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How to Know if the Title to Your New Home is CleanHow to Know if the Title to Your New Home is Clean

How to Know if the Title to Your New Home is Clean

24 May 2019

The only way to know for sure that the title to the house you are purchasing is clean, is to hire a title company and have them run a title search. During the title search process, your title company will uncover any discrepancies with the title in order for them to be able to fix those issues. However, even a thorough title search is no guarantee that there will not be issues affecting your property. In order to be fully protected, you will need your title company to issue a title insurance policy so that if problems arise during the transfer of ownership of the property, there is no financial loss as a result.

The Advantages of Title Insurance

When it comes to title insurance, numerous benefits come with it; one of which is the peace of mind that it gives you, allowing you to rest assured, knowing that you are protected if a dispute against the title to your property arises. Title insurance allows you to trust that the money you are investing in your new house will be safe in the unfortunate event of a dispute.

Another advantage of having title insurance is that you only have to pay a one-time, upfront fee to obtain it, and you will remain protected so long as you or your heirs own the home you purchased. During your ownership of the property, title insurance will protect you from the costs of defending against any matter covered by the policy, should any challenges to the title arise.

Types of Title Insurance

There are two types of title insurance:

  • Owner’s Title Insurance
  • Lender’s Title Insurance

As a real estate owner, you can choose to purchase title insurance for yourself or not. Lenders, however, will usually require that you purchase a lender’s title insurance policy. Although the decision to purchase owner’s title insurance is yours to make, keep in mind that finding yourself in the midst of a title dispute without the protections provided by a strong title insurance policy could leave you to face major losses. As a property owner, you must have title insurance to help protect what is probably the biggest investment you have ever made.

What Does “Unclean Title” Mean?

“Unclean title” usually means that the title to a property has unpaid taxes through the last taxable period in its record or any other defects of this kind.

When it comes to transferring title to a property, simple errors in public records can cause severe problems. These types of mistakes are astonishingly easy to make, and a simple filing error can greatly affect the deed or survey of your property. Similarly, forged or fabricated documents are sometimes filed within public records, which can easily obscure the rightful owner of any property. When these forgeries become known, they may put your rights to your property at risk.

It is also possible for there to be a lien on your property of which you are not aware. Most of the time, this occurs when the previous owner has unpaid debts and the bank or other financing entity put a lien on the property.

When it comes to buying a house, there is always a possibility for there to be heirs that are missing or unknown at the time of death of the previous owner, and they may claim ownership of your property. These types of cases can be especially complicated because they usually occur years after you have purchased the property. If the owner of a property dies and there is no known will or heirs, the property may be sold under the laws of intestacy. However, even after you have purchased this property, if a will made by the deceased owner arises or heirs appear, there may be disputes over your right to own and use the property. When it comes to defending yourself against wills or heirs of previous owners, title insurance is your best option.

Choosing a Title Company

Deciding which title company to go with can be a little overwhelming. A good way to narrow down your options is to focus on title companies that have a legal background. A title company with legal experience provides the expert knowledge you need to ensure that the process of buying a house and obtaining title insurance for it is as smooth and efficient as possible.

Reach out to Marina Title for more information about title searches and all the other services we provide. Call us at (305) 901-5628 or send us an email to info@marinatitle.com to schedule an initial consultation with one of our title experts.

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