HOW TO SEARCH FOR AND LOCATE HARRIS COUNTY PROPERTY OWNERS
Without an address:
With an address:
How to Search for and Locate Harris County Property Owners
With roughly 4.6 million current residents, Harris County is the most populated county in the state of Texas, and the third most populated county in the United States.
Local property records are kept by the Harris County Appraisal District (HCAD), however its database is not always an adequate source of information, particularly if you don’t have the addresses of the properties you are researching.
An alternative platform you can use to find properties and owners in Harris County if you have an incorrect address or no address at all, is Reonomy. We will review the features of this platform in the next section.
After that, we’ll take a look at how you can navigate HCAD to find the property and owner information you need.
With hundreds of search filters, the platform allows you to look for properties of any asset type (other than single-family homes), in any neighborhood of Harris County, with or without the use of an address.
You can find your target properties, analyze their building and lot specifications, view their financial history, and obtain the owner’s contact information all within one platform.
Reonomy Off-Market Property Search
You can start your property search with Reonomy Off Market by setting Harris County, Texas as your target location.
Nevertheless, additional geography filters can be added if you would like to search a little more granularly within the county. You can specify zip code, neighborhood, street name, or an exact address. The platform even has an option to search specifically for Harris County properties in Opportunity Zones.
Next, you can add filters for asset type, building and lot, sales history, debt history, tenant, and ownership to further pinpoint the Harris County properties you are looking for.
Reonomy Off Market can be used in the following scenarios:
- If you don’t know a property’s address or owner.
In this instance, you can use broader location filters along with asset class, building and lot, sales, debt, and tenant information specifics to hone in on properties based on their physical or financial characteristics.
- If you don’t know a property’s address, but know who the owner is.
In this case, you can search by individual or entity name to see the full portfolio of that owner, and analyze each of their properties individually.
- If you do know the address of a property, but don’t know the owner.
You can simply enter the address into Reonomy’s top-aligned search bar, and the platform will take you straight to the profile of that property, where you can view its details, including the owner name and contact information.
If you discover that the address you have is incorrect or incomplete, you can take advantage of Reonomy’s mapping tools to locate the property you are looking for.
For example, if you know the street where a property is located but do not have an accurate building number, you could simply go to the property on the map and click to see its address and full profile.
You can also use the map to research an area of interest by drawing a radius or custom shape to view all properties within a certain distance.
Reonomy TrueOwner Name and Contact Information
Say you were interested in a property based on the fact that it was a Marriott hotel on Sage Road in Houston. You searched Harris County for properties on street name “Sage,” with “Marriott” as a tenant, and were able to locate the exact asset you were looking for.
Regardless of whether you used this method or an exact address to arrive at the profile page of a property, you can now visit the Ownership tab and see the recorded owner, whether an individual, group, or an LLC. You can even pierce LLCs to see the members behind them, along with their contact information.
As we mentioned at the beginning of this post, if you have the exact address of a property and are simply looking for high-level ownership information, you can also use the HCAD website.
HCAD is the premier public records search tool in Houston and Harris County.
What Is HCAD?
HCAD stands for the Harris County Appraisal District. It is a subdivision of the state of Texas that determines the value of properties within the county for ad valorem tax purposes.
There are a number of ways to look up property information on HCAD, therefore it’s important to familiarize yourself with the different levels of granularity you can access through the various search methods.
To make the most of your HCAD property search, you need to know what information to include, and how to use that information to uncover new opportunities.
Let’s take a look at the different ways that you can identify properties and owners through the HCAD property search tools.
HCAD Property Search
The HCAD site offers three different levels of search granularity. You can run a Quick Search, a Real Property Search, or a Real Property Search Advanced.
Running a Quick Search is the simplest way to look up properties on the HCAD site. Upon entering the Quick Search page, you can choose between searching by account, address, or owner name.
Once you select one of these options, you’ll be given a simple search bar where you can enter the required parameters.
If you want to search by account, you will also need to select a tax year. HCAD maintains public property records for the previous five years. Once you’ve selected a tax year, you can enter the 13-digit account number of your desired property and click Search.
To search by address, simply click the Search By Address button at the top of the search bar. Here, once again you start by choosing a tax year. Next, you enter the street number and name into the corresponding search bars, and click Search.
To search by owner name, again simply select the Search By Owner Name option, and select a tax year. Then, you need to enter the last name and first initial of a property owner, without using a comma.
Once you search for a specific account number, address, or owner name, you’ll be taken to the profile page for that property, where you can find details such as ownership history, building information, valuations, and more.
At the top of the information page, there are also shortcuts that allow you to search nearby addresses, properties with the same street name, and similar owner names.
