How to Research Your Home
The Villa Park Historical Society (220 South Villa Avenue in Villa Park) has books for sale that provide simple, easy-to-follow steps in researching the age of your home. Hours are Tuesday through, Friday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from the third weekend in April to the third weekend in December.
On the Internet, websites which are helpful in home research:
- How Old is Your House
- How To Research Your Home's Past
- Home Style Guide
- A Field Guide to American Houses
The Villa Park Historical Society (220 South Villa Avenue in Villa Park) has a few old City Directories, where you may be able to find names of former owners. There are old phone books as well which are helpful for research. Hours are Tuesday thru Friday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from the third weekend in April to the third weekend in December.
York Township Assessor's Office (1502 South Meyers Road in Lombard) has some information on the date when your home was built. Any further details about your home must be researched at the county level. The York Township office is open almost all weekdays except for holidays.
DuPage County Recorder's Office Research is done in the DuPage County Jack T. Knuepfer Administrative Building (421 North County Farm Road, Wheaton). Enter Building 421 in the FIRST (southernmost) entrance, flanked by brick pillars. On the first floor, go to the Fred Bucholz DuPage County Recorder's Office. You can walk in and ask for assistance in your search. Use the computers there or go to the basement research area. The DuPage County Recorder's Office is open almost all weekdays except for holidays.
IMPORTANT: you will need your PIN (Parcel Identification Number) to research your home. This number found on your tax bill and it is specifically marked as "Parcel Number" on that bill. The number consists of: 2 digits – 2 digits – 3 digits – 3 digits (Example: 01-02-103-004). If the number has some other configuration – you are using an incorrect PIN.
Using the computer, you can research anything done to the house during the ownership of the immediate-previous owner and access and print any documents pertaining to them ONLY for events that took place AFTER 1961. If the previous owner purchased the home PRIOR to 1961, you'd need to get information regarding those documents in one of the large County Property Record Books.
Researching in the County Property-Record Books, look up the previous owner's name in the GRANTEE (individual home owner) books. If the person bought the house from a company, such as a Bank, that bank (or finance company) could be found in the books marked for FIRMS. When you find the former owner, take down the information on that page if you want copies of any property-related documents. The Recorder's Office can assist you.