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House Title Search

Doing a house title search is one of the easiest ways to get your purchase started. It takes only a few minutes, on most county databases, and only requires basic computer skills. It’s also a good way to lessen the intimidation that most people feel when dealing with home purchases and the accompanying paperwork. Doing a house title search will familiarize you with the various agencies you’ll need to speak with to get other information as your purchase moves forward, and will provide some peace of mind.

Most of the information about any given property is public record. This is simply for transparency: to establish to the public that taxes and other county and municipal laws are applied fairly and without discrimination. A house title search can be executed in most county databases. Over the years, most counties have converted their older, written records to digital formats, simply because it’s so much easier to get information when it’s needed. For you, this means that doing a search will involve little more than opening up a web browser, in the vast majority of cases.

Be sure you have the correct, legal address before you do a house title search. This may seem obvious, but sometimes the address on the house isn’t really the legal address. There are some areas, particularly rural areas, where houses may not have proper addresses and where they may be, instead, listed according to box numbers. You’ll have to check with the county to see if this is the address you should use in your house title search. You can usually search by owner, as well. The reason for doing this is to protect yourself against risks. When you understand those risks, you’ll understand the value of taking care of this issue.

A house title search may come up with some red flags. A major one is when the name listed as the owner of the property differs from the person that you’ve been talking to about buying the property. There are legitimate reasons that this may be the case, but it has to be cleared up before you move any further along in the deal. The house title search may also pull up outdated records. Be sure that the correct changes to the title have been made if there is a divorce involved or if someone simply changed their name.

If you really don’t want to do the house title search yourself, you can use a realtor. Realize, however, that this may entail fees and other expenses that you can avoid by doing it on your own. After you’ve completed your house title search, you’ll have the option of getting official paperwork from the county. This may be good for your peace of mind. However, if the county database says the property legitimately belongs to the person with whom you’re dealing, that’s usually enough to move forward with the deal safely. Any questions about ownership, however, need to be answered before proceeding.

Find out more about How to Do a Property Title Search and read about Land Title Search.

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