Find My Parcels!

Our goal with this video tutorial is to get you started in ParcelQuest by showing you how to perform some of the basic search functions by using the ‘Find My Parcels’ section  – which can be found within the ‘Advanced Search’ tab.

After logging into your account, go ahead and click on the ‘Advanced Search’ tab from the home screen. Next, let’s open and expand the ‘Find My Parcels’ section. You’ll notice immediately that the ‘Find My Parcels’ section includes five (5) different search categories:

  1. Ownership
  2. Address
  3. Assessments
  4. Sales
  5. Characteristics

You can perform a simple search by limiting your criteria to just one category, OR you can perform a more complex search by enter multiple search criteria in more than one category – in which case the ParcelQuest Online search engine will take all of your search criteria into consideration before returning your search results. We’re going to show you an example of both.

  1. First, let’s perform a single search by APN within the ‘Ownership’ section. Let’s search for APN number 069-0390-044 in Sacramento County. After entering the APN number, click the green ‘Search’ button. Next, click the orange ‘View Results’ button. Your parcel of interest is now outlined on the Google map with the parcel displayed in the ‘List View’ below the map. To view the detail for your parcel, simply click on the numeric ‘id’ that’s listed to the left of the APN number in the ‘List View’.
  2. Next, let’s go back to the main menu by clicking on the ParcelQuest logo at the top of your screen. And let’s re-open the ‘Advanced Search’ tab and the ‘Find My Parcels’ section. Now we’re going to perform a more complex search with multiple criteria that’ll return more than one result. For this example, let’s search for the following:
    1. Let’s again perform our search in the county of Sacramento
    2. Within the Address section, let’s choose the city of Elk Grove
    3. Within the Assessments section, we want our results to include only the Use Type: Residential Single Family
    4. Within the Sales section, let’s select sales of parcels in the previous 3 months
    5. And Finally, within the ‘Characteristics’ section, let’s specify our results to return only those parcels with 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.
      1. i. Scroll back to the top of the page and click on the green ‘Search’ button. You’ll notice that the ParcelQuest Online search engine found 189 results matching our search criteria. Next, let’s click on the orange ‘View Results’ button. The search results will be plotted both on the Google Map as well in the List View below the map.

We hope these two search examples will start you on your way in using ParcelQuest.

Thanks for watching!

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Video Quick Tip – Print Icon vs Generate Report

One of the questions we recently received from one of our users is: What if I want to print multiple detail sheets? Do I have to keep clicking on the ‘Print’ icon? From this question, we figured it was time for a quick refresher course on the different print options.

What’s the difference between using the ‘Print’ Icon to print a detail sheet or a list of parcels versus GENERATING a Report from the Report menu?

To get started, let’s run a search. For purposes of this exercise, I’m going to do a search in Sacramento County and I’m going to look for all parcels on Hulett.

After clicking ‘View Results’, we see all of the parcels high-lighted on the Google Map along with the ‘List View’ displayed below the map.

Just above the ‘List View’ and to the right, we see a green ‘Print’ Icon. This Print command is perfect for quickly printing the entire list or printing one detail sheet at a time.

To print the list view, simply click the ‘Print’ icon. To print the list without the map, you’ll need to first click on ‘Hide Map’ before clicking the ‘Print’ Icon.

To print a specific detail sheet, I’ll need to first open the detail sheet I’m interested in before clicking on the print icon. To print the detail sheet without the map on the first page, I’ll need to first click on ‘Hide Map’ before clicking the ‘Print’ icon. To print all of the detail pages using the ‘Print’ icon, I’ll need to open each detail sheet separately and click the ‘Print’ icon for each one.

There is, however, another option – which involves ‘Generating’ a Report from the Report drop-down menu. There are 3 primary advantages to using this option:

  1. You can generate a multi-page *pdf report of every detail sheet in your list view
  2. You can generate a multi-page *pdf report that includes only certain parcels from my list
  3. The look and feel of the generated *pdf reports are cleaner than those printed using the ‘Print’ icon.

So just how do I ‘Generate’ a report? It’s very easy and I’ll show you how.

First, take notice of the fact that we’ve got 10 parcels in our list view and each parcel has a check next to it. To print the detail pages of all 10 parcels, we’re going to access the ‘Report’ menu at the top of the screen. You’ll notice we’ve got four (4) different report types available to us, but for purposes of this exercise, we’re just going to focus the Detail Report.

Next, we’re going to select ‘Detail’ and then click ‘Generate’. ParcelQuest will then produce a multi-page *pdf of the detail sheets for all 10 parcels that were selected in our list view. We can see at the top that the report includes 10 separate detail sheets. Notice also that the look and feel of the report is much cleaner than what’s produced from clicking on the ‘Print’ icon.

