How do I get a copy of my house title? You might have misplaced or lost your house title deeds, fortunately, you can gain access to a new one and in this post, you’ll know how to go about it.
A real estate title is one of the most important documents you need to have because it’s the only thing that can prove that you own land property.
Before you know how you can get a copy of your house title, it is important you know what a “title” is.
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What is a Title?
A title is a formal legal document of land ownership containing basic information about the land including the location and dimensions of the land, current ownership, and whether any restrictions are registered on the land. A title can also include conveyances, wills, contracts for sale, mortgages, and leases.
A real property (A real property is land or anything attached to land such as roads or buildings) title must be transferred when the asset is sold and as well as must be cleared for transfer to take place.
Abstract of Title
You may receive a document called an Abstract of title when you take title. An Abstract of Title is also called a title abstract. It is a brief recitation of a property’s ownership history.
Using an abstract of title, let you see whether your home’s title history is clear or if old liens and other encumbrances or clouds on the title exist. You can get an abstract of title for your home from a property title company.
Deeds and Titles
Real property deeds are legal documents that are used in real estate to transfer ownership of real property from a seller (grantor) to a buyer (grantee).
When you buy a house or other real property, a deed will be given to you at the close of the sale.
A deed must include the identification of the grantor and grantee as well as the adequate description of the property for it to be legally operative.
What is the difference between a Deed and a Title?
People usually think that property deeds and titles are the same thing but actually, they refer to two separate legal concepts.
When you entirely own a property, you’ll possess both the deed and title, and mixing the two up can cause problems if you don’t know what you are using.
A legal way of saying you own a right to something is by having a Title. Title in real estate means you own a property and have rights to use that property.
Since you have Title, you can access the land and potentially modify it as you like. Title also means that you can legally transfer what you own to others.
Deeds on the other hand are the legal documents that transfer title from one person to another. According to the Statute of Frauds, the deed must be a written document.
The Deed is sometimes referred to as the vehicle of the property interest transfer. In most states, deeds must be recorded in the courthouse or assessor’s office to make them fully binding.
A failure to file deeds does not change the transfer of title – meaning that the Deed is not perfected. An imperfect Deed doesn’t mean that there’s a problem with the title but just a problem with the way that the paperwork surrounding the Deed was handled.
How do I get a copy of my house title?
A Title is generally composed of many separate documents and depending on your property’s age, your house or other real property’s title can be quite voluminous. For instance, if you own a 60-year-old home, the title may include deeds from several past owners, tax assessments and liens, foreclosure notices, and other documents.
So, when you buy or receive a real property, your deed is added to its chain of title, and the documents related to this chain of title are maintained at the applicable county property records office.
Once the copy of your deed is recorded in the county where the property is, the document becomes a public record which means you can download a copy online, request a copy from your local courthouse, or hire a professional to help track it down.
Here’s how you can get a copy of your house deeds:
1. Look for it online
Most U.S. counties make it easy to look up ownership records for any piece of property via the county assessor or county recorder’s office.
You can access the information using your address, parcel number, or even your name. Most times, the information contains a link where you can see a copy of any recorded title deeds online, and in this case, you can simply print out a copy or save it to a PDF file on your computer.
2. Go to the courthouse
Head down to the county courthouse if you need a more official copy of your deeds. If you reside in San Francisco, you can use an automated kiosk at the City and County office of the Assessor-Recorder. This self-serve option lets you quickly locate your deeds and print it for just a few dollars per page for the first three pages – subsequent pages cost less.
However, if you are not sure of some of the property information let’s say you are trying to get a copy of your deceased relative’s house deeds, for legal reasons, you can opt to go to the front counter and deal directly with a customer service representative.
3. Request by mail
Many counties across the country let you request a copy of your deeds by mail. Some counties even let you request a copy of your deeds via email and pay online.
4. Hire a professional
Deeds might be a matter of public record but there are times when you might need a real estate attorney, an abstract company, or a title company to get it for you.
For example, if you want to find out about mineral rights on your land, you might need a professional to get to the bottom of things for you.
Getting a copy of your house title deeds is easy. You can look for it online, go to the courthouse, request it by mail or even hire a professional to do the job for you.
It is important you have your house title at hand because the document shows that you are the true owner of a property and not someone else.
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