purchase homes and live in safe and desirable neighborhoods? I believe that the best way to evaluate these are to look at various factors, including: the cost of housing, the property tax rate, the cost of living, the crime rate; and, educational statistics, such as, the school expenditures per pupil and the teacher to pupil ratio. Using these criteria, here are my top three picks for areas where home ownership is still possible for middle America and where there is a quality of life that is desirable:
Sioux Falls, SD: With a median home price of $137,200, a low unemployment rate of 5.70%, which is lower than the national average, and a property tax rate of just $15.92 per $1,000, Sioux Falls makes sense. Here it is possible to have a lower paying job and still afford to own the home you live in. Salaries paid range between $60,000 and $300,000, but owning a home is still possible if you are in that lower than $60,000 a year range. Heck you could probably save enough for the 20% down payment on a home and still meet the earnings criteria for a mortgage if you earn $30,000 a year. Of course, you will be giving up great weather in exchange for a job and a home, which for some is not negotiable, but for the practical, well it’s definitely worth another look.
State College, PA: State College is in the center of the state. It has a median home cost of $215,000 with a low per $1,000 tax rate of 12.65% and an unemployment rate of 5.4%. Earnings are lower, spread pretty well between $15,000 per year and $150, 000 at the top end. Expenditures are $7,046 per student, higher than the national average and a pupil to teacher ratio of 13.5. As a bonus, the air quality and water quality are good. 45 inches of average snowfall each Winter, balanced against an average July temperature of 82 degrees.
Centerton, AR: A small city of just over 6,000 people, located in the county of Benton, Arkansas, right next door to Bentonville, home of Walmart. With a really low crime rate and a low cost of living, a property tax rate of $7.85 per $1,000 and a median home price of $147,000, Centerton is a great place to call home. The unemployment rate is 6.2% and being located near Walmart headquarters contributes not only to available jobs, but also a low cost of living, especially in food and clothing. 21.11% of people earn between $50,000 and $75,000 a year, making this the mode salary range. The balance of salaries are fairly evenly distributed between $15,000 and $150,000. Houses in the $110,000 range are abundant, so qualifying for that mortgage and saving for the downpayment is still realistically viable. Being so close to the larger city of Fayetteville and the ever-growing Rogers, as well as a short distance from the Oklahoma and Missouri borders, means opportunities for employment and fun traveling are readily available nearby, if not actually in the city of Centerton.