We live in an information age. Virtually anything we want to know is available to us with just a few taps of our fingers—except for someone’s address.
Despite the many different things we can learn about each other from a quick internet search, few of us know how to find out where someone lives.
There are actually quite a few resources when searching for a person’s address. Let’s discuss some of the reasons why you might want to find this information and how to go about your search.
Reasons to find out where someone lives
Beyond just basic curiosity, there are several reasons why you might want to find where someone lives, such as:
Track down a lost friend or family member
Although we all hope to keep in touch, sometimes we drift apart. When this happens, someday, you may want to reconnect. However, locating someone can feel next to impossible.
If you can find out where someone lives, you might be able to rekindle the relationship. You may even rediscover a little bit of your past along the way.
Send someone a letter, gift or postcard
Although our world has become primarily digital, getting something in the mail is still a tremendous source of joy.
If you have a friend or family member whom you want to show some love, consider sending them something. But if you don’t have their address, asking them can blow the surprise and the gesture loses a bit of its luster.
Instead, look up where they live and make their day.
Invite someone to a party, wedding or reunion
Another reason why you might want to look up where someone lives is so that you can send them an invitation. In this situation, just asking them might be appropriate. Maybe you’re pressed for time, or perhaps you want the invitation to be a surprise.
Maybe you don’t have any other contact information, in which case you have no other choice than to try and find out where they live on your own.
Update your contacts
Sometimes you might not have a specific reason for trying to find out where a person lives. Instead, you might just want to update your contacts in case you need that information later.
Many people keep addresses on file so they can send people things when the moment is right. But asking when you actually need the address may be too late, so look it up now and keep the address on file for future reference.
Check on your own information
If you’re trying to find out where someone else lives, there’s a chance someone else is trying to find out the same thing about you. As a result, search every once in a while to see how much of your information is out there and whether it’s accurate.
Why you shouldn’t find out where someone lives: no stalking
While there are many different reasons why you might want to find out where people live, there are some reasons for doing this that are simply not OK. This list begins with stalking.
The official definition of stalking is engaging in conduct that would cause a “reasonable person to fear for their life or safety,” according to the Department of Justice.
In this context, looking up someone’s address so you can watch them without them knowing, disturb them or make any other type of undesired contact could be considered stalking.
If this is your intention, you should not be trying to find out where someone lives. Doing so could be unlawful.
How to find out where someone lives online
If your reasons for wanting to find out where someone lives are innocent and legitimate, you have several resources at your disposal, both online and offline.
Online options include:
Search them by name
A person’s address is actually listed on a number of different public records. Instead of going through all of these on your own, consider using a people search tool.
Search tools will ask you for the person’s name and maybe the state or city in which they live, then return results (if they’re available) that you can then use to try and find out the address where someone lives.
In many cases, this is going to be the easiest way to find out this information. All it takes is a quick search.
Reverse phone lookup
Another option is to look up a person’s phone number. You can either type it into a search engine, or you can do a reverse phone lookup. However, this is really only effective when using a landline. Sometimes cellphones are listed in these directories but not often, and if they are, the brick and mortar information may not ultimately be included.
Considering how few people actually have landlines, this might not be the most effective method, but it’s still worth a shot.
Social media search
Some people list their addresses on their social media profiles, so all you have to do is locate their profile and you might be able to find out where they live.
However, there are two limitations to this approach. First, not a lot of people still include this information on their profiles, and if they do, it’s usually limited to a city and state. Privacy concerns have spooked people and led them to remove or hide where they live.
Second, if they do have this information in their profile, you will likely need to be a part of their network to see it. If you have to request to follow them, at that point you might as well just ask them for their address.
If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, ask yourself why you want to know in the first place.
Other search engines
If all else fails, one last option is to simply search for someone through search engines. Type in their name and any other information you might know about them and see what comes up. If you have the time to sift through the results, you might be able to find what you are looking for.
How to find out where someone lives offline
If these online methods fail and you still want to find out where someone lives, there is still hope. You can use several offline methods to try and track someone down. The most effective are:
Check alumni records
If you happen to know where a person went to school, either high school or college, you might be able to find out where they live by looking up alumni records. This is a particularly relevant method if you’re planning a reunion.
However, not everyone keeps their alma maters updated when they move, so whatever information you find might be out of date.
Hire a private investigator
If you’re really desperate to find out where someone lives, you could hire a private investigator. There are instances where a private investigator can help a person track down a long-lost family member or locate someone’s birth parent/child.
These people are professionals and know what they’re doing. But their services come at a cost. The average cost nationwide is around $100 per hour, and who knows how long finding the information you want will take?
Look up public records
If, for some reason, you want to do all the legwork yourself, you can dig through public records and possibly find a person’s current address. Some of the places you can look include:
- Birth records
- Voter registration lists
- Tax records
- Property records, such as house sales
- Resident lists used for census purposes
Going through all of these records takes time and effort, and the information you find might not be current.