Protect Yourself From a Damaged House Deed

Personal property law

The house buying process is supposed to be exciting and something you will remember forever. You are purchasing your first home. It is likely that you will be working with your lender for financing. It is also likely that you will work with a real estate professional on the negotiations and showing of the properties. However, when purchasing a home, you should also consider using a personal property lawyer as well. Purchasing a house is a legal and binding purchase and there are many situations that a property lawyer can be helpful.

Unclear deeds

When you purchase a house, you are purchasing the deed to the house. The deed is the contract that lists the owner of the house. It also transfers the ownership from the previous owner to the new one. Deeds are not always entirely clean. There may be additional parties on the deed who were not a part of the sale. Banks and other lenders may have ownership in the deed, especially if the loan was not completely paid off.

