There are many aspects of research and due diligence when it comes to purchasing an older, potentially historic, home in Sandy Springs. By far, the most exciting, albeit time-consuming, facet is learning the history of the house, and that of its previous owners. You may be asking yourself “how do I discover the history of my home?”. The good news is, the search and discovery journey is not as complicated as one may think.
Knowing where to look is the first step!
Depending on the age, architectural style, or overall historical relevance you may be able to find your home listed in The National Registry of Historic Places. This valuable service, which is managed by the National Park Service, contains an official list of homes that have been registered and designated as “historic”. Similar services are offered by The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) which maintains all historical genealogical and land records. These records contain a wealth of information hidden between land patents, land case entries, farm ownership, rehabilitation records and more.
There are a number of resources available for homebuyers to learn more about the history of their home in northern Fulton County. For example, many interesting things can be learned by visiting your local library or a historical society like the Heritage Sandy Springs Museum and Park that showcases Civil War & local heritage exhibits, including local historical artifacts & documents. However, if you’re interested in a more focused look, you’ve got to dig a little deeper.
Your realtor should be able to assist you in the search to discover your home’s history. They should be able to tell you whether or not your home is in a designated historic neighborhood and assist you in finding the various names of the home’s previous owners. Do keep in mind, if your home is located in a historic district there will likely be rules and regulations in place to ensure the maintenance of the home. These rules serve to ensure the overall cohesion and appeal of the neighborhood are maintained.
Almost ready to buy? Get some more information first
When you’re buying a home, there are a few things you are likely to learn during the process of the residential transaction, like who the previous owner of the property was and the year the house was built. However, you will certainly need more information to go on. As a home buyer, you can review information on past property taxes and public records, but that will only get you so far. A standard, and very smart, practice during the home buying process is conducting a title search and purchasing title insurance.
What is a title search and how do I do it?
A title search is a process of examining public records to determine and confirm a property’s legal ownership and find out if there are any claims or liens on the property. During this search, the title company will complete a title abstract, also known as abstract plants or title plants, which will provide a history of the piece of property and its ownership including the identity of the original owner. With this information, you can complete research online and at your local library to learn more about the families that once occupied your home.
A more detailed view of your home’s past can be discovered with a chain of title. The chain of title is the sequence of historical transfers of title to a property. This is such a valuable tool in your search to identify and document past owners of a property as it serves as a property’s historical ownership timeline. The “chain” runs from the present owner back to the original owner of the property.
The little things can reveal much more
Additionally, if you’re purchasing an older home, there usually are a good deal of necessary renovations to be made both inside and out. Keep a close eye out for newspaper clippings or pictures tucked away inside the nooks and crannies of your home and property. If you discover any relevant names and dates you could take that information to your local library and review the past city directories to find more information on the people who lived there.
We can help, you just need to ask!
Discovering the history of your Sandy Springs home can take some real detective work, but in the end, knowing more about your home and its history can be extremely rewarding. This kind of project is a labor of love and a wonderful experience that can involve the whole family. To get started on the road to discovery you can reach out to a reputable real estate law firm, like our team here at The Law Offices of Sam Maguire Jr. P.C. Contact us today or check out more information on requesting a title search.