Hello JBM: The only way to trace the history of a home is by doing a Title Search which will reveal the chain of Title. I am a NJ Title Insurance Producer and have sat through the classes, although I don't conduct Title searches, based on the amount of money you want to spend to get this knowledge, you can contact the company that wrote your Title Insurance when you purchased the home. They may have records on it or you might be able to hire that company to complete a search for you. Give them a call and ask. It can't hurt. Otherwise, go to county seat and try to conduct your own search. I'm not sure why you need this information but good luck to you.
I beg to differ regarding self -eviction by landlord. I own several properties and all you have to do is go to your county courthouse to file the paperwork. If the property is corporate owned, THEN, you need a lawyer.
The process is simple and there will be filing fees associated. Also, be sure that you know exactly how much the tenant owes in past due rent, utilities, etc. Once the paperwork is filed, the tenant is served. My experience has been that they do not show up at court and you will receive a judgment. Collecting on that judgment can be difficult, though. You also will have to prove that they are not in the military. It's not all that difficult.
If you send me your email address, I can send you out a copy of Truth in Renting so you know how the laws affect your ability to evict.... more