Real Property Search
The second way to use the HCAD site is to run a Real Property Search. For the most part, this option is very similar to the Quick Search, with only a few functional differences.
Here, you can also search by account number, address, or property owner name. To get started, enter the Real Property Records search page, and select the search option you would like to use.
Once you click on the option of your choice, you’ll be taken to a search interface similar to that of Quick Search. Here, you can enter your search parameters as you would above.
With an account number and property owner search, you only need one piece of information.
There is a difference in the number of details you can include when searching by property address however. Real Property Search adds another layer of information to this search option.
In addition to the first address search option, where similarly to Quick Search you can enter a single address, Real Property Search also allows you to search within a range of addresses. In this section, after choosing a tax year, you can add a range of street numbers. This feature lets you look up multiple properties by address at once.
It is also worth noting that when running a Quick Search the search bar remains at the top of the results page, even as you’re scrolling through the property information:
This allows you to quickly and continuously look up one property after another and review their information pages.
When using Real Property Search however, the search bar is not available on the property information page:
The information presented on each property page is the same no matter how you get there, so choosing between Quick Search and Real Property Search is merely a matter of preference.
If there are no results for your query, HCAD will give you the option to jump into the advanced search interface where you can add more details to your search and better hone in on the property you are after.
Real Property Search Advanced
The Real Property Advanced Search is the most granular and detailed way to run an HCAD property search. Even at a glance, the advanced search interface is much more extensive than the ones we discussed so far.
Here, to search by address, you can enter any combination of a street name, street number, and zip code. To search by owner name, add the last name and first name or initial of the property owner.
Many of the most granular advanced search options are property-level data such as building-style code, land code, neighborhood number, school district, total value, total value range, total square footage, and total square footage range. You can add any combination of these filters to adjust the granularity of your search.
Most of the search filters can be added by simply typing in the necessary information. Tax year, school district, and the range-based filters can be selected from a dropdown.
Once you’ve added all your desired search filters, you can choose whether you want your results to be ordered by account number, street address, or owner name, and click Search.
HCAD Property Records
There is quite a bit of information to digest once you’ve landed on the property details page, which features ownership, land, and building-level data.
At the top of the page you will see a broad overview of the property, including ownership information, as well as general land and building-level data.
The first thing you’ll see is the current property owner’s name and mailing address. Next to it, you’ll find the property’s address and legal description.
Additionally, you can click on the Ownership History link to view a list of all past and present owners of this property.
The next section contains an overview of the land and building-level data associated with the property. Here, you’ll see information such as State Class Code, Land Use Code, Building Class, Total Units, Land Area, Building Area, Net Rentable Area, Neighborhood, Market Area, and more.
There are even more granular sections of land and building data further down the page.
The property detail page also features a section with tax data and valuations. You can see the property’s tax exemptions, jurisdictions, and tax rate for the prior year.
HCAD’s valuation data includes the property value for the two most recent years, broken down into land, improvements, and total valuation. There is also an option to view older valuations by clicking on the 5-Year Value History link.
Land and Building Information
The next section includes more detailed land and building-level information, such as land use, unit type, number of units, price per unit, year built, building type, building style, and other specifics on the building’s systems, like plumbing, heating, and so on.
You will also see a list of any “Extra Features,” such as loading docks and property fireproofing.
Essentially, as you work your way through a property information page, you will first see the main details followed by more and more granular data towards the bottom.
HCAD Parcel Viewer
Another noteworthy feature of the HCAD website is the online parcel viewer. Here, visitors can use an aerial view map to look up properties throughout the entire county. Users can navigate the map by panning, and zooming in and out to view specific areas.
The HCAD parcel viewer also has a search bar on the left-hand side of the page, where you can search for specific properties by account number, address, or owner name. When you look up a property, a list of results appears underneath the search bar.
If you click on one of the properties in the results list, the map will automatically zoom in on that property.
Other parcel viewer tools include the ability to detect your current location to see nearby properties (if you are within Harris County, of course), and the option to toggle between parcel, road, aerial, and ESRI view.
The measurement tool can be used to measure distances and areas on the map in both imperial and metric units.
You can also print the current view of the map by using the Create Map tool, represented by the printer icon in the upper right corner of the page.
Public Records vs. New Tech
Public records let you dive deep into individual properties, but are unable to give you a big picture understanding of entire real estate markets. Often times you need to rely on additional sources to get all of the information you need.
New proptech platforms on the other hand aggregate data from a variety of sources, and are capable of presenting a more analytical view of the real estate in any location.
Reonomy allows you to find properties and owners, see the tenants of a building, discover who is behind an LLC, view contact details, and much more.