We wanted to send out a helpful guide regarding some recent confusion around Assessor Parcel Number (APN) formatting. Our hope is that this post can assist anyone that runs into the extremely common issue of APNs showing up looking incorrect, missing digits, or showing up in scientific notation.
For background, all property data, including the APNs, comes directly from DataTree. DataTree gets their data either directly from the County Assessor's Office, or from an upstream data source (i.e CoreLogic, Black Knight, etc). When we pull the data from them, we do not modify or manipulate the APNs in any way. We take all of this data, price it, organize it, and deliver it to you in a group of CSV files.
Where things become tricky is when these CSV files are opened in Microsoft Excel. Excel is designed to auto-format certain cells to create ease of use. In the case of these APNs, however, this can cause a bit of a headache for land investors. There are two primary cases we have seen that should be noted:
APN being formatted into scientific notation. Excel has a limit of 15 numbers for any cell, so any APN that extends beyond this will be formatted into scientific notation. We have put together a video on how to fix this HERE.