Real Estate

Auditor's Role

The Auditor is the Overseer of the County Plats. A copy of all documents dealing with the transfer of real estate recorded in the Recorder’s office is given to the Auditor’s office. Each document is proofed for accuracy and chain of title. The document is then entered into the transfer record.

Plat and transfer records are maintained showing the ownership of all parcels of land for taxation purposes.

The Auditor may cause subdivisions to be platted when necessary.


Most counties have plat maps. On/in these plats you can find the ownership of the land/lot, the dimensions of your lot (this mainly pertains to city lots), and the name of a given subdivision.

Copies of new surveys/subdivisions plats that are filed are drawn on the maps along with the recorded dimensions, acreage, and road right of way.

Some counties provide plat maps/books for sale. Prices vary by county. View details on plat maps/books available from your County Auditor.

Some counties also have plat maps on the web. Find out if your County offers this service.


Most counties have Zoning codes in place. Contact your local County Zoning Officer to discover what Zoning ordinances might affect you.

Homestead and/or Military Credits

To find out if you have filed for the local Homestead and/or Military credits, search for information on this website, contact your County Auditor, or contact your County Assessor.

New Construction or Remodeling Tax Breaks

Some counties and/or cities may offer some kind of tax break for new construction or remodeling. Check with your local Assessor for county information or the local City Clerk if you are inside the city limits.

Manure Management Plans

Manure Management plans can be found in your local Auditor’s office.

Historical Information

Real Estate records in most counties date back to the 1800s. People pass through the local courthouses each year to research their genealogy. Old school house sites are sometimes notated on the plats, along with cemeteries, abandoned railroads, and roads.

Some counties may have historical information regarding their courthouse or County. Check with your local Auditor’s office for the availability of this type of history.

Historical Maps and Atlases

Iowa Counties Historic Atlases


Real Estate Statewide Search

Statewide County Assessors Website
Find the name and phone number of your County Assessor, residential sale search, commercial sale search, and property report cards.

Statewide County Recorders Website
Find the name and phone number of your County Recorder, copies of deeds/mortgages, and selling price of the property.

Search for local attorneys.

County Treasurers
Iowa State County Treasurers Association - for 88 County Treasurers

Iowa Tax and Tags - for 11 County Treasurers
On this website, you can find the name and phone number of your County Treasurer, pay property taxes, find current-year tax information, and renew tags for your vehicles.

County Engineers/Roads Department
Find your local County Engineer and staff along with contact information.

Abstract Companies
Here you will find a list of Abstract Companies in the State (not all entities that do abstracting are listed, only those that are members of the Iowa Land Title Association).

State Land Surveyors
This website provides a list of licensed Surveyors in the State of Iowa and anything you ever wanted to know about land surveying.


What is a legal description?

A legal description is a description of real estate that is used in legal documents such as abstracts, deeds, mortgages, etc. For example: “Lot One (1) in Frank’s Subdivision, Mason City, Iowa”.

What offices at the county are involved in the assessment and taxation of real estate?

The County Assessor, Auditor, and Treasurer are part of the tax cycle in that, in general, each has various administrative responsibilities for a given assessment year. In addition, the County Recorder records various real estate documents, including subdivision plats, mortgages, surveys, and conveyances such as deeds, etc.

What are the real estate responsibilities of the County Auditor?

While practices vary between Counties, in general, the County Auditor has the following statutory responsibilities:

Meet Our Auditors

Clayton County

Jennifer Garms
Elkader, Iowa

Auditor Information

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