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DC Deed Search Tutorial – Who Owns The White House?

Instructions on How To Do an Online DC Deed Search On Any Property in DC, Using The White House as an Example

A few caveats

Just watch the Video!

A basic online deed look up like this will help you find the last recorded owner of the deed if the deed is available online. The last recorded owner is not always the true owner. Before making significant real estate investments I highly recommend hiring a professional to do a comprehensive title search.

Step One – Get The Property Address

By using the Top Secret Spy Tool Google, I was able to find the property address of The White House is 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500.

Step Two – Get The SSL Using DC Office of Tax and Revenue’s Real Property Tax Database

The DC Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR) has a database with information on all the properties in DC. The OTR Real Property Assessment search tool will not give us the deed, but it will give us the information we need to find the deed. Namely, the Square and Lot Number (SSL) which we can use to search for any deed using the DC Recorder of Deeds Online Public Records in the next step. We also see that the owner of The White House is The United States of America.

Click here to open the Real Property Assessment Database Search tool in a new window, or you can simply Google “DC Real Property Assessment Database Search Tool”.

On the next page you can enter the street #, street name, thoroughfare (suffix) and the quadrant (NW, NE, SW, or SE). Enter the corresponding information for the White House.

On the next page the results of our search show up. There are three results for property located at The White House Address. Click on the first one if you’re interested in finding out more information on the property. Such as the assessment value, or mailing address. For our purposes, we don’t need to go any further.

We need the square and lot number, which is the set of numbers in the square/suffix/lot column. The square is the first set of numbers – 0187S, and the lot is the second set of numbers – 0800.

Step Three – Pull Up The Deed DC Recorder of Deeds Online Public Records

Click here to open District of Columbia Online Public Records in a new window. Click search on the top left window. DC Online Public Records allow you to search for deeds to properties. You’ll have to create a free account before doing an online DC Deed search. Create an account and then log in. Then click on search public records.

Change the search type to Square / Lot. In square enter the square which is 0187S. For lot enter the second set of numbers which is 0800. For document type make sure that only deed is checked then hit search. We get a warning notice in red saying No Documents Were Found That Match That Specified Criteria. Unfortunately, the deed for the White House is not available online. So we would have to go to the Office of the Tax Recorder to ask for it to see if they will give it to you.

Thanks for reading the instructions and watching the video!

If you have any remaining questions on how to do a DC Deed Search do not hesitate to contact me!

Brian
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Brian

Real Estate Attorney at The Pendergraft Firm LLC
Brian Pendergraft is a general real estate attorney.Click here to schedule a consultation.
Brian
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