Every property has a history — be aware of what your new home may be hiding before you buy.
More than one-third of all real estate transactions require “extraordinary work” to fix title issues. Monarch Title Company examines public records from the past several decades to find any problems that would keep you from owning your new home. No matter how big or small, the issue(s) must be corrected before the sale can go through. These issues can also pop up years down the road, which can cause your ownership to be called into question. Here are some of the common issues that we find during a title search.
Public Record Errors
Public record errors can come up as filing or clerical errors, or even incomplete documentation that will create problems with the property deed or survey of the property. These record discrepancies could result in the correct value for your home not being recorded, impacting a potential loan amount or property taxes. Monarch’s expert researchers know how to accurately find potential problems and fix them quickly should they arise.
Missing Rightful Heir
Sometimes the property was willed to a family member or friend that is difficult to find. The property was then sold without the knowledge of the rightful heir, and they can come forward and challenge your ownership to the property at any point in time.
Liens can be placed on the property by banks and other financial institutions, or by mechanics and people providing service to the property. These liens ensure that people or institutions are fully paid for the services they provide. The previous owner of the house might not have paid these bills off properly, which can cause the closing to be delayed, or these bills to exponentially increase.
There may be differing surveys detailing the boundary between you and your neighbor, or an overlap in the land between the two properties. These boundary differences can create problems with the property’s deed, and end up with your neighbors having the rights to your property if not fixed properly.
If the last person who owned the property filed for bankruptcy at some point, this could impact if you can close on your home. This could cause your new home to be lost due to a court decision in the previous owner’s bankruptcy process.
Easements can turn up at any point while you own your home, allowing other people or businesses to use your property. At Monarch Title Company, will can find if there are any easements for your property before there is a dispute of your property rights.
Forgery and Fraud
If forged documents are brought up after you sign on your home, you may lose ownership of your property. Commonly, this happens when someone else obtains the title of your home, through identity theft, and changes the owner of the home from your name to theirs. They are then able to secure loans using your home as collateral and not pay them back, putting your home at risk for foreclosure.
These common problems are often time and money consuming when not caught by our title experts before closing on your home. Investing in title insurance for a one-time fee is the easiest way to avoid these headaches weeks, or even years, down the road.