Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Real estate websites and genealogy

I thought of something a few weeks ago that really helped my research on modern ancestors, although it is a little hit or miss.  A lot of my ancestors lived in Richmond, Virginia, the state capital.  It is a thriving metropolis and is undergoing lot rehabilitation.  Old house are being bought and renovated.  In that process, the houses get listed in the MLS real estate system to be sold.  Well, here is the genealogy connection…

If you go onto a site like Zillow.com, you can enter any almost any address and it will tell you specific information about that residence.  You can see the year built, square footage, tax records, even some ownership information.  If that house happens to be for sale, there may also be some photos of the outside and possibly the inside.  I have been able to find lots of pictures and info about the homes that my grandparents and great-grandparents used to live in.  It’s also pretty neat to know when their houses were built and how big they were.

I have also had a little luck on sites like Realtor.com, if the house is currently for sale.  If a particular home is on the market, you can probably contact the agent for an in-person tour.  That would be pretty neat!

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