What all is involved in doing a title search? I have a property that I will be purchasing sub2 and I would like to learn to do it myself. Is it just a matter of going to the county recorder’s office and looking through documents, or is there more to it than that? Do title companies have some magical tools to gather information that I don’t have access to? Thanks for the help!
This is not easy but you can do it with help from clerks at the courthouse. All documents go thru the courthouse to become recorded. The clerk can show you where to look for all types of records that affect the title to the property such as: taxes both fed and local, death, divorce or marrage, mechanics liens, judgements against seller or previous owners and loans that the seller borrowed against the property. The previous owner more than likely had to purchase a title policy for the benefit of the lender and probably bought an owners policy too. It should be OK to assume that anything prior to their purchase was examined already. All you need to do then is examine all the records using their names and the legal description of the property and see if there are any problems as suggested above.
Some title companies have all this information at their fingertips in their “plant” at their office which makes it easier for them. This is the only advantage they may have. Look around the records room and you will notice folks with stacks of film and files. These people work for title companies and that is all they do is search records. One of them may give you some advice too on how to search the records. You could hire one of them too to do the work for you for and probably pretty cheap too.
You can actually hire the title company too and the last one cost me $125 about 4 years ago.
Hope all this gives you some insight and help
Ted P. Stokely Jr
11505 Sw Oaks
Austin, Texas 78737