When you are looking to purchase a property, generally you are going to have a property title search performed and will get title insurance that protects you from any issues that could pop up down the road. How can you go about finding the title records on a property you are interested in?
Are Property Titles Public Record?
Property title records are public records, usually held at the county courthouse, which lists ownership, encumbrances, liens, and other real estate interests and their priority for each parcel of land within the county. Title records are maintained by recorders of deeds, city or county clerks, county treasurers, collectors, and clerks of court, and include written documents, such as deeds and mortgages, and other records, such as tax, marriage, and probate records, and judgments, that may affect the title of a property.
The Benefits of a Property Title Search
A property title search performed by an experienced title company during the home buying process has many benefits. Pinpointing issues in the early stages, such as property liens, will cut down on delays in the process and can even save you money.
- If a lien is discovered on a property you are interested in, settling it early can help you to avoid complications that could have turned into large issues late in the game. For example, property liens that aren’t dealt with can make getting a mortgage loan from a financial institution much more difficult.
- If a property lien for unpaid taxes is on the books and the sale of the home goes through, local government agencies could attempt foreclosure on the home. Taxes are attached to a home, not a person, so the current owner could be liable for those funds. Other property liens can be filed for various reasons including for work on renovations that were unpaid, child support payments, and even credit card debt.
- Without a property title search, many other issues could sneak up on you when you finally decide to close on your new home, including undisclosed debt or encroachment. Working with a title company will help you avoid these last minute issues.
Can You Perform a Title Search on Your Own?
Compared to many of the costs associated with purchasing a property, a title search is not going to set you back that much financially. While it is possible to perform a title search with public property records, it is generally going to be in your best interest to leave it to an expert. It takes skill and practice to truly know every index and place you need to search before being confident you have completed a full review of the records for the specific property you are searching. Performing a title search yourself without any experience opens you up to missing things that could be major problems in the future. It is best to hire a title company that performs in depth title searches and knows exactly what to look for and where to look for it.
Experts in New Jersey Property Title Search Services
At Scott Title, we have been conducting rigorous, thorough and accurate New Jersey property title searches for more than 20 years. Our experienced title search agents take care to ensure all the necessary information and correct documentation is accounted for in each title search we handle. From our office in Red Bank, our team has managed title searches for clients in Monmouth, Ocean, and Middlesex counties, and throughout the rest of New Jersey, simplifying what would be an overwhelming process for our clients and dealing with potential problems before they can cause serious issues. Our in-depth research sets us apart from others in our industry.