You’ve finally taken the big step to buy a new home! As your real estate agent, I will always have your best interest at heart. That’s why it’s important to consider title insurance. Your home may be new to you, but every property has a history. So it’s better to play it safe.
A title search can help uncover title defects tied to your property. And, subject to the terms of the policy, your title insurance may provide you with protection from title problems discovered after you close your transaction. @RealSafeTitle shares 10 reasons why every homeowner needs title insurance and some of the common title issues.
1 – ERRORS IN PUBLIC RECORDS
To err is human, but when it affects your homeownership
rights, those mistakes can be devastating. Clerical or filing
errors could affect the deed or survey of your property and
cause undo financial strain in order to resolve them.
2 – UNKNOWN LIENS
Prior owners of your property may not have been
meticulous bookkeepers — or bill payers. And even
though the former debt is not your own, banks or other
financing companies can place liens on your property for
unpaid debts even after you have closed on the sale. This
is an especially worrisome issue with distressed properties.
3 – ILLEGAL DEEDS
While the chain of title on your property may appear
perfectly sound, it’s possible that a prior deed was made
by an undocumented immigrant, a minor, a person of
unsound mind, or one who is reported single but in
actuality married. These instances may affect the
enforceability of prior deeds, affecting prior (and possibly present) ownership.
4 – MISSING HEIRS
When a person dies, the ownership of his home may fall
to his heirs, or those named-within his will. However,
those heirs are sometimes missing or unknown at the
time of death. Other times, family members may contest
the will for their own property rights. These scenarios —
which can happen long after you have purchased the
property — could affect your rights to the property.
5 – FORGERIES
Unfortunately, we don’t live in a completely honest
world. Sometimes forged or fabricated documents that
affect property ownership are filed within public records,
obscuring the rightful ownership of the property. Once
these forgeries come to light, your rights to your home
may be in jeopardy.
6 – UNDISCOVERED ENCUMBRANCES
When it comes to owning a home, three can be a crowd.
At the time of purchase, you may not know that a third
party holds a claim to all or part of your property — due to
a former mortgage or lien, or non-financial claims, like
restrictions or covenants limiting the use of your property.
7 – UNKNOWN EASEMENTS
You may own your new home and its surrounding land,
but an unknown easement may prohibit you from using
it as you’d like, or could allow government agencies,
businesses or other parties’ access to all or portions of your property.
8 – BOUNDARY/SURVEY DISPUTES
You may have seen several surveys of your property
prior to purchasing, however, other surveys may exist
that show differing boundaries. Therefore, a neighbor
or other party may be able to claim ownership to a
portion of your property.
9 – UNDISCOVERED WILL
When a property owner dies with no apparent will or
heir, the state may sell his or her assets, including the
home. When you purchase such a home, you assume
your rights as owner. However, even years later, the
deceased owner’s will may come to light and your
rights to the property may be seriously jeopardized.
10 – FALSE IMPERSONATION OF
Common and similar names can make it possible to
falsely “impersonate” a property owner. If you purchase
a home that was once sold by a false owner, you risk losing your
legal claim to the property.
PLAY IT SAFE
These and other issues are often covered by an owner’s policy of title
insurance. When you buy a home, make sure you’re protecting that
investment with title insurance.
Want to learn more? Contact @realsafetitile