Title issues to be aware of when buying a home

If you are getting ready to purchase a home in California, it may be a good idea to have title insurance. Having a policy may be able to protect you from a variety of issues that derail a deal or result in giving up ownership of a home after you buy it.

Someone else may have an ownership claim to the home

There is a possibility that the previous owner of your home passed it down to a family member in his or her will. It may also have been passed down in a trust or through some other estate plan strategy. In some cases, it can be months or years after a home has been sold that a will is discovered or an heir is found. If it is discovered that another person has ownership rights to a home, you may be forced to relinquish the property or buy out that person’s ownership interest.

There might be an unknown or undisclosed lien on the property

If a bank or a service provider put a lien on the home, it might have an ownership interest in the home that you live in. This is likely true even if the home’s previous owner didn’t know about the lien or didn’t disclose the fact that one exists.

A deed could be forged or otherwise not valid

An undocumented immigrant, minor or other party who is not authorized to own a property may have added themselves to a deed anyway. There is also a chance that the title itself was forged by someone who is claiming to be the owner of the home. If you buy a home with an illegal title, you may need to take additional steps to verify the fact that you currently own the home. If you are looking to buy a home in the near future, it may be a good idea to consult with a real estate attorney who may be able to ensure that the title to a home is valid.