How Do You Research the History of Your House?


Quick Answer

Research the history of your house by consulting government records, looking at its deed, talking to neighbors and researching its architectural style. Previous owners are also a good source of information.

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How Do You Research the History of Your House?
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Full Answer

Most locations require a building permit to begin construction of a home. If available, these permits provide a wealth of information. Check for permits for remodeling the home, along with permits for plumbing, electrical and mechanical changes. Government records also include land divisions, which sometimes provide clues to the construction of a house. The deed also provides information concerning previous owners.

Long-term neighbors are also a good source of information regarding the history of a home. Some may have lived next door during construction or be aware of when the house underwent major renovations. They often provide a wealth of information about previous families that lived in the house.

Architectural style provides clues to the home's history. For example, between 1925 and 1955 builders constructed many homes using the minimalist traditional style. Identify homes in this style by their minimal roof overhangs, small front porches, lack of ornamentation and a small, detached garage that sits back on the property.

Previous owners of the home are another source of history. Talk with them during the purchase process to learn what they know about the home.

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