The real estate market, as of late, has been on fire — but that’s no reason to skip your due diligence when buying a home for your family or some other piece of property.
In a hot housing market, it’s tempting to throw caution to the winds — but that can lead to major problems in the future and significant financial losses.
Areas of concern in a title search
Naturally, you want to make sure that you’re doing business with the property’s true owner and that the title is free and clear of liens or other common encumbrances.
However, you also need to do a little deep digging to look for other potential problems. This means:
- Looking at any annexation agreements. These spell out a property’s rights and obligations under a municipality’s specific codes These can have an effect on everything from utility service to taxes.
- Cost-sharing agreements with adjacent property owners. These may extend from a time when prior owners agreed to jointly build a road to their remote properties or to install a fence as boundary. These agreements can often be terminated upon agreement before a sale.
- Easements that allow others to use the property. This could be anything from a driveway shared with a neighbor to cut-through rights that allow strangers to walk through your property on their way to a public area.
- Issues with the mineral rights. Sometimes, mineral rights are sold separately from the surface land — and you don’t want to find out after you buy a home that you don’t own the assets below the surface.
As you can see, researching a title and doing your due diligence before buying property is neither quick nor easy. Having experienced legal guidance along the way can help you avoid a major mistake.