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CHAPTER 5: Appraisal Assistant Search

This chapter will define all the search fields, clarify other features found on the search form, and explain the best way to build a search. First, the Search pre-screen needs to be explained. This screen, or page, is also known as the "Change Search Categories" page.

Changing Search Categories

This page controls the choices available on the Search page. Selecting a category on this page will produce that information on the Search Form. You have the option to save the changes for the county you are logged into, save the changes for all subscribed counties, or not to save the changes at all. Once you have selected or de-selected the search categories, click the "Accept Preferences" button.

Parcel ID


This category allows you to search by the Parcel ID.

Owner Information


This category allows you to find a parcel by the owner's first name, last name, street address, city, state, and zip. Note that the information you type in must match the parcel information exactly. The name of the owner in the parcel database is generally stored as "Last, First". This will differ from company names. Therefore, when searching by the name, keep in mind that First Name box will look at any letter in the name, but the Last Name box will search for what you typed only at the beginning of the name. You can type in as little or as much info as you wish when searching by owner.

Parcel Location


This category allows you to search by either rural or in-town locations. Rural locations can be searched by section, township, range, quarter, account/parcel number, and split. In-town can be searched by the addition, block, and lot. You can use as little or as much info as you wish when searching.

Parcel Address


This category allows you to search by the street number, street direction, street name, street type, and school district. The street type and school district are not limited to in-town parcels. The school district field will only find parcels in the School District you select.

Map


This category will limit the search to parcels in a given area specified by you. To start, select the Northwest corner of your search area. Enter this into the search form by picking the Township from the Norwest Corner drop down box, and then select the Range from the Northwest Corner drop down box. Next select the Southeast corner of your search area. You enter this the same way as you entered the Northwest Corner information. You can also limit your search to only certain sections by checking them in the Sections box. If you use the Map with any search, your results will be limited to rural parcels.

As an example, we will limit our search to area of R10E, R11E, and T5N. The northwest corner is T5N and R10E. Select T5N from the Northwest Corner Township drop down box and R10E from the Range drop down box. This selects our northwest corner. The Southeast corner is T5N and R11E. Select T5N from the Southeast Corner Township drop down box and R11E from the Range drop down box. Doing this will limit your search to rural property in that area.

Land Information


Parcels, especially in rural areas, are often split into several different areas based on their Zoning (land type) and Land Use (soil type). If you wanted to limit your search to parcels that have at least one Crop, you would select Crop from the Zoning drop down box.

Most in-town parcels have Lot Frontage and Lot Depth information. By entering a minimum and maximum amount in the appropriate boxes you can limit your search by the lot dimensions. You can also limit your search by lot size with Units boxes. Enter the minimum and maximum amounts you wish to allow, and then select either the Acres or Square Feet from the Units Type drop down box.

Sales Information


This category allows you to search by starting and ending sale dates, sale price, grantor, and grantee. Entering a date in the starting and ending sale dates will limit the search to any parcels sold during that time frame. You can search by a specific sale price range, by entering a value in the maximum and minimum fields of the sale price. The grantor and grantee fields allow searching for the names of the seller and buyer respectively.

Value


This category lets you create a search based on various values of property. There are two types of values, Market Value and Assessed Value. A Market Value is the appraised value of the property in dollars. The Assessed Value is the Market Value times the county's property tax rate. Both types of valuation contain three items that are valuated: Land, Improvements, and Other. The Land field is used to find values assigned to the land itself. The Improvements field will find values of houses and other buildings. The Other field is most often used to find value of mobile homes on the property. The Exemption and Double Exemption check boxes, if checked will find property that have the appropriate type of exemption.

Legal Description


This category will find parcels with a Legal Description that contains the text you type in the search box. The text can be anywhere in the Legal Description, but must match exactly.

Building Types on Parcel


This category allows you to narrow down your search results by finding parcels that have certain types of buildings. For every building type checked, a parcel must have at least one of that building types to be selected by the search. For example, if both Mobile Home and Residential are checked, only parcels that have at least one Mobile Home and least one Residential building on it will be found by the search. Selecting Vacant Property Only will override all other checkboxes in this category. Only parcels without buildings will be found.

Agricultural Buildings


This search category allows you to search for Agricultural Buildings by square feet. To search by square feet, enter a minimum and maximum range.

Commercial Buildings


This category allows you to create very detailed Commercial Building searches. Many items on this form are drop down menus that allow you to select a pre-defined value. Other components on this page are text boxes that let you enter a quantity, size or year.

Mobile Homes


This category allows you to create very detailed Mobile Home searches. Many items on this form are drop down menus that allow you to select a pre-defined value. Other components on this page are text boxes that you enter a quantity, size, or year.

Residential Buildings


This category allows you to create very detailed Residential Building searches. Many items on the form are drop down menus that allow you to select a pre-defined value. Other components on this page are text boxes that let you enter a quantity, size, or year.

Search Box


The Search Box has five features: the Change Search Categories button, the Order By drop down menu, the Results Per Page drop down menu, the Clear All Fields button, and the Execute Search button. The Change Search Categories button loads the Search Categories page discussed at the beginning of this chapter. This allows you to determine which search categories appears which search categories appears on the Search Form. The Order By menu has three options to choose from: Parcel ID, Owner, and Last Sale Date. Selecting Last Sale Date ensures that all parcels found will have sold. The Results Per Page menu controls how many parcels appear on the results page at a time. The Clear All Fields button clears all information in each of the field's boxes for a new search. The Search button starts the parcel search.

Search Tips
Here are some tips on creating a successful search:
  • Enter as little information as possible when searching for a specific parcel. Sometimes an uncommon last name is all that is needed.
  • Watch out for abbreviations. Sometimes street names are not what you would expect. For example, Broadway might actually be BRDWY in the database.