Research Your Home

Like most Seattlites, you’re probably not the original owner of the home you live in, so it is only natural to wonder what your home may have looked like when it was first built.

Today, I am going to walk you though how to pull your homes records from the King County Records website and how to contact the Puget Sound Regional Archives in Bellevue for photos.

Step One: Locating your homes parcel number and public records online

The King County Assessor regularly takes and files photographs of residences as part of its work. These photographs are part of the public record and some are available online. You may be able to see your homes floor plan and some previous sale history.

1. Go to the King County Assessor’s eRealProperty site, read the directions, and then click the acknowledgment box: http://info.kingcounty.gov/Assessor/eRealProperty/default.aspx

KING County Parcel Viewer - Acknowledgement

2. Enter your address or parcel number from your tax bill.  Remember, addresses change, but parcel numbers do not.

KING County Parcel Viewer - Address Field

3. Click the “Search” button and you should see a screen similar to the one below.  This is the Assessor’s report for your home or the building you are researching.  I used Veraci Pizza for my example search, located at 500 NW Market Street.

KING COUNTY Parcel Viewer - 500 NW Market Street

On the top of the page click the button labeled “Property Detail” and scroll down until you see the picture of your home, then click on the camera icon. Floor plans may also be available, click the camera icon above the floor plan.  If you do not see an original photo of your home (1930s or later), you will need to email and pay to have the photo sent to you, either through email or USPS.


The Puget Sound Archives:

I once heard someone describe the Puget Sound Regional Archives in Bellevue as “Google Street View, circa 1910”. While that may be a bit of a stretch you can discover pre-1930 pictures of homes and buildings through their archives.

Puget Sound Regional Archives provides a free and user-friendly service to assist you with your research of property in the Puget Sound area. Original records of the property – outlining details such as dimensions, materials, ownership and other relevant characteristics – can also be recovered. You can uncover images from your home’s historic past in a few easy steps:

Information needed to get started:

1. Property address
2. Tax parcel number or a brief legal description (lot/block)
3. Your name and contact information

Then it’s time to submit a request. With the previously gathered information, choose your method of contact.

Phone: 425.564.3940
Fax: 425.564.3945
E-mail: PSBranchArchives@sos.wa.gov
Address: Puget Sound Regional Archives at 3000 Landerholm Circle SE MS-N100, Bellevue, WA 98007

An archivist will then pull your records and notify you what information is available for your property. You can also visit the center. Check their website for hours of operation at:http://www.sos.wa.gov/archives/archives_puget.aspx

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