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3 Tips for Avoiding Title Disputes When Buying a House
3 Tips for Avoiding Title Disputes When Buying a House

3 Tips for Avoiding Title Disputes When Buying a House

Before you buy a house, your attorney will take a careful look at your title. Thorough examination can help protect you against existing property claims and reveals any outstanding debts or legal burdens. 

It is essential to examine the property’s historical records to verify that all past ownerships and transfers of titles are documented. Make sure that the current seller legitimately owns the property and possesses the authority to sell.

Your attorney will assist you by taking a closer look at all associated title documents, such as property surveys, ensuring all details are correct and up-to-date. When purchasing a home, leaning on the support of your attorney can help you protect your investment as they’ll be in close contact with the title insurance company. 

Avoid High-Risk Real Properties

When purchasing a home, you should avoid properties with title issues that could lead to future disputes. Some indicators of risky properties include:

  • Foreclosures: Properties that have gone through foreclosure often have complicated title histories, making disputes more likely. Avoid purchasing foreclosed homes altogether if possible.
  • Liens: Even with a lien on the property, Buxton & Collie is here to ensure that you have a clear and marketable title upon closing. A lien doesn’t make it challenging to obtain a clean title as we help clear the lien prior to closing. 
  • Boundary issues: Properties with poorly defined boundaries or encroachments on the land are prone to title disputes with neighbors. Have a survey conducted to establish boundaries before purchasing.
  • Inheritance issues: When purchasing from heirs, ensure proper probate procedures have been followed to transfer the title legally. The lack of a transparent chain of title in these situations can lead to claims from other potential heirs.

Get an Enhanced Title Policy

While a regular title policy offers protection against title issues, its coverage is not always adequate. The usual plan guards against things like debts, claims, or mistakes in the property’s title.

Some key points about enhanced title insurance in SC:

  • South Carolina is a title insurance state where lenders require a title insurance policy to issue a mortgage.
  • Standard policies in SC provide coverage for defects in the title/deed, errors in public records, undisclosed heirs, forgery, and other potential issues.
  • Enhanced policies available in SC go further to cover boundary/survey disputes, access rights, zoning compliance, and coverage if any issues are missed during the title search.
  • SC also has expanded policies that include protection for things like mineral rights, water rights, easements, and lien priority.
  • The exact enhanced coverages can vary by provider in South Carolina. But in general, enhanced title insurance in SC mirrors the expanded protections seen nationally for added peace of mind.

Ultimately, enhanced title insurance provides protection above and beyond a standard policy for potential property ownership issues and disputes.

Contact Buxton & Collie, LLC Today

Creating a proactive plan is the best way to prevent title issues when buying a home. A real estate lawyer can help you conduct a title search and ensure you have a clear title.

The Charleston real estate attorneys at Buxton & Collie, LLC are ready to thoroughly review the preliminary title report to identify any red flags before the closing. With the help of our legal team, you can buy your new home with confidence knowing the title is secure. Contact our office today to schedule your initial consultation.