Title research for real estate is both an art and a science, one part detective work and two parts legal analysis.
Most unsuspecting buyers believe that their title insurance policy will ensure a straightforward conveyance of ownership. Sometimes a title policy does, but often it doesn’t.
What Does Title Insurance Cover
Designed to provide real estate buyers with peace of mind, the first title policy was issued in Philadelphia in 1876. For more than two centuries, buyers across the United States have relied on title insurance companies to protect against title-related defects, such as clerical errors, liens, unpaid contractor bills, building permit snafus, and more. For many real estate transactions, title insurance offers adequate protection. When it doesn’t, however, the problems that arise from title issues can get messy, drawn out, and costly.
What Doesn’t Title Insurance Cover
Few buyers are aware of this, but there can be a slew of encumbrances on a property that aren’t covered in title insurance policies. Known as “title insurance exceptions,” these are rights that have been granted to another person or entity, and they can have far-reaching impacts on the value of the property, as well as your ability to use and enjoy it.
What Are Title Insurance Exceptions
Title insurance exceptions, simply put, are limits on a title policy’s coverage. As exceptions, they’re specific items that aren’t covered, yet they’re found on virtually every property. Some exceptions, such as utility easements, are common and harmless. Other title insurance exceptions, however, can be extensive and restrictive.
Title Research For Real Estate
Our real estate lawyers have the experience and expertise to perform meticulous title research for properties, and we can do it quickly and for a reasonable fee.
When we conduct title research for real estate, among other things, we look for:
- deed restrictions
- tax liens and judgments
- easements and agreements (for water rights, mineral rights, and oil and gas rights)
- zoning and land use restrictions
- shared road and right-of-way agreements
- surveys and plats
- building restrictions
- encroachments and boundary line disputes
- construction defects
- building permits and pre-existing code violations
- conservation easements and restrictions
- flood zones and wetlands
- tribal laws and regulations
Title Research Solutions
Our most popular legal solutions for title research are TIER and TIER Plus. With our TIER (title insurance exception review) service, we perform title research by looking for public-record documents that have been recorded at the County Recorder’s Office. With TIER Plus, we not only find those public-record documents, but we also organize and analyze them, as well as provide you with a legal opinion about the risks associated with buying the property.
At Timely Contract we have local real estate attorneys who have experience throughout Idaho, including: Boise, Post Falls, Coeur d’Alene, Lewiston, Moscow, and Sandpoint.
We also have local real estate attorneys who have experience throughout Montana, including: Missoula, Billings, Bozeman, and Kalispell.
And we have local real estate attorneys who have experience throughout Washington, including: Spokane, Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake, Medical Lake, and Cheney.