Potential Title Problems When You Buy a Home

If you’re buying a home for sale in Lakewood, Long Beach or elsewhere, you’ll have to have a title search performed - your lender will require it.

But what kinds of problems can a title search uncover, and what should you do if anything unexpected pops up?

Potential Title Problems When You Buy a Home

During the title search, the title company will search through local property records to look for any issues that might affect your ownership of the home. They’re looking for any avenue someone could use to challenge your right to own and occupy it - and if they find issues, your transaction will be put on hold until they’re resolved.

Some problems the title search company looks for include:

  • Disputes over wills. If someone inherited the home and then sold it, other heirs may contest the will and claim ownership of the property.

  • Liens. Unpaid debts lead to liens against the home.

  • Clerical errors in court documents. Even small errors can cause big problems when it comes to the transfer of title.

  • Fraudulent claims against the property. Forgeries and fabricated documents can throw a wrench in your home-buying plans.

  • Missing heirs. When a missing heir shows up and wants the house, title insurance protects you.

  • Illegal transfers of title. Previous contracts made by people who can’t enter contracts equal big trouble - sometimes minors, persons of unsound mind, or even people who said they were single when they were actually married can grind your transaction to a halt.

  • Encumbrances. If a third party holds a claim to all or part of the home, that’s an issue that needs to be resolved before you can move forward.

  • Unknown easements. Sometimes an easement will prevent you from using the property the way you want to, or it could allow businesses, government agencies or other parties to access your property.

  • Boundary or survey disputes. Surveys other than those you’ve seen may exist - and those need to be resolved before you can buy the house.

  • An undiscovered will. Sometimes an owner dies with no will or heir, and the state sells the home. However, a deceased owner’s will can later come to light (as can an heir), and your ownership could be challenged.

  • False impersonation of a previous owner. Sometimes shady people impersonate a property owner. If you buy a house that was ever sold by someone pretending to be the owner (but who really wasn’t), you could be at risk of losing your claim on the home.

Are You Buying a Home in Lakewood or Long Beach?

If you’re buying a home in Lakewood or Long Beach, we can help. Call us at 562-882-1581. Tell us what you want from your next home and we’ll start searching for it right away. 

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