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6 Reasons To Google Your Address
Provided by Trulia.com

With virtually any type of information imaginable online, it makes
sense to do regular internet searches for your home’s address.
There are at least six compelling reasons it makes sense to
do so, especially if it’s an address you’re thinking of renting,
buying or selling. Smart homeowners would do well to search
for their addresses, too, and here’s why:

1. To See What Your Neighbor’s Place Sold For and
Possibly Lower Your Property Taxes
In real estate, the value of your home is largely driven by
what is similar or how much nearby homes have sold for. If
you search your address, Trulia will first surface some sort
of image of your home, a map, the basic property details
from the public records (see No. 5, below), and recent sales
data for your own home before listing out the comps -­
homes with similar numbers of beds, baths and square feet
near yours, and what they recently sold for. If you see a pattern
of homes selling for lower than your home’s assessed value,
you can use those comps to petition your county to
lower your own property taxes!

2. To See Your Home’s Property Records
Your home’s records online are populated from the public records about your home, which are either so old they
don’t include upgrades and additions, or they’re just flat out wrong. If you Google your address, or search for it on
Trulia, and find that your home’s description is riddled with errors, contact your county public record agency to
correct them and edit your home facts on Trulia. This is particularly important if you’re planning to sell your home
anytime soon.

3. To See Your Home’s Google Street View
When you’re selling your home, it’s especially critical to see
everything that prospective home buyers will see. That
means checking out how your home’s listing looks on all the
online real estate sites (yes, even on Trulia), checking out the
flyer -­ even stopping by to check out any staging your broker or
agent did if you’ve already moved out. One thing even the most
savvy sellers don’t check out is the way Google Street View
depicts your home. If you’re about to sell your home, and you
notice that the street view is outdated, mention it to your agent,
and ask them to make a note of that fact in the listing information.

4. To See If Megan’s Law Registrants Live Nearby
There is plenty of information available to the public regarding
registered sex offenders in their neighborhoods. Nearly every state
that has a Megan’s law-­type sex offender registry has an online
version that serves up the names, addresses, sex-­offense history,
and even photos in many cases, of convicted sex offenders.
Googling your address and “Megan’s law”-­-­ or even your city or ZIP
code and “Megan’s law” -­-­ will turn up a quick list of nearby registrants.

5. To Find Crime Reports and Data For Your Home and Environs
City, county and state law enforcement agencies all post crime data online, but a Google search for your address
or city and “crime reports” is most likely to turn up your local police office’s crime map. Or, you can check
out Trulia Crime Maps for a crime map of recent incident reports for the whole city, ZIP code or neighborhood. The
map is color-­coded to represent the intensity of crimes in each area.

6. To Detect Scammers Trying to Rent or Sell Your House
Internet scammers have taken to ripping off home information
and putting together fake listings offering other people’s
homes for rent or lease-­to-­own. They often list the
home on extremely cheap and easy terms, then ask the
would-­be-­buyer or tenant to please wire or send the deposit
money overseas. These scams often come to light only after
the homeowner or current resident notices bargain-­hunters
checking out the place. If you start getting an inordinate
amount of foot traffic to your home, or someone knocking on
your door asking if they can see the place, you may want to
Google your address. If you find a fraudulent listing, identify
yourself as the home’s rightful owner and ask the offending
site to take the scam posting down -­ stat!