Monday, December 30, 2013
A research favorite: Christina Pulawski's "Tax Assessor Database"
From my favorite brand of automobile to my favorite pair of hiking boots, there are things I keep going back to because they're reliable and familiar. Research websites come and go, but a site I've been using for years is Christina Pulawski's Tax Assessor Database. In my current position, I rarely have to search for properties outside my own metropolitan area. However, every once in awhile, an out-of-town prospect will pop up and I'll need some more information based on the prospect's address. I used it just today to confirm a spouse's name on a property's ownership record!
Real estate values are one of my "go-to numbers" for determining capacity. In the absence of other financials such as public company salaries or stock holdings, you can almost always find that someone owns at least one piece of real estate.
Besides the value of a property, assessor websites are also good for determining things like a spouse's name or how the property is held. For example, a property held in trust is usually an indicator of wealth. Features like in-ground swimming pools and multiple-car garages can also be wealth indicators. Also, more and more assessor websites are including property photos as well. If not, Google Maps is a good alternative for aerial views (and sometimes Street View) of properties.
I highly recommend adding Christina's tax assessor website to your list of Bookmarks or Favorites!
Also, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Christina's consulting website, where she offers her services based on her many years' of expertise in Prospect Management and Research. As someone who has heard her speak on multiple occasions, I can also highly recommend Christina as a speaker to consider for your next research conference!