Property Title Search Maryland
When would you get a property title search?
Property title searches are most commonly performed during the closing process, after a buyer has made an offer on a house but before ownership has formally transferred from seller to buyer. To get a better understanding of property title search in Maryland, contact Capitol Title Group, we have delivered excellent customer service and professional property searches over the years.
There are other circumstances that would warrant a property title search outside of the closing period; for instance, with investment properties. If you’re an investor and a seller is offering you a property at a steep discount because they’re in a financial hardship, you should probably pay a title company to do a quick search to make sure there aren’t any liens or encumbrances on the title.
What sources are used in a property title search?
A property title search looks at:
- County land records
- Federal and state tax liens
- Divorce cases
- Child support cases
- Bankruptcy records
- Financial judgments
What happens if issues surface during the title search?
A property title search in Maryland may uncover one or more problems with the title. Here are some common title issues, along with corresponding strategies to resolve them:
- Break in the chain of title – This issue can appear when there is a missing deed in the chain. It can be resolved by obtaining the deeds of the missing link.
- Improper or missing legal description on the deed – Depending on the nature of the error, this typically requires getting a corrected deed from the same parties to fix the error.
- Potential missing interests – When the title chain includes a transfer via an estate, it’s essential to make sure any heirs have properly relinquished their interests in the property.
- Open security deeds – The title search may uncover an open security deed from the current or prior owner that was never released.
- Liens – A lien is a legal right or claim on a property that is commonly used as collateral to fulfill a debt. A title search will often identify potential liens on a property. These will require extra research to learn if the lien has expired, if it is possibly not actually for a party in the chain of title or if it is a valid lien that needs to be paid.
- Unpaid property taxes – Any outstanding property or “ad valorem” taxes, which are based on the assessed value of the home, will need to be paid before transferring the title to the new owner.
If one of these issues or another is found, homebuyers generally have three options, depending on what’s allowed in their purchase contract
- Ask the seller to resolve the issue before closing.
- Ask the seller to compensate the buyer for the cost to fix the issue.
- Walk away from the deal and receive a refund of their deposit.
When You Are Under Contract
After you make an offer on a home and it is accepted by the current owners, you are under contract. At this point, you need to purchase title insurance. You, as the buyer, will purchase owner’s title insurance, and your lender may purchase lender’s title insurance. Your policy should be the amount you will pay for your home. Your policy covers you for the length of your ownership.
Title Search Process
A title company, such as Capitol Title, will then conduct a property title search in Maryland. First, your title company will conduct an in-depth search of public records. The jurisdiction, property judgments and liens may result in a number of filings in public records, so this process is challenging. The title company has to evaluate every filing. They also need to search for the property in a number of ways, including the street address, owner’s name, lot number and the buyer’s name.
Established title companies often have large databases with indexed data that help them with these searches. They also typically have systematic processes to ensure that the search is thorough and accurate.
At the end of the property title search in Maryland, the title company has to evaluate every filing. Like Capitol Title, your title company may find multiple entries about your property. For example, they may uncover information about the different mortgages on the property, including those that have been paid in full. These professionals may also uncover sewer and street assessments, easements, encroachments, levies and other issues that may delay your closing.
New Construction Purchases
You may think that a property title search in Maryland on vacant land should be quick and easy. However, if you are purchasing land for new construction, that land has still likely had multiple owners, mortgages, etc. It may have been zoned for a specific type of use. In addition, if previous construction or work has been done on the property in the past, the service providers may have placed liens on the property.
The Legwork You may not See
As the buyer, you will not be conducting this research yourself. The work that your title company does is rarely seen. Therefore, you may not know about all the issues your title company clears before closing. These individuals strive to eliminate any challenges that could increase the financial risks they take when insuring a title. However, if a more difficult issue is found, your title company will discuss it with you.
Navigating the steps for a successful property purchase can be a difficult task. Capitol Title Group has many resources for buyers and sellers so that they can complete a transaction successfully.
Capitol Title, which began in 1973 has provided settlement services for clients just like you that appreciate the value and assurances that a lawyer owned and service oriented company offers. Capitol Title has a staff of experienced and professionally trained lawyers, settlement offices and coordinators who are devoted to the higher standards of service and share their commitment of professional excellence.
Each of these professionals will listen to you and strive to understand your concerns, our experience helps us recognize that you have specific needs and you need us to respond to your needs in ways that are tailored to what you need. We are distinguished by a record in achieving these objectives and we have earned a most favorable reputation in the real estate community. Our favorable reputation has been rewarded with a successful grid and the satisfaction that is found in exceeding our clients expectations.
Capitol Title is affiliated with the law firm of Goldstein and Levy PA, which acts as a general counsel and provides consulting services and support the capital title and its clientele.
If you have found your next home, and you know that you want it, then you’re probably excited. However the joy of finding your next house can be tempered by the stress that is the steps of purchasing a house. You have the offer, you have closing, you have so much to do to protect both yourself and the lender that is giving you money.
