This is a brief guide to researching property in Santa Cruz County. Property research can vary from finding the year the house was built, to constructing a complete chain of title for a property, complete with biographical information about the owners. Before beginning your research, it is a good idea to outline your research
How to Research the History of Your Santa Cruz House: Where to Begin & What You Need to KnowA comprehensive illustrated guide by Joe MichalakA reduced file size version of this document is also available for download.
The chain of title is the list of owners of a property. To build the chain of title, you would start with the current owner. From whom did the current owner buy the property and when? Be sure to make copies of the deed and records you use to build your chain of title.
The Santa Cruz County Government Building is located at 701 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
The Assessor's Office can provide the APN and a limited parcel history. Building records (with a signed release form from the owner) can be viewed here.
The Recorder's Office provides the deeds and records you will need to build your chain of title.
In addition to the periodicals below, the Santa Cruz Public Library has created the Newspaper Clipping File,
available here on the library website. This database contains more than
50,000 articles of local interest. They are indexed and are kept at the
Downtown Branch for viewing. Particular files of interest may include
the Historic Houses file.