The Santa Cruz home which you’re preparing to buy (or the land on which the home was built) was most likely owned by several other people before you. If there was ever a problem with the property title, it could cause you trouble.
Avoid ownership concerns down the road by understanding problems that may occur with the property title and how to protect your property.
Problems with property titles include forged signatures, unpaid real estate taxes, other liens on the property, undisclosed heirs and errors or omissions in deeds.
Property Title Search
To uncover problems with the property’s title, have a title search done after your sales contract has been accepted. If any problems are found with the title, they can be fixed before you close on the property.
Owner’s Title Insurance
Sometimes there are title problems that could not be found in the public records or are unintentionally missed in the title search process. Owner’s title insurance covers you for any claims and legal fees that arise out of problems with the title on your property.
Specifically, owner's title insurance protects you from challenges to your legal ownership of real property resulting from liens, encroachments of mortgage property onto the neighboring property, encumbrances, taxes due, mechanics liens and other matters. The policy will defend the title against lawsuits or reimburse for actual monetary loss up to the policy amount.
Be sure to take out owner’s title insurance, if you’re purchasing a foreclosure or short sale. The owner's title insurance policy protects you from forged or other mishandled documentation that may have occurred during the foreclosure or short sale process. With the rise in short sale scams, this can be crucial in retaining your Santa Cruz home.
Paying for Owner’s Title Insurance
Title insurance is paid for by a one-time fee at closing. The policy remains in force as long as you or your heirs retain interest in the property. It can be paid for by the buyer or the seller. Ask your real estate agent what is typical for your area.
If you’d like to buy a Santa Cruz home, I can guide you through the process from finding a home to the title search and through closing. Please call me at 831-662-6522 or email me at Lauren@LaurenSpencer.com to discuss your needs.
For more information, please visit my website at www.MySantaCruzRealEstate.com.
Property title search
Owner’s Title Insurance