[Note: Our Renton office has relocated to Columbia Center, Downtown Seattle]These days, most of the real estate property research our title examiners and customer service team does for you involves sophisticated online databases and image libraries using up-to-the-minute technology. But occasionally we rely on a much older technology as we research the chain of title for real properties in King, Pierce, and Snohomish, WA.
Since the early 1980s, recorded documents have been compiled into searchable databases. We can search by legal description or by name to find deeds, easements, and other public-record information. Most documents recorded since 1990 have also been imaged, so we can usually send you legible copies of recent documents very quickly.
However, sometimes we need documents that are too old to be found in these more recent databases. For those, we turn to our backplant. Backplants are a series of log books that show all recordings in a county. Our records go back to the mid-1800s. Depending on the county, these logs may be on microfilm or may be large hand-written books.
As you can see in the backplant video tour below, the hand-drawn maps and fine penmanship evoke feelings of appreciation for the care, skill, and artfulness of the many people that crafted and maintained these books so many years ago.