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Palm beach county clerk of court
Agree that there is more to a title search than the simple stuff. Each area will have a customary way to report the things that Bill mentioned so that those things can be accessible to the public. The title searchers after all are only going into the public records, their main advantage is that they know what they are looking for and where to go to look for it.
A thorough examination will end up looking at civil court cases as well to identify judgments and other civil matters that might affect title. Not sure if everything should take days or not, but if the searcher is physically visiting all of the different sections in the courthouse it will certainly take some time; but with much of this information now online in many counties, things can be done more quickly especially for properties that are clean and had few mortgages, like maybe owned by the same party for decades.
But repairs in the recent past aren't searchable unless a lien waiver was created and recorded, so throwing that in there is a bit unfair. The title company will present an affidavit to the seller regarding recent repairs and the seller is to acknowledge that all repair people have been paid in full, in order for the title to be insured.
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And the title search will say something like "of record", meaning that they were only able to identify those things that are in the public record, and that anything not publicly recorded isn't going to be presented. So if there is an installment sale that is unrecorded, how's that going to show up? Thanks for the replies. Even though it may take days, I would still be interested in learning how to do it.
But I appreciate the advice that having a good relationship with a title company may be the way to go. But Steve babiak and Jon Holdman, I have used the appraiser's web site for a while, but have never found any thing regarding liens or anything except the link to the tax collector's site that may impact the property financially, but maybe I'm not using it to its full advantage - am I missing something?
The tax assessor site is friendlier, so it fairly easily gives you information that you then drop into the other site to find the liens. The assessor's site is not going to contain liens or other recorded documents. Those are over on the recorder's site. But the recorders site is difficult to search. What you're missing is that you can use the assessors site which is easy to search to get the information you need to search the recorder's site.
So, if you have an address of interest, go to the assessors site and search on it.
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You can get the owner's name from that search. Now you can go to the recorder's site and search for documents that have that same name in them. For common names, you may get a lot of hits from the recorder's database. But with some time looking through the results, you can figure out which ones matter and which don't. You can also use other fields from the assessors site. The book and page are shown on the assessors site.
Once upon a time, county recorders literally created books of recorded documents. The books were numbered and the pages were numbered. When you recorded a deed, they wrote down the book and page numbers on the copy they gave back to you. Doing a search meant starting with some deed's book and page and backtracking to other documents it referred to. The assessor site also has subdivision names, which is another field you can use in the recorder system.
I used this method of finding the owner's name of a property I bought and sold recently to see what I could find against what I already know. Sure enough, up popped lots of records like you said it would. But it didn't show the liens that I know were on that property as of So does that mean that they were wiped from his records once I paid them off? A title company did present me with records of those liens prior to my purchase at auction so I know the lien info was available from somewhere.
You probably wonder why I don't ask that company, but title search was done via a partner who found the property and I don't have access to them directly. Or do you think the liens were found somewhere else entirely? I really appreciate your input. I have learned a lot about this already from your posts.
PalmBeach Official Records Public Search
Hopefully, I'm not asking too many response questions! Took me a long way round the houses before I realized it, but glad for the results!
Thanks for talking me through this! I see one can easily make mistakes on a serious matter. I have a deeper understanding of it and for that, I am happy! Well, once a lien is paid off, it is no longer considered a lien, That does not mean that all record of it existing are wiped out, it just means that it no longer encumbers the property. The record of the lien having been there would still exist in things like court dockets and judgment awards, and if you can research those somehow you should be able to track done their past existence.
Now, for what reason are you trying to do your own title searching? I advocate that all investors should understand this process, and should be able to identify at least the "low hanging fruit" - mortgages and municipal liens. But knowing where you are trying to get to could bring more info from others. Knowing how to navigate these sites quickly is invaluable to my investing. Steve Babiak, my goals are exactly as Kama Ward describes, as another research tool. Couldn't have said it better myself. If I was going to buy a property, I would not skip a professional title search.
Also, as someone beginning out as an investor, I'm trying to learn as much as possible that I can about all the processes etc. I am realizing that the hardest thing is to FIND properties and title searching is another tool to help in researching what is out there. I am a long way off from finding my own properties, but this site is a wonderful resource. Lock We hate spam just as much as you. Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing.
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