Online property system launched

Published 12:05 am Saturday, January 12, 2013



The world – or at least Covington County – is now at one’s fingertips as residents can access updated property records online.

Revenue Commissioner Janice Hart said the project is a work in progress and is being accomplished by the Georgia-based company Flagship. Through the website, users can access information usually found by making a trip to the county courthouse.

“Users can go there, click on our county and begin your search,” Hart said. “You can search by a number of different ways – by account number, parcel number, owner and even physical address.”

Hart said the county’s aerial maps were finished last year and uploaded to the web by the company.

“You can even view the value of the property and the tax amount due,” she said.

Scores of other counties in the state – including Coffee, Crenshaw, Butler and Escambia counties – utilize the same system and their records are accessible through the same website, she said.

Hart said the system is a big help to area Realtors.

“Now, instead of making a trip to the office to get information about a piece of property, they can sit at their desk and check most of everything that they need,” she said.

Local Realtor Martha Duggan said it is an invaluable tool for both property professionals and property owners.

“It’s also probably one of the nicest things the Commission has done to make things convenient for property owners and Realtors,” Duggan said. “One of the best things it does is gives an accurate description of the property. Before we may list what the owner says is a 5-acre parcel, but in actuality is 4.8 acres. For some buyers, that could be a deal breaker. By using the tax appraisal information, it not only speeds up the listing process, we can give an accurate description of the property.”

Tripp Bass, another local Realtor, said the program saves valuable time.

“It helps save those back and forth trips to the courthouse for Realtors,” Bass said. “For home buyers, it’s a great tool, too. You can look to see what it’s appraised for, but remember, the appraisal done is a generic one. It’s done from the street. It’s not pinpoint accurate. There’s no consideration given to the inside the property, but you can see the plat and the size of the lot, the year the house was built, construction details and the like. So, it’s a great tool.”