To print the detail sheets of only those parcels selected from my list, I’ll need to close this particular report and go back to my list view. I’m going to de-select 3 parcels so that there are only 7 remaining parcels that are checked. I’m then going to go back to the report menu, make sure the detail report is checked, and again generate a detail report. A multi-page *pdf report is again created and this time it will only include the detail sheets for those 7 parcels that were selected from our list.

You can employ the exact same process when choosing to generate any of the other types of reports listed in the Report menu.

Thanks for watching!

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Video Quick Tip – Access the Transaction History for a single parcel!

In this short video tutorial, we’ll quickly show you how access Recorded Documents associated with a single parcel.

First, let’s go ahead and conduct a QUICK SEARCH.

For this example, let’s run a search by APN number: 009-0215-025-0000

The results are displayed both in the google map window as well as the List View.

To access the Transaction History tab, we’ll first need to open the DETAIL Sheet associated with this particular parcel.

To do so, I’m going to click on the ID# that’s listed just to the left of the APN number. By clicking the ID#, the List View will convert to the Detail View.

Next, click on the Transaction History Tab.

From here, you can purchase all available documents associated with this parcel by first clicking ‘Select ALL Documents’ and then clicking on the green ‘Purchase Selected Documents’ button

If you don’t want to purchase all documents, you can purchase select documents associated with a specific Recording Date by simply checking the box next to the Document Image and Recording Date of interest and then clicking on the green ‘Purchase Selected Documents’ button

From this screen, you can also purchase the FULL REPORT that includes completed document numbers and extensive detail for each transaction.

After you’ve completed your purchases, your document images are available for download from the PURCHASES section of the ACCOUNT menu.

Please note, ParcelQuest offers a partial listing of recorded documents that include deeds, mortgages, releases, reconveyances, assignments, modifications, pre-foreclosure notices and subordinations. To access other types of documents, please contact the County Recorder’s Office.

Thanks for watching!

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Video Quick Tip – The All New MapEdge 2.0!

Welcome to another ParcelQuest Video Quick Tip!

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to set mapEdge 2.0 as your default Map Viewer along with how to use the main features in mapEdge 2.0.

Please note – this video quick tip is meant to hi-light some of the main features in mapEdge 2.0. If you’d like more detailed instructions after watching this video, please make use of the mapEdge 2.0 User Guide which you can access from the ‘Help’ section within mapEdge 2.0.

Unlike our first mapEdge program that was launched a number of years ago, mapEdge 2.0 is compatible with ALL internet web browsers. In this tutorial, I’ll be using Google Chrome.

  • Set mapEdge 2.0 as the default Map Viewer (1:05) 
  • Run a search and open an APN Map (1:40)
  • Zoom In/Out/Full Extent (2:45)
  • Measure & Highlight (3:30)
  • Add Arrows to the Map (7:40)
  • Drawing History (8:45)

Don’t forget to make use of the MapEdge 2.0 user guide by clicking the Online Help button. I would recommend going over this manual when you have a moment since there are additional features that aren’t covered in this video tutorial.

Thanks for watching!

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How can I quickly PRINT a parcel detail page or list view?

One of the common questions we receive is: “How do I quickly and easily print either a list view of parcels or a specific detail page?” In this video, we’ll show you how. Enjoy!

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Video Quick Tip – Download Your Google Map Image as a PNG or JPG!

In this video, we’ll show you how to successfully download a current Google map image. For this demonstration, we’ll be using Internet Explorer.

First, you’ll want to set the file format preference for future Google map image downloads. To do this, click on the ‘Account’ drop down menu at the top of your screen. From there, select ‘My Preferences’. Within the ‘Preferences’ tab towards the bottom, you’ll see a drop down menu titled ‘Current Image’ Format. From here, you can set the file format for your Google map image downloads. We’ve provided two formats: *png and *jpg. For purposes of this exercise, we’ll select *jpg. After the selection has been made, go ahead and ‘close’ the dialog box.

Next, let’s go ahead and perform a search. For demonstration purposes, let’s look for all o wner names with the last name of ‘Williamson’ in Sonoma county. Make sure the ‘Show Map’ box is checked and then select ‘View Results’. The next screen will display the results of your search on the Google map.

To capture and download the current view of the Google image, select the ‘View’ option from the tools menu to the left of the Google Map. Select the ‘Current Image’ link at the bottom of the ‘View’ menu. After making this selection, the Google map image that’s displayed will begin to immediately download. Your browser will then ask if you want to ‘Open’ or ‘Save’ the current image download. You’ll want to select the ‘Save’ option. You can always ‘Open’ the image file later.

To locate the ‘saved’ Google image *jpg, open Windows Explorer. Next, open your ‘Downloads’ folder. The name of the file will be ‘ParcelQuestMapImage’. To open the file, simply double-click on the file name. In Windows, the file will normally open within the Windows Live Photo Gallery. From here, you can copy, e-mail, or print your Google Map image file.

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Video Quick Tip – How do I capture a Google map image?

One of the questions we’re asked often regarding the new ParcelQuest Online, is “How do I capture a current Google map image”?

