How to Find Out Who Used to Live at an Address (6 Steps)

By Joanne Cichetti

You may consider it necessary to know who used to live in a particular house before purchasing it. In this way, you can meet the tenants and find out all the information you need about the property you’re looking to purchase. Although it's difficult to trace a property’s history, the Internet still provides a useful tool for digging this information out. You will, however, be charged for this information.

Step 1

Talk to your neighbors and your community, and ask them if they knew the previous owners. The elderly residents, in particular, may be helpful in this regard. You can also ask the community’s librarian.

Step 2

Go to a website that lets you run a reverse search for addresses. Some of these websites include Public People Finder, Intelius, People Finder, Reverse Genie and People Lookup (see "Resources"). The average fee for running a search on these websites is about $39.99, as of 2010.

Step 3

Enter the address in the respective fields on the website. Usually, there are separate fields on the website for house/building number, street name, street type, city and zip code. Provide as much information as you can to narrow down the results.

Step 4

Submit the entered information. Then, sign up on the website by providing your name, email ID and other information.

Step 5

Make the required payment via credit card. Most of these websites accept Visa, Master Card, Discover and AMEX.

Step 6

Wait for the website to send you the complete report of the particular address via email or your website account. Usually, the results include property address, current and previous owner names and owner mailing addresses.