Foreclosures in Santa Cruz, Title Searches and Title Insurance

Posted by Lauren Spencer on Monday, November 9th, 2009 at 7:13am.

When you’re looking to buy a home, and especially when you’re looking at foreclosures in Santa Cruz or anywhere else, title searches are important.

Many buyers make the mistake of settling for a quitclaim deed without doing a title search. Unfortunately, the person who signs the quitclaim deed may not be the actual person holding the title. If there are any liens on the title, the new owner may get an unpleasant surprise at closing. With foreclosures in Santa Cruz, the possibility that there is a lien on the title is even greater.

What is a title search?

Title searches are performed by title companies or lawyers. These companies and attorneys search the public records for information on the property’s ownership. The goal is to find out if there are any problems with the title.

What kind of information can a title search give you?

A complete title search will cover such things as:

• How many mortgages the property has
• Any liens, such as judgments or mortgages, on the property
• Taxes owed on the property

The purpose, other than finding current information, is to establish chain-of-title - who owned the property at what time, who they sold it to and so on. Title companies look for proof that any encumbrances have been taken care of, as well as easements, rights-of-way and anything else that can affect the title.

Why get title insurance?

Most title companies also offer title insurance. Title insurance, depending on the company, provides a guarantee that the title is clear, as well as insuring that you can’t be held accountable for forgery, fraud, defective records or incorrect signatures that occurred before you received the title. It also guarantees that there is no encumbrance or judgment on the property.

Foreclosures in Santa Cruz are a good bet for a great home or investment property. However, make sure you know what you’re getting by having a title search done. As well, spend the money on that one-time fee for title insurance. It may be the best investment you’ve ever made!

Thinking of buying a home?  Let me guide you easily through the entire process, from negotiating the price to having a title search performed to signing your closing papers.  Call me today at 831.662.6522 or email me at



Quitclaim deed

Chain of title

Title insurance

About Lauren Spencer

Award-Winning Santa Cruz REALTOR®

Lauren Spencer is your local real estate expert, specializing in Santa Cruz real estate and surrounding communities—this is where she lives, works, and plays too. Let her know your questions about the community and county and she'll be happy to fill you in on all you want to know! Lauren Spencer has consistently been voted best local REALTOR in Santa Cruz and is always happy to offer her advice and expertise. Call her at: 800.226.4717.

Join Lauren On Social Media

Leave a Comment