If you have been renting an apartment in Manhattan for many years, and you have finally saved up enough money to buy a house in Brooklyn or Queens, then you will need to consult a professional title search company, such as TitleSmart. These individuals are an integral part of the real estate process. Aside from your mortgage lender and your real estate lawyer, you also need someone to investigate the property's title. This will help you make sure you don't get into any problems with your new home. Here are some reasons a title company is vital.
Make Sure You're Buying From The Actual Owners
There is a special type of conman running around NYC (and other locations) who operates using fraudulent legal documents and a warped conception of the law. These criminals call themselves sovereign citizens, and there have been instances of them filing forged deeds with the city and taking over vacant homes. Some of these con men also show properties to other people and rent them as if they were the landlord. It is not beyond the scope of their misdeeds to think that they would try and sell a property with forged documents. This is why you need to make sure the titles are legit.
Liens From Contractors
If you took a tour of the house and saw an amazing new kitchen, a beautiful new roof, and some other awesome (and expensive) renovations, then consider the possibility that the homeowner might have some liens against them from any of the various contractors. They might have had a dispute with the contractors over the quality of work done and not fulfilled the payment obligation. This lien can carry over even after you buy the house and you will have to deal with the problem. The title agency will make sure that there are no current liens again the homeowner and their property.
The current residents might not have paid all of their property taxes, which will be an issue for you once you purchase their home. This is easy enough for the title company to check out, and it is vital to know.
Another thing to consider is problems with neighbors. There might be a problem with the property line, such as a neighbor disputing the fence-line. This could end up being a major problem that will involve lawyers. The title company will check to see if there has been any filings to contest the property line or if new surveys have been drawn up and filed with the city.