What are North Carolina Property Records?
North Carolina property records contain important information about real estate in the state. These documents include deeds, titles, mortgages, leases, and other legal instruments that record transactions related to real property. The records also contain information about liens and encumbrances against properties. They provide evidence of ownership, as well as details about who holds title to a property. According to North Carolina's Public Records Law, interested members of the public may access property records by querying the Register of Deeds Office in the county where the property is situated. These records are also held by the County Recorder's Offices and Tax Assessor's offices in the case of property tax records. At the state level, the North Carolina government also processes property record requests through the State Property Office of the North Carolina Department of Administration. The office maintains an aggregation of recorded documents from every county within state limits.
Are North Carolina Property Records Public?
Yes, property records in North Carolina are public per North Carolina FOIA statutes. Any person can access public records at county courthouses or online through authorized repositories and online resources unless the record is exempted from public disclosure by law.
Property records are available for public viewing through government agencies or third-party aggregate websites. Accessing property records through third-party sites is typically straightforward, and the records are not geographically limited. However, because the sites are not government-affiliated and run independently, the information contained in the records may vary. Searching parties should include the following information to obtain complete property records:
- The property’s exact location.
- The property owner’s details.
What Information is Included in North Carolina Property Records?
North Carolina property records provide a wealth of information. The most commonly accessed data points include the owner's name, legal description of the property, parcel number, year built, last sale price, and date sold. Other common details include tax assessment values, current owners' mortgage companies, and lenders' contact information.
Ownership information includes the name of the current owner(s) of the title to the property. It also may consist of names from past owners who have transferred titles to subsequent owners. The legal description describes the boundaries of a parcel or tracts, including dimensions, bearings, corners, curves, etc., used for boundary determinations.
Deed documents provide evidence that an individual is the owner or has purchased specific real estate rights. Mortgage and lien documents are evidence of money borrowed to purchase real estate or the existence of debt secured by a property.
Zoning information shows how the property may be used and if it is suitable for residential, commercial, agricultural, or industrial use. Assessment and tax information include current market value appraisals, taxes paid by an owner, and all liens held against the property.
Building permits indicate when structures have been placed on a parcel, including any alterations made to existing buildings. Surveys provide detailed measurements of a parcel of land, including boundaries and features such as pathways, ponds, trees, and parking lots.
Utility connections show which utilities are connected to the property and can be important when considering a property purchase. Environmental hazards provide information about any hazardous conditions that may be present on the property, including asbestos, lead-based paint, or underground storage tanks. Judgments against the property are documents that state litigation has been filed by one party against another and must be cleared prior to selling the property.
Where to Search North Carolina Public Property Records
The respective Register of Deeds or County Recorder's Offices manages North Carolina property records. However, property tax records may be assessed through the office of the Tax Assessor.
In Wake County, for instance, inquirers can obtain property record information by making in-person or mail requests to the office of the Register of deeds. Otherwise, they may access these records using the Wake County Real Estate Data system. The system allows requesters to conduct searches by the personal information of the owner as well as by location/address.
How to Do a Property Records Search in North Carolina
To search for public property records in North Carolina, inquirers must first determine the county or municipality in which the property is located. With this information, the requestor may visit the Register of Deeds office in the Local County Courthouse and request records related to the property of interest.
For instance, inquirers may visit the Office of the Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds to obtain property records in Mecklenburg county. They may search for the documents using the Real Estate Index or make in-person queries to the office staff. Otherwise, requestors can make mail-in queries to:
Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds
720 East Fourth Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
Phone: (704) 336-2443
How to Find the Owner of a North Carolina Property Using Public Records
The best way to find the owner of a North Carolina property using public records is by searching at the county courthouse or online through an official website. At the courthouse, the inquirer can access the deed or title of a property to find out who holds the title and any other relevant details. On an official website, the user can search by parcel number, owner's name, or address to find out who owns a particular property.
What are North Carolina Property Records Used For?
The following are some of the uses of North Carolina property records:
- Legal Documentation: Property records are essential documents that serve as evidence of ownership and provide proof of legal rights in a given property. They are necessary for settling disputes between parties involved in a dispute over the possession or use of a particular piece of land. They also establish precedence in cases where no other formal agreement exists, such as boundary disputes.
- Tax Assessment: Property records determine the amount of taxes owed on any particular land, building, or home. The data contained within these records are often used to calculate taxes due and ensure that all applicable taxes have been paid.
- Insurance Claims: In case an individual experiences damage or loss to their property due to weather events, fire, or other disasters, property records can help in filing insurance claims. They provide evidence that the property is owned by a particular individual or entity and include information on its size, condition, location, and more.
- Mortgages: When an individual purchases a home, they may have to apply for a mortgage loan from a lender. This involves providing financial information to the lender along with proof of ownership of the home through property records. The lender will use these documents to determine if an applicant is eligible for financing.
- Investment Opportunities: Property records are crucial when evaluating potential investment opportunities in real estate. Investors need to know what kind of improvements have been made on the property, how much rent can be collected, and what the property taxes are. Property records provide all this information, allowing investors to weigh potential investments more accurately.
How to Find North Carolina Property Tax Records
To find North Carolina property tax records, inquirers may visit the office of the Tax Assessor in the county where the property is situated.
What to Do When You Cannot Find Property Records in North Carolina
When unable to find property records in North Carolina, it is best to contact the county's record office for assistance. They can provide additional resources and help access records that may not be available online or at the courthouse. It is also important to remember that some property records may be restricted due to privacy laws.
Inquirers may also resort to search methods such as public records requests and title searches. A public records request is a formal request for information from a government entity, usually through open records or freedom of information act (FOIA) request. The requester can obtain documents related to the property, such as tax assessments, deeds, and other legal documents.
Finally, individuals may wish to seek legal advice from an attorney or other professional if they require assistance with researching property records or obtaining the legal authority to access undisclosed records.