Title searches!

I’m pretty resourceful when it comes to getting information.
I was thinking that I’d like to maybe do title searches for myself.
Is that possible? Any way to bypass a title company?
How would I get started?
Thanks in advance.


Can I ask you what is pushing you towards doing your own title searches? Is it purely the cost?

Richie: You certainly can do your own title searches and in fact it is advisable to be able to do that for yourself - depending on what kind of transactions you are chasing. If you are researching properties going to foreclosure you’ll need that skill set - you can’t go to a title company and expect them to research dozens of properties for you for free. Also if you need to do a quick transaction directly with a seller you can move much faster if you can do your own title work and documents.

That said, there is quite a bit to learn. You’ll need to get comfortable searching for records at your county recorder’s office (or whatever govt. body has those records where you live). You need to understand the prioritization of liens, go back to a point in time where you know title was clear and chain it up to the present.

Hey Victor N and Swgprop, I hear both of you guys. I definitely agree that being able to do those searches would save on time and money. The county building is just 10 miles away. It’s worth the trip. I have literally dozens of homes that I would need to research and you’re both right for suggesting that I research each of them on my own.
Fact is…I don’t know how to get started. If I had some direction, I would be able to do a throrough search on any property. Maybe you guys can give me a process to follow.
I can easily find out where the title originated from but I’m not sure of what to do from there. Example: Tax liens, Mechanics liens. I don’t know what specifically to look for. Any help would be greatly appreciated. My main focus now are foreclosures. I have a house in mind that I want to purchase to move into as my primary residence. I have a home now that I would put up for sale after purchasing the foreclosed home. I’ve taken into account holding cost, closing cost and other expenses. I figured that I’d keep the money I’d make off of my current home which should be around 50-60 grand and pocket it without having to pay capitol gains because I’ve lived here for two years and purchase the other house…Keep it for two years and walk away with the 100 k that’s already established there. Any thoughts?

When you are starting, driving 10 miles and spending an hour doing title search yourself may not sound as such a bad idea, assuming you can catch everything and that you have nothing better to do with your time.

I usually do my initial search myself and I look for the obvious leans online (everything is online here). But I feel much more comfortable to pay a company $150 and get clear report from them. I find my hour is worth more than that.

Have any of you ever done your own search that turned up clean yet later encountered problems with the title? Just wondering how common this is.

Richie - going through the nuances of title searches is beyond the scope of this forum. I recommend the following training which includes title search training http://www.foreclosureforum.com/training.html. I took it and it is excellent. There are books on title searching but I’ve no experience with them.