Buying a new home can seem to involve a million steps. There is the endless amount of paperwork to fill out and sign, the search for a place that you like and is within your budget, and the back-and-forth negotiations with the seller. Though it’s natural to get frustrated and impatient from time to time in the process, these steps are all important to make sure your purchase goes smoothly.
What a title search can uncover
This includes the title search. Unless you are experienced in Pennsylvania real estate law, a title search might seem like a pointless expense. But it is a vital part of the process that makes sure you will get ownership of the property free and clear of any encumbrances. Such encumbrances can include:
- Tax liens from property taxes the seller or previous owner did not pay.
- Legal judgments against the property.
- Liens from unpaid homeowner association fees.
- Unpaid mortgages or other loans tied to the property.
- Mechanic’s liens.
- Flaws in the deed.
Buying a home with one or more of these things affecting title can impinge on your ability to do what you want with the home, such as selling it, renting it out or remodeling it. You likely would have to go to court to get the conflict straightened out. The expense and uncertainty of potential litigation is a good enough reason for you to know if there are defects on the title before you buy a home.
Thus, paying for a title search is almost always worth the time and expense, even if a title defect is unlikely. A real estate attorney can help you with this.