When you receive the keys to your new home, you may already have an idea about the work that goes into a successful closing. However, few new homeowners recognize the efforts involved in searching and underwriting a title insurance policy – one part of your closing that can prove invaluable down the road.An in-depth title search is generally comprised of a thorough examination of public records. This can be difficult because, depending on the jurisdiction, liens and judgments on a property may be filed a number of ways – by the name of the buyer, the name of owner, the street address, lot number, etc. Many title companies today have a created exhaustive and systematic methods for conducting these searches, resulting in large databases of consistently indexed data that facilitate faster and easier title searches, These “title plants,” or large stores of uniformly organized public data, help to complete title searches faster and help ensure accuracy.
Title searchers uncover more than simply liens and judgments, however. A thorough title search will include information about mortgages, street and sewer assessments, taxes and levies, and countless other issues that may taint an otherwise sound transaction. For instance, a title searcher may examine a property and find no judgments or liens, but uncover special building restrictions of which the buyer was unaware. Or the title search may disclose previously-established easements, such as civil sewer or power. A title searcher may find that some part of the property encroaches on neighboring land, warning against possible ownership issues in the future.