5 Common Issues that May Turn Up During a Title Search

The process of purchasing a home can be quite complicated, but one step that many people really don’t understand is the title search. While it may appear that it is a waste of time and money, nothing could be further from the truth. When done properly, a title search can discover a number of issues that could save you from significant problems in both the short term and down the road. The following five issues are surprisingly common, and learning about them prior to finalizing the deal can save you a lot of heartache.

Liens on the Property

Most people think that when they purchase a home the only lien they need to worry about is the one associated with their mortgage. The fact is, however, that in many cases liens from prior owners can still be in effect even after you’ve made the purchase. This is most common when purchasing homes in foreclosure or other types of distressed properties.

Unknown Heirs

If the prior owner of a home you are interested passed away and you are looking to purchase it from their heirs, you need to know that everything is in proper order. If one of the heirs was missing or never notified, for example, they may maintain rights to the property even years after you moved in.

Disputed Boundary

Title searches will find previous surveys and boundaries that were done by either the owners of the home, or the neighbors. Even if you had your own survey done prior to buying, learning about any potential disputed boundaries early on is very important. While boundary disputes today are typically for a fairly small amount of land—inches in some cases—they can be extremely burdensome. Getting any boundary disputes taken care of prior to purchasing the property can help you to avoid a lot of difficulty down the road.

Public Record Errors

While the vast majority of public records are accurate, no system is perfect. Millions of deeds, surveys and other documents are filed each year and it is understandable that mistakes can sometimes happen. If the mistake is impacting your property or rights, however, it can still cost you a lot of time and money to get them sorted out. It is much safer to learn about these issues now rather than some point in the future.

Illegal Deeds

This is an issue most people don’t think about, but actually happens with surprising frequency. If the deed to your property was once held by an undocumented immigrant, for example, it can cause some issues. Even something as simple as an owner in the past having claimed to be single when they were actually married can cause issues. Getting any illegal deeds sorted out and corrected now is going to save you a lot of trouble later.

While it may seem like a hassle now, having a title search performed on your property is well worth the effort, and usually required by your lending company if you are mortgaging the home. It will also make it easier for you to get the title insurance you need. If you’d like to learn more about title searches, or if you are in need of having a comprehensive title search conducted on a property, contact the Law Office of Ray Garcia today to learn how we can help.