So one of the things that you need to do is obtain an inspection of the home that you’re interested in, have the home appraised and of course conduct the property title search. But just what is a property title search? When you are buying a home from a seller, it’s safe to assume that the seller has permission to sell the home. This is not always the case however, this assumption can lead to heartbreaking consequences because if somebody can claim or lien on the property, they can show up and do so.
A property title search is an examination of public records on the property to ensure that the property’s rightful legal owners are who are selling it to you. This public search will also show you any liens or other claims to the home.
When you are interested in doing a property title search in Maryland then you should reach out to a real estate company, such as Capitol Title to ensure that all of your concerns are met and assuaged. Once you find out who owns the property that you want to buy, you should know it’s only the first step. The current owner might not even be aware of an old claim against the property, and any debt of the previous owners may come back to haunt you because the debt follows the property.
So if you reach out to a real estate agency and work with them they can help you to ensure that you are able to get the home that you want without taking on anyone else’s debt or purchasing the home illegally from someone who is not the owner.
Feel free to reach out to Capitol Title today about all of your property title searches in Maryland.
Types of Title Insurance
There are two different types of title insurance that can be purchased:
- Owner’s title insurance – This type of title insurance protects the buyer/owner of the property.
- Mortgagee’s title insurance – This type of title insurance protects the lender (mortgage holder) from future claims to ownership of the mortgaged property.
What Are Some of the Issues that May Affect the Title?
The following are some of the more common reasons why property owners should speak with a Maryland property title search company about title insurance:
- Boundary disputes – There are situations where different property surveys show different boundaries, and these can turn into contentious boundary disputes between neighbors.
- Forgeries – Criminal acts of forging an owner’s signature in order to sell a property by an individual who does not have the right to sell could put the buyer/new owner’s rights to the property in jeopardy.
- Fraud – Similar to forgery, there are situations where a party impersonates a property owner and sells the property to an unsuspecting buyer. Title insurance from a Maryland property title search company can protect the buyer if they lose their legal claim to the property.
- Missing heirs or undiscovered wills – If a property owner dies, the home may pass to their heirs, however, there are situations where the next of kin’s location is unknown. There are also instances where it is believed that a deceased owner did not have a will, only to have one show up sometime in the future after the property has already been disposed of. In either of these scenarios, the current property owner’s rights to the property could be seriously at stake.
- Prior unknown liens – If any prior owner had unpaid bills that caused the creditors to place a lien against the property, this could still have an impact on a current owner. This is a common issue in foreclosed/distressed properties.
- Public records error – Although not common, errors do happen, and these errors could impact the rights of a property owner.
- Unknown easements – Discovering an unknown easement could leave a new owner unable to use the property they now own in the way they had planned to use it.
Feel free to reach out to Capitol Title today about all of your property title searches in Maryland.
Property Title Search Maryland
New homeowners often don’t know that when it comes to a property title search in Maryland, there are many myths and misconceptions out there. Despite title insurance being one of the ways to protect yourself when buying a home, many people just don’t use it.
There are many expenses that homeowners have to go through, like paying mortgage fees, closing costs, taxes, and other types of insurance, but title insurance is often left out because it feels unnecessary and just another expense. This isn’t the case, and that is just one misconception out there.
Misconceptions About Title Insurance
Here are some of the most common misconceptions about title insurance that people have:
Title Insurance is a Waste of Money
By far, the biggest misconception out there is that title insurance is a waste of money. You are putting money into doing a title search that is supposed to reveal any potential defects in the title, right? So why would you need to have a separate insurance policy to cover the title that was just researched and cleared?
Sadly, even the more thorough title search can miss a few things. Things like a fraudulent transfer may not be reflected in the title’s history or even a previously undiscovered heir may come forward even years after what appears to be a normal transfer of property in probate. The insurance is there to protect you from anything that could have been missed. Most people will never have to use it, but there is always a chance it can happen.
Title Insurance Isn’t Need for New Lots or Property
Even if your home is brand new or you are simply purchasing a lot, doesn’t mean that the land hasn’t transferred hands a number of times. The same potential mistakes, like lost heirs, can happen even if the home is new.
There are other issues that can pop up too. Construction contractors and subcontractors might lodge mechanics’ liens and those liens may not show up in a title search until after the purchase has been completed. This could easily affect the use of your property.
Title Insurance is an Ongoing Monthly Expense
Title insurance isn’t like other types of insurance as there isn’t an ongoing monthly expense. It has to do with the nature of this insurance, which can be called backward-looking. Most policies are protecting you against future events, such as a car accident or a medical emergency. Title insurance isn’t like that. It is looking at events that have already happened and protecting you against them.
This makes title insurance a onetime only payment. It is made at the sale’s closing and it protects you for as long as you own your home.
With so many misconceptions out there, it can be hard to know if title insurance is right for you. The best way to know is to talk to a title company. If you are looking for more information about a property title search in Maryland, then reach out to the team at Capitol Title Group today for more information.