How to Check a Home’s History Before You Rent

by Ben SanfordSeptember 12, 2018

4 Ways to Find Out More about the Home You Plan to Rent

For many people, moving into a new living space brings with it a wonder about the home’s past. Some may just be curious, wondering if anyone died in the house or whether the home was the scene of a crime. Others may want to learn as much as they can about the property, such as finding out about any major repairs, structural issues, or natural disasters the home may have undergone.

If you’re planning on renting a home, and you’re a bit curious about the home’s history, then here are four different ways you can get glimpses into its past.

finding out a home's history

Ask the Neighbors

Visit the neighborhood during a weekend when you know people might be out and about in their yards, especially during bouts of nice weather. Stop and ask a few friendly people if they know anything about the house.

Many people love to gossip, so you might find it easy to get the dirt on those who have previously lived in the property. Find someone who has lived in the community since it was established, and they might even be able to provide you with a play-by-play history of the home from the time it was built.

finding out a home's history

Ask Your Agent

If you’re going through a real estate agent to find a rental, then you can ask them for any information they might have on the home. For instance, you can find out why the previous renters moved or what kind of relationships the landlords build with their tenants. Just be mindful of the fact that your agent wants you to rent the home, so they might not always be forthcoming. Therefore, it is important to use an agent you can trust.

Check the Library’s Records

A town’s local library is also its historic curator. If you want to search for the home throughout the history of the town, then odds are you’ll find what you’re looking for there. Before visiting, however, you should call ahead and schedule a time to come in and review their records, because you will probably need someone to assist you with all the newspaper articles, photographs, maps, and other reports and records you’ll have to sift through.

finding out a home's history

Check past Censuses

Visit Census.gov and you will be able to find out the names and ages of everyone who has lived in your home since the time it was built. You can even learn about their year of immigration, occupations, marriage status, and a host of other things about them. You can also order a title search of the property. This will provide you with tax records and the names of the people who have legally owned the home through the years.

Find the Home You Want to Rent with Homes.com

At Homes.com, our extensive network makes it easy and quick to research homes for rent in the area you’re interested in. You can even narrow your selections based on your unique search criteria, so the homes you’re comparing are those that best fit your needs and budget. Start searching today and let Homes.com help you find the rental home of your dreams.

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About The Author
Ben Sanford
Ben is a real estate agent and freelance writer. He's lived on the east coast his entire life and is just as "at home" on a snowboard as he is in the office. When not writing about local real estate markets and researching hot new tips for homeowners, he can be found working on his home renovation projects with help from his wife Melissa and their kids, Josh and Cheyenne.

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