The Easiest Way to Obtain the Title to Your Home
There is a lot of information about the importance of the house deed, property titles, and having legal proof of ownership to your house when it comes to real estate education. Furthermore, there is a lot of debate about different types of deeds, how they work, and which ones provide the best levels of protection for the buyer.
However, it's easy to get stuck when you need to get the deed to your house. Having a copy of your deed is essential because it allows you to determine who owns your property. Continue reading to find out how to obtain the deed to your home so you can verify ownership and ensure there are no outstanding errors or legal issues.
What is the House Deed?
A deed to a house is a legal document that proves ownership of real property. It is also an instrument used to transfer ownership of property from one party to another. At the time of transfer, new homeowners are usually given a copy of their deed. However, this guide will go over additional methods for locating a house deed in case it is misplaced or you are unsure of who the true legal owner is.
You may also hear the term "property title" and wonder what it means and how it differs from your house deed. The term title is conceptual in nature, describing a party's legal ownership or claim to a piece of property. The deed is the physical manifestation of this property interest, as well as a legal document. In other words, it reveals who owns and who does not own the house.
House deeds can be simple and straightforward in some cases. A single owner who owns their home outright will sell it to another single buyer. However, there are times when deeds can become complicated and difficult. There may be instances where the deed is incorrect, or where multiple owners have equal claim to a property. Outside parties, such as foreclosures or tax issues, could also make a claim against the property.
For more information, see our House Deed: Definition guide.
Why is the Deed to My House Important?
Having a properly recorded deed to your house mattress gives you legal protections. To begin with, it establishes that you are the legal owner of a property and thus have the authority to take certain actions. Taking out a new mortgage on the property or selling the property are two examples. In the eyes of the law, if you buy a house under the table and never have a deed recorded, you are not the title holder. As a result, you would not have access to certain rights or financial tools that you would otherwise have.
Furthermore, deeds are essential if there are any issues with your property title. For example, if a third party suddenly makes a claim against your title, your deed will indicate what legal rights you may have.
For example, if the property was transferred to you via a general warranty deed, you would be protected to the fullest extent possible. The previous owner guaranteed that they would be held accountable for any title issues that may arise. It would be their responsibility to deal with any legal or financial consequences for any title issues that arose during their ownership of the house and earlier. In contrast, suppose you obtained a property through a bargain and sale deed. You were not given any warranties or covenants in this case. If a third party filed a claim against the title, you would be responsible for any legal or financial consequences.
How to Locate Your House's Deed
Most likely, you already have a copy of the deed to your house. However, life happens, and you may have misplaced it or your closing agent may not have provided it to you. There may also be special circumstances, such as when you inherit a home from a loved one but lack the necessary paperwork. Whatever the case may be, it is critical that you obtain the deed to your home as soon as possible.
Fortunately, we're here to assist you in doing just that. The following are the five steps to locating and obtaining the deed to your home:
Look it up on the internet.
Deeds are part of public records, so check online first to save time and trouble. We recommend conducting a simple web search with the keyword "deed" or "deed search" and the name of your county or the county in which the property is located. " This should quickly return search results directing you to the appropriate county office in your area."
This will take you to the website of your local County Recorder or equivalent in some cases. If you're fortunate, your county may even offer a self-service official records search site. You may be able to look up your property, locate the deed, and download a copy of your deed onto your computer from here.
Be ready to provide the owner's name, street address, and parcel number if you have it.
Make contact with the county recorder's office.
If you were fortunate, you may have already located your deed and will not need to complete the remaining steps. In some cases, however, a simple web search may yield no results. This is especially true if your county does not maintain electronic records or if the deed is older and has been archived.
If you were unable to locate your deed online, your next step should be to contact your County Recorder's Office. You can also pay them a personal visit. Here, you can speak with a customer service representative and request help locating and obtaining a copy of your deed
Request the deed in writing.
If you are unable to visit or contact your County Recorder's Office, you may request your deed by mail. Typically, you will need to obtain and fill out the necessary forms, such as a Title Deed Request, as well as enclose a payment. Even better, your county may allow you to make the request via email and pay online.
Pay any applicable fees.
The cost of obtaining a copy of a deed varies by state and county. There is typically a flat rate for copies up to a certain number of pages, followed by a fee per additional page. However, the fees are not usually prohibitively expensive. The budget is around $10, but it could be more or less.
Also, check with your local county to see what payment methods are accepted. They frequently accept credit cards, cash, checks, and money orders.
Wait for the deed to arrive in the mail.
Last but not least, it's time to wait for your deed copy to arrive in the mail. (Of course, this is only if you requested a copy by mail.) ) It takes several business days for local government offices to process requests and send documents via the United States Postal Service. Allow approximately 10 business days for service. To obtain an accurate wait time, contact your county office.
When you receive your deed in the mail, inspect it carefully to ensure that you have received the correct deed. Additionally, ensure that the information on the recorded deed is correct and up to date.
Update your will to include the deed to your home.
Legal instruments like deeds to houses can be complicated, but fortunately, the process of obtaining the deed to your house isn't.
We went over several simple steps in this guide to get the deed to your house. You can often search for, locate, and download a copy of your deed using your county's records search tool, thanks to advances in technology.
If you don't already have a copy of your deed, you should get one as soon as possible. This deed is the only legal document that can prove your ownership of your home, as well as your right to sell it, refinance it, and so on. Reviewing your house deed is also an important part of estate planning and understanding your rights to transfer your property to a loved one. We can help you update your estate plan to include your house deed and instructions for the transfer of your home. Take our free quiz to determine where you should begin, or compare our various estate planning options today.
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