What are Georgia Property Records?
Georgia property records are publicly-generated documents that citizens create and register to document the purchase and sale of private properties within the state's jurisdiction. There are different Georgia property records, including survey maps, property deeds, tax records, and mortgage reports. Researchers use Georgia property records for different purposes, from establishing property ownership to resolving boundary disputes. Individuals interested in obtaining Georgia public records can visit their county Recorder of Deeds or Tax Assessor's office.
Are Georgia Property Records Public?
Yes. According to Georgia's Open Records Act, record custodians who store property records at the county level must make the documents to interested requesters upon request. Interested persons can also perform a Georgia property record search online.
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 Georgia Property Records?
Georgia property deeds are the most sought-after documents among Georgia property records. These documents contain information about the property seller and buyer, with the old owner signing as the grantor and the new owner appearing as the grantee. Persons who obtain property deeds can also expect to see a legal description of the property, including physical address, dimensions, easements, and property lines. There are different types of property deeds in Georgia, including:
General Warranty Deeds
General warranty deeds are the most dependable deeds available. A general warranty deed shows that the grantor has cleared all encumbrances and has the legal right to give away a property's title. Therefore, property buyers that get general warranty deeds have the highest level of certainty.
Special Warranty Deeds
Most property sellers offer special warranty deeds when they are confident of their right to pass title but are uncertain of the property's history before they took ownership. A special warranty deed grants title to the grantee but does not free them of any encumbrances arising before the previous owner took the title.
Parties typically use quitclaim deeds where a property's ownership is uncontested - as all parties involved know its past. They are typically used when family members exchange property and do not promise grantees freedom from legal complications.
Bargain and Sale Deeds
Bargain and sale deeds are most commonly used to transfer the title for foreclosed properties. These deeds show that the seller has the right to transfer property but does not protect the buyer from legal encumbrances.
Georgia mortgage records disclose agreements between a property owner and the credit lender that facilitated the property's purchase. Interested persons can find the following information among mortgage records:
- The borrowers' full names
- The address where the property is situated
- A legal description of the property
- The property's listed value at the time of purchase
- The amount borrowed to purchase the property
- The loan's current repayment status
- Any assignments or endorsements on the property loan
On their own, Georgia property tax records show how much a property owner has paid in taxes over a period. Georgia maps give visual descriptions of the state's properties and come in different forms, such as survey, assessment, and parcel maps.
Where to Search Georgia Public Property Records
Georgia citizens can usually obtain property records by visiting their county recorder of deeds or tax assessor's office. For example, Fulton County residents may obtain property records by visiting the Fulton County Clerk of Superior and Magistrate Courts Deeds and Records' Room. Alternatively, they can perform a property records search on the Fulton County Board of Assessor's website.
How to Do a Georgia Property Records Search
To effectively perform a Georgia property records search, researchers must know the property's actual location, i.e., the county of location, the street name, and house number. Also, the property owner's full name helps facilitate property records search.
Georgia residents who wish to carry out a property records search can first reach out to their local recorder of deeds. Some counties have a dedicated office, while others have a department in the county clerk's office. Alternatively, interested persons may query their local board of assessor's website and perform a property record search.
Researchers can look for property records on the self-service computers available at these locations. Individuals that wish to obtain record copies must pay a small fee. Remote researchers can also search the real estate index that the Georgia Superior Court Clerks Cooperative Authority (GSCCCA) maintains.
How to Find the Owner of a Georgia Property Using Public Records
Anyone interested in finding the owner of a Georgia property can visit their recorder of deeds or tax assessor's office and submit a record request providing the property address. Alternatively, the requester may search online using the same search parameter.
For instance, the Clayton County Tax Assessor's Office allows interested persons to do a free public property records search on its Real Property Records Search page. Interested persons must know the parcel ID number, the tax bill number, or the parcel address number.
What are Property Records Used for in Georgia?
Georgia residents use property records to get information about private lands and properties developed on them. Researchers use the information for various reasons, such as:
- To establish family heritage: People looking for ancestral information may sometimes turn to property records as proof that family members lived in a particular place. If a property deed lists a family's name as the owner for a particular period, researchers can be sure that they lived in the county and that the descendants have roots in that area.
- To research a potential purchase: Individuals interested in buying property in Georgia must study the property before making a purchasing decision. Buyers of property in Georgia must look through a property's records to learn how many times it has been sold and its historical selling prices. They can also discover any changes that previous owners have made over time or any legal challenges the property has been embroiled in since inception.
- To learn about town ordinances: Before buying a property, potential purchasers must be sure that the house is suitable for their needs. For instance, a property might be subject to certain zoning laws that prevent the residents from running a business on its grounds.
- To resolve property disputes: Georgia properties are often subject to different disputes, such as ownership or boundaries. Property records allow interested parties to know who owns a particular property and where its boundaries begin and end in relation to other properties.
How to Find Georgia Property Tax Records
Georgia property taxes are an official levy that the state's counties charge all owners of private property. Property owners may find Georgia property tax records by querying their local tax assessor's office.
What to Do When You Can't Find Georgia Property Records
Residents of Georgia that wish to find property records may search for them at their county recorder of deeds or their local tax assessor's office. These offices provide in-person and online options for obtaining Georgia property records. When accessing Georgia property records proves difficult, interested persons may use the tools and resources available through third-party record search companies.