Are you buying a house? Do want to know how flexible the seller can be in negotiations?

Or do you just want to find your neighbor’s home loan balance?

Well I have good news for you.

Thanks to the public records and a little math, you can calculate what your neighbor owes on her home.

You can use it for negotiations or to make yourself feel better.

And you won’t find this information in Zillow.

Step 1: Start with a Google Search

Where else would you start with research on the internet?

It always starts with a Google search.

You need to find the Clerk of Courts for your state.

That’s where the records are filed.

So for my example I typed in “Georgia Clerk of Courts” and hit enter.

That’s for the state of Georgia.

Google-GSCCCA How to Calculate Your Neighbor's Home Loan Balance

The first result, “GSCCCA: Georgia Clerks Authority | Georgia Clerk of Courts,” is the right place.

So click there.

Step 2: Search the Property Records

On the Georgia Clerks Authority homepage, you will see a search button that looks like this.

Clerks-Authority-1 How to Calculate Your Neighbor's Home Loan Balance

Click it.

Then you will want to perform a real estate index search so click the “Real Estate Index” button.

Clerks-Authority-2 How to Calculate Your Neighbor's Home Loan Balance

You can search several different ways but we’ll do a name search so click “Name Search.”

Clerks-Authority-3 How to Calculate Your Neighbor's Home Loan Balance

On the Name Search page, change the instrument type to Security Deed by clicking the “Instrument Type” drop down menu.

Clerks-Authority-4 How to Calculate Your Neighbor's Home Loan Balance

Then type in the name of the person you want to search for in the “Search Name” box.

You may have to play with this because the search function isn’t the best so it may take you several search attempts.

Also, you may see a screen like this:

Clerks-Authority-5 How to Calculate Your Neighbor's Home Loan Balance

Some records websites make you sign up before they will let you use them.

Fortunately I am already signed up for Georgia’s website.

Next you will see your search results.

Clerks-Authority-6 How to Calculate Your Neighbor's Home Loan Balance

I just clicked “Smith, Jack M” and hit “Display Details.”

Then you will see this page:

Clerks-Authority-7 How to Calculate Your Neighbor's Home Loan Balance

Click the red “GR” in the top left of the box.

Then you will see this page:

Clerks-Authority-8 How to Calculate Your Neighbor's Home Loan Balance

We are almost there, I promise.

Now click “View Image.”

A new window will pop up and you will see the Security Deed.

Clerks-Authority-9 How to Calculate Your Neighbor's Home Loan Balance

Do you see it?  The copied screen shot is a little blurry but the document was scanned in 1999.

Jack Smith borrowed $96,200 to buy this property.

Now it’s time for some math.

Step 3: Calculate the Loan Balance

First we have to find the payment amount for the loan.

I go into depth about calculating payment in that post.

But based on the security deed, I know Jack’s loan was for 30 years because it gets paid off on January 1, 2029 and it was recorded on January 4, 1999.

I couldn’t find the interest rate in this security deed but based on a quick Google search, I found interest rates in January of 1999 to be 6.79%.

To make it simple, go to Bankrate.com and use their mortgage payment calculator.

Fill in the mortgage amount of $96,200, length of mortgage term of 30 and interest rate of 6.79.

Hit calculate and you will get $626.51.

That is Jack’s monthly payment.

Now you need to figure out how many months have passed since January 1999.

This is a matter of counting but I will do the work for you.

The answer is 219 months. So Jack has made 219 payments toward his mortgage.

Now we need to figure out how many monthly payments he has left.

That formula is 360 minus 219 which gives you 141. You use 360 because there are 360 monthly payments in a 30-year mortgage.

Finally we are ready to input data.

I recommend using this calculator I found at CalcXML.com. It’s just simple to use.

Plug in the info it asks, set the “Desire Amortization Schedule” to monthly and hit calculate.

Run your cursor over the first gray bar in the bar graph and you will see Jack’s current loan balance is $57,251.

Now you can look up the balance of anyone’s mortgage.

Summary

Who would have thought such private information was readily available for anyone to find?

Now that you know it, it gives you a leg up.

You can use it to negotiate in your favor or you can use it just to be nosy.

The choice is yours.

Did you look up how much your neighbor owes on his house?

If so, let me know how it went in the comments below.

Click the link to return to Finance Footing home.