Skip to content

Articles

What is a Title Search?

What is a Title Search? What is a title search? A title search is a report of the public documents record, typically performed by a title company, regarding a specific parcel of land. The search involves documents located in the Recorder’s Office of the county the property is located in. These documents may include: Mortgages Deeds Rights of way Covenants Judgments affecting the title to, or the use of, the property The results of the…

Read More

Title Insurance Basics

Introduction Title insurance insures risks associated with the transfer of real property. Imagine buying a home only to learn that somehow you don’t own the property. This occurrence can happen and, although unlikely, does happen . . . sometimes. Title insurance covers specific risks to title, ultimately making market-clearing values more predictable and stable. The standard title insurance form used in whole or part by industry participants is the 2006 Owner’s Policy of Title Insurance produced by the American…

Read More

Chain of Title

Introduction “Chain of title” is the ownership history of a parcel of real property, from the first owner to the present owner. Black’s Law Dictionary, 10th Ed. p. 278 (2014). The chain of title for a parcel of land should go without interruption from the present day back to the original United States government land patent.[1] Why is chain of title important? The reason is that for a current owner of real property to have…

Read More

General Considerations When Buying Real Estate in Washington

This article is the first in a series of considerations when buying or selling real estate in Washington. Contract Interpretation Washington follows the “objective” theory of contract interpretation. Courts look to the language of the contract to determine the parties’ intent. Washington courts may consider evidence outside the contract to determine the meaning of the contract language, but will not use outside evidence to infer a meaning independent of the contract language. In order to avoid…

Read More

Attorney-Client Relationship

Introduction The purpose of this brief article is to clarify when an attorney-client relationship exists, and what duties an attorney has to a client. This article will conclude with a discussion of when confidential communications with an attorney are privileged—and when communications may not be. This article will cite the Idaho rules of professional conduct, evidence, and civil procedure, understanding that these rules are similar to other states. Although providing information, this article does not constitute legal advice. If you have…

Read More

Legal Opinion vs. Legal Advice

Language used to describe legal services may be imprecise. Even attorneys sometimes use the phrases “legal opinion” and “legal advice” interchangeably, but they actually have different meanings. Black’s Law Dictionary defines a “legal opinion” as “[a] written document in which an attorney provides his or her understanding of the law as applied to assumed facts.”[1] This definition notes that attorneys often give legal opinions on matters such as title to real property and corporate transactions, among others.…

Read More

General Considerations When Buying Real Estate in Idaho

This article is the first in a series reviewing considerations to be made before investing in a residential or commercial parcel in Idaho.  Black letter law. Idaho is a common law state where contract language is interpreted strictly and expressly, barring misrepresentation or provable fraud. Law before equity is the rule. So,  assume nothing, check everything. “Buyer Beware” is alive and well in Idaho. Get it in writing. Require written documentation to substantiate oral representations prior to purchase. Oral contracts to convey interests in…

Read More