To the left of the Google Map Window, you’ll notice a vertical menu of Tools. At the top of the menu, you’ll notice the first tool is ‘View’. To open the ‘View’ tool, left-mouse click on the top blue square that says ‘View’.

At the bottom of the ‘View’ menu, notice that there is a rectangular button that says ‘Current Image’. By clicking on the ‘Current Image’ button, the current view of the Google Map will begin to download. Once the download is complete, the Internet Explorer browser will ask if you want to OPEN or SAVE the image.

If you choose ‘SAVE’, you’ll have the option of saving the image in the file folder of your choosing. If you instead choose ‘OPEN’, the image is opened immediately in the Windows Photo Viewer if you’re using a PC. In choosing this option, the image will also automatically be stored in your ‘Downloads’ folder on your hard drive.

Please note, the default file extension for these Google Map image downloads is a *png file. The *png file type has a resolution that’s a bit more crisp than a *jpg and is just as universal.

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Video Quick Tips – How do I access a parcel’s detail page?

One of the enhancements of the new ParcelQuest Online is the ability to view the list or parcel detail along with the Google Map.

There are two (2) ways to open a parcel’s detail page.

The first is from the Google Interactive Map. Simply click on the drop pin that corresponds with the parcel that you’re looking for. You’ll see a pop-up box appear. By clicking on the APN # within the pop-up box, the list view below the map will transition to that specific parcel’s detail page.

The other way to open a parcel’s detail page is to locate the parcel you’re looking for within the list view. First, you’ll want to make sure that the display type is in ‘List View’. You’ll notice that each parcel has a corresponding ID#. Click on the ID # for the parcel that you’re looking for, and the list view will transition to the detail page for that particular parcel.

Thanks for watching!

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Paul Cowdery presents to CLSA’s Northern Counties Chapter


Paul Cowdery, Director of Sales and Business Development at ParcelQuest, has spoken at a variety of public engagements on various topics related to California property issues. More recently, Paul has engaged several customer audiences on the history of the property assessment process and the recent impact of the real estate market crash. Because of ParcelQuest’s unique relationship with CA County Assessors and the daily process that ParcelQuest uses to standardize and analyze the property tax roll data provided by the counties, we’re in a unique position to understand actual effects of the new ‘Prop-13 and Prop-8 paradigm’.

Most are familiar with Proposition 13 that passed in 1978 that limits property assessment increases to 2% annually regardless of market behavior. For much of the last 30 years, it’s represented a collective ‘win-win’ for state agencies and property owners. Agencies could enjoy revenue growth from small yearly property tax increases while both residential and commercial property owners could count on property tax stability. The real estate crash of 2007 changed all of this. It ushered in an era of uncertainty and, more importantly, it created the ‘event driven assessment process’. Proposition 8 (also passed in 1978) allows for reductions in assessed value ‘if a property’s value has been reduced by economic conditions’. In the 36 years since the passage Props-13 and 8, economic conditions have almost NEVER had a statewide impact on assessed values – until now.

For the first time since 1978, a large portion of California’s property tax revenue is tied to fluctuations in the real estate market. But almost no one understands why this new reality has occurred or knows what to expect in the future. Furthermore, after 33 years of highly predictable revenue, many are scrambling for insight into what makes some assessment values fluctuate while others remain stable, whether or not there is still a measure of predictability to this revenue source, and how long budgets will be subject to market forces.

In his presentation to the Northern Counties Chapter of C.L.S.A (CA Land Surveyors Assocition), Paul does an excellent job of breaking it all down and helps us understand how this once (somewhat) simple and straightforward process has become so complicated – and what it all means!

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This video tutorial is the third and final in our series geared towards basic searching examples and looking at the different ways you can get to the Navigator map. In this video, we’ll look at how the Geography search works.

  • For this search, you have two options for bringing up the map. There is the Section, Township and Range lookup or a search by latitude and longitude.
  • Either of these search types can be helpful in locating a parcel if you do not know its typical information such as the APN, address or owner name.
  • You also may just enjoy working with maps and finding things the old fashioned way. If so, the Geography search is for you.
  • Let’s start by seeing how the Section, Township and Range search works. First we’ll choose an option from each drop down box including the meridian where the parcel is located. For this example, let’s go with Section 35 in Township 11N and Range 11E in the Mount Diablo Meridian.
  • You should now see the red section outline showing up on the map. You can also click on the pushpin to verify the location information as well as link to the corresponding BLM maps.
  • Finally, let’s locate the parcel we were looking for and activate it.
  • The other search option you have is using latitude and longitude coordinates. There are several format choices available, which are shown to the right of the search area as well as in the user guide, but for this example let’s use decimal degrees. (38.758275, -120.709190)
  • Now when the map comes up, you should get a pushpin showing where the coordinates intersect.
  • As we did in our last search, let’s activate our subject parcel by clicking where the pushpin is located and verify the owner.

Thanks for watching!

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