Craig Johnson

Reverse Address Lookup: Who Lives There?

Vet your neighbors, research a home for sale, and other good uses for a reverse address search.

Reverse Address Lookup: Who Lives There?
We explore the ways a reverse address search can help you. | PeopleWhiz

Gone are the days when everyone put their name on their mailbox. Today, a block of houses is as anonymous as a row of cars in a parking lot. Learning who lives there requires either knocking on doors and introducing yourself or doing a little online detective work.

While everyone deserves privacy, sometimes you want to know who lives at a particular address. You may want to know who is apparently renting out their place to tourists in defiance of local rules, who owns that "haunted house" at the end of the old road, or who keeps throwing loud parties that fill the cul-de-sac with strange cars every weekend.

The tool you need is called a reverse address lookup, or a reverse address search.

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How a Reverse Address Search Works

Rather than starting with a surname and finding an address and phone number to go with it (the way standard public directories work), a reverse search lets you input the street address and city. Names associated with that address will appear, both past and present. Often a little more investigation will be needed to narrow down the results and pinpoint the current resident.

For example, we ran a reverse address lookup on a home whose history we know well. Four people came up. One of the people hasn't lived there for 20-plus years and is long deceased. Another name was unfamiliar. Remember that the results of a reverse address lookup are people "connected to" that address, however flimsy or long ago the connection was.

Once you get a list of names associated with an address, run those names through PeopleWhiz, and look for current address information. There's no need to pay for background information when you already enjoy a PeopleWhiz membership. Simply use Whitepages or another free reverse address lookup tool to find a short list of people, then use PeopleWhiz to narrow down the list to who is currently living there.

What You Can Learn From a Reverse Address Lookup

With a reverse address search, you can uncover a detailed address history culled from public records. A typical reverse address lookup will display names of people associated with an address—that's your first step. Next, pull a PeopleWhiz background report for each of the people to pinpoint who lives there today.

A background report can tell you a lot about who lives at a certain address, such as:

  • Last name
  • First name
  • Phone numbers
  • Age
  • Relatives and known associates
  • Criminal records
  • Addresses
  • Social media accounts
  • Specs for the home, including:
    • Square footage
    • Number of bathrooms
    • Number of bedrooms
    • Estimated home value
    • Local area code
    • Year the home was built

Pretty impressive, right? So much information is online and accessible with the right tools, like PeopleWhiz. We can see so much about places and people because property ownership is public record.

Twitter user Brody used reverse address lookup to protect himself from an onlince scammer posing as a neighbor.
Scammers on web marketplaces sometimes claim they live nearby to build trust. A reverse address lookup will uncover the truth.

Property Ownership Is Public Record

Property ownership in the United States is a matter of public record. Across the country, these records are increasingly available online. Probably all you need is the address of a home to request the ownership information from the county tax assessor or county recorder. Those departments collect property taxes, so if anyone knows who owns a house, it's them. The tax records on a property should show you who owns the property, the appraisal and transaction history, and any existing tax liens or deficiencies.

These records could be accessible online, or you might need to call or visit the office. Either way, property ownership is public information and you're perfectly within your rights to access it. Run the owner's name through a powerful people finding tool, such as PeopleWhiz, to bring up a wealth of data, such as whether or not the home is in foreclosure.

4 Good Reasons to Use Reverse Address Lookup

A reverse address search is the first (and sometimes only) step you need to discover who lives at a particular address. Here are a few ways that reverse address lookup can help you.

1. Learn about your neighbors.

Use a reverse address search to reveal the names of mysterious or new neighbors, then run each name through PeopleWhiz. You may find nothing surprising—or you may discover something they wouldn't want you to know, like criminal records.

Sometimes the person you want to know about is a renter, not the property's owner. A reverse address search can still come in handy because you can identify the owner, pull a background report, and look under Known Associates for the tenant's name.

2. Get an edge in homebuying.

Public record searches and other online and offline resources can tell you about a home's seller, thus letting you draw conclusions about their motivations and eagerness to sell. For instance, are they going through a divorce? Have they already bought another place?

Another tip: Stealth satellite photography in search engines can inform you about the property, the neighbors, and the neighborhood. Online tools can take some of the mystery out of buying a home and put you in a stronger negotiating position.

3. See through someone's lies.

A new acquaintance can go by a false name, but they can't sleep in a false house. Where they live is a fact you can leverage to discover their real name, and then you can run a background search.

You may learn that he's still married, even though he said he was single. Or that she has filed for bankruptcy twice and didn't go to UCLA like she said. The popularity of online dating apps has given rise to romance scams, so you can never be too careful.

4. Protect yourself from fake sellers online.

Conmen need you to trust them. One trick that scammers pull is to pretend they live nearby, using a street address they found on Google Earth that's in your area code, when they actually live thousands of miles away in a foreign country.

You should be suspicious of anyone selling a popular product at an amazing price online, even if they claim to be a neighbor. Look up who lives at the address the seller is using. If the names don't match, steer clear of that seller.

Reverse Address Lookup Is Just the Start

Future upgrades to PeopleWhiz will include integrated reverse searches for addresses and phone numbers. With a reverse address search, you might uncover several names of people connected to a particular address, including dead people and people who moved away decades ago. Your next step would be to narrow down that list of names using a PeopleWhiz background report on each person. That's how you can learn the current resident and so much more.

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