When doing research on your own and your neighbor’s property, start (and follow through) with some tools related to the properties tax parcel numbers by using King County Geographical Information System (“KCGIS”) Center’s Parcel Viewer 2.0. Once you have arrived at this screen, continue with the following steps;
- Click on the green, “Start Parcel Viewer 2.0”;
- Place your cursor in the empty, upper left-hand field to the left of the “address” button;
- Click, and as indicated: “Input an address, or just a part of the [King Co. WA] address”;
- [Click “OK” if you get a “Message from webpage” indicating: “We are not able to retrieve parcel information right now. Please try again later.” [As of this writing, this seems to be a glitch of no consequence – of course Justice Smiles does not guarantee this].
The result will be a ‘skeletal map’ of the property highlighted in yellow as well as a sidebar which indicates the parcel number; present use; jurisdiction; taxpayor name; postal address; appraised value; lot area; and levy code.
There are also click throughs for “Property Reports” and “District Reports.”
If you click on the “Property Reports” link, you will get some tax information about the parcel as well as a picture, which may be current, or it may be from when the house was first built in the ’20s, who knows.
But the area you should also consider clicking is the far right, red button titled: “Property Detail.” There is quite a bit of information there. And perhaps most usefully, if there has been a relatively recent event regarding the praoperty, scroll down to the “sales history” to see what it was (if indicated).
If your lucky, you may find the most recent event(s) in the field titled: “Sales History.” If so, click that link, and you will be taken to the King County Recorders Office, where if you have come this far you are likely to be able to find an unofficial image of that document.
Returning now to the highlighted parcel at the KCGIS, click on District Reports. Here beyond the electrol district information, you will find information regarding planning and critical area designations. Below this, you can dive further to find information which surveyor’s will use to assist them as they make their professional determination.
Now, finally before leaving KCGIS, also note that this program is interactive. This means that you can go in and find information about your neighbor’s property by just clicking on it. That prevents the need to go to the begining and start the whole process by scratch.