If you go to the website www.whois.com you can enter the domain name and get information about who ones it. If you don`t find what you are looking for there, you can also try going to www.register.com or www.networksolutions.com . After you put in the domain name you want and it comes up unavailable, you can opt to make an offer on it or back order it.
If you are not actually planning on building your website for a while, you might want to just back order. This leaves a standing order, should the current owner fail to renew their registration.
Best of luck.
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