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Fast, Accurate, Certified Title Search Reports
Public Record Indexing
Documents and liens are often cross-referenced differently in different counties: sometimes they are filed by owner’s name, sometimes by address, and in other cases Tax Assessor's Number (APN ) is used.
A title search report is sometimes referred to as a "title abstract" or "abstract report". A title search report contains information about a piece of real property gathered from public records.
Chain of Title Report
Also called an ownership list, this is a type of title search that provides a complete ist of owners going back a certain number of years , such as 30 or 40.
There are a variety of ways to get a title search report for free or cheap. Which method you choose depends on why you need the search.
If you are just trying to find out who currently owns a property, or get a rough idea of its value, there are a number of websites that will provide you with an electronic report for free or relatively cheaply (under $50). These reports are as accurate and complete as the database they are pulled from. Any report provided instantly is an electronic report.
If you need more extensive information such as a
chain of title history or it is important not to miss any items, such as liens and judgments, you will need directly to view the public records.
The good news is that, in most cities and counties, real estate records are public, meaning anyone can visit the office and retrieve the data or documents needed to create a title search report. In most cases the costs are copying fees.
On the down side, getting the information you are looking for from public records requires knowing how they are indexed, and how to read the documents and understand which ones are relevant and current.
Also, you may need to visit more than one location, such as the recorders office and the county courthouse, to get all the documents that affect your property. All of this can take a great deal of your time.
A typical county recorders office.
The Bottom Line
Watch a video about How to do a Title Search of Real Estate.
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