Possible Title Search Discoveries
Purchasing a home is one of the most significant investments many people ever make, and being aware of possible title search discoveries is a good idea. However, the discovery of certain matters during the title search can deflate your excitement. Often, anything found needs resolving to finalize purchasing the home. Below we have reported some of the matters that can appear in a title search.
Existing Liens Against the Property
One possible title search discovery includes a lien against the property. A property lien is a legal claim against the property’s value obtained for securing a debt. Therefore, a lien can give the lienholder the ability to possess or repossess the property if the debt goes unpaid.
Some types of liens include:
- Property tax liens: Local, state, and federal municipalities can levy these for the failure of the homeowner to pay their taxes. Once they are filed against the property, the homeowner has a short period to satisfy the lien before the property goes into foreclosure.
- Judgment liens: These liens happen from a court’s judgment to ensure a judgment or settlement is satisfied. This lien remains until the homeowner settles the lien.
- Mechanic liens: These happen when someone has performed work or supplied materials for work on the home and has not received payment for their services.
- Homeowners Association (HOA) liens: Homes in a community requiring homeowner dues can have the homeowners association file a lien when fees go unpaid.
Another common title search discovery includes the area of encroachments. For example, homeowners often build fences or plant trees without ensuring exactly where the property lines are. Then if both homeowners have a working relationship, the neighbor of the encroaching property may allow the fence or tree to remain.
Unfortunately, once the property goes on the market, this will need addressing. Sometimes the encroached item can remain. As a result, the matter will need confirmation in writing and recording in an encroachment agreement at closing.
A title search may also reveal any restrictive covenants. Many communities under HOAs or neighborhood restrictions have covenants that govern numerous matters within their community. In turn, restrictions place limitations on what you are and are unable to do with your property. Additionally, restrictive covenants are usually tightly enforced and often help to maintain property values. Also, they do this by maintaining a certain sense of unity.
Some of the types of restrictive covenants include:
- What color house paint you can use
- Location of your outdoor garbage container
- An approved list of pets
- What type of landscaping you can have
- What type of mailbox did you put up
- Types of fencing and outbuildings that are approved
- Where your visitor’s park
- Noise levels
- How early you can mow your grass
Make sure you are reviewing any restrictive covenants closely. These are binding legal documents. Sometimes, the fines and fees for violations of these covenants can be hefty.
Crossland Title help discover some of these potential hurdles by performing your title search. With nearly 40 years of experience, we are long-standing experts in this field. Finally, we look forward to helping you with all of your title search and insurance needs.
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