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.
You also have to do title search again since many liens, back taxes, secondary mortgage, debt, additional ownership...might happen in the last 9 years.
If you want to find out yourself, you can get an online title report within few minutes on website such as http://www.nextace.com or http://www.searchq.com then you should exam the title and verify the records on your own.
Trisha Lee, REMAX Boone Realty, Columbia, MO