Home Buying in Osage Beach>Question Details

Fred  Limback, Home Buyer in 21237

when puchasing a condo is title insurance really needed. The last owner had a title search done 9 years ago.

Asked by Fred Limback, 21237 Sat Dec 22, 2007

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7
Yes, absolutely. Here's why: During the intervening 9 years, something may have happened to cloud the title or otherwise cause a problem. For instance, the owner may have had a lien, suit, or judgment against him. Maybe he didn't pay his federal or state taxes and there's a lien. Maybe he had work done on the condo, and didn't pay the workman. Maybe he was late on a condo fee, and the condo fee filed a lien on the unit for the penalty amount. (Don't laugh. Happened to a friend of mine a few years ago. The whole thing escalated out of control, and he lost his condo.) Maybe the condo didn't pay a water bill. In some jurisdictions, an unpaid water bill can result in a lien. Maybe there's a parking space that goes with the condo, and a few years ago someone slipped on a patch of ice, or a few drops of engine oil, and received a judgment which the owner never paid.

You want me to go on? No. Well, I will, anyway.

Suppose the previous owner attempted to sell the unit with a lease-option. The smart tenant-buyer recorded a "notice of agreement" with the local city or county. That notice will cloud your title. Maybe, if it's a small building condo, the owner had new windows installed a few years back. Whether he paid or not, often, to secure financing, burried in the documentation from the friendly window company is a lien, just like a second mortgage, that's placed on your property. Didn't know that? Lots of people don't, and they don't read the fine print. But unless the lien's been properly removed, it's still there. Suppose at the time the last owner purchased the unit, he purchased a companion parking space. But if the condo was still under development, the parking space may have been in the developer's name. Suppose it was never transferred out of the developer's name, and taxes haven't been paid on it for awhile. You might have a lien against your condo; you might have a lien against the parking space; or the parking space may have been sold for the taxes owed. Don't laugh. That happened to me.

You want me to go on? No? Well, tough. Let's continue. Suppose the last owner was married at the time he purchased the unit, but subsequently got divorced. The divorce decree may have required that he either buy his ex-spouse out or sell the unit. If he didn't, then she may well have filed suit, and possible received a judgment against him for her share of the condo. Suppose the owner had a child who feels unjustly treated over something. There's another suit. Or ex-fiances or ex-partners (personal or business).

These things don't take 9 years to develop. Many don't take 9 months to develop. You definitely need title insurance.

As for the suggestion below to use the same title company, don't bother. You'll sometimes get a break if there's a new title search within a year of the past one. But 9 years? No way.

Hope that helps.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 22, 2007
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Fairfax, VA
MVP'08
Contact
absolutely! The title search protects you. It varies by area whether it's paid by the seller or the buyer, but without it, you are leaving yourself liable to all sorts of "nasties" that could prevent you from receiving a clear title, which could affect your being able to resell the property in the future.
Web Reference: http://www.yourstlhome.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 22, 2007
Absolutely. In Oregon, it's the duty and expense of the seller.
Web Reference: http://www.darinprovost.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 22, 2007
This question was asked in 2007,....
But Don's response is AWESOME and worthy of a read.

...but I won't go on.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 2, 2014
I would never recommend not getting title insurance! The lender will require you if you are getting a loan. People get divorced, people pass away, people have financial situations. A lot can happen in 30 days not to mention 9 years. All kinds of situations can change the chain of title to a piece of property.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 2, 2014
My Dad was in Real Estate for 53 years, he always said that was the best insurance you will ever buy!
Web Reference: http://ww.PeteElsner.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 17, 2009
Do not EVER buy property without a title search and title insurance. It is the best money you will ever spend. Think what would happen if you didn't have health insurance and contracted cancer. Here's hoping you don't every NEED the title insurance, that all is clear.
Trisha Lee, REMAX Boone Realty, Columbia, MO
Web Reference: http://www.TalkToTrisha.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 27, 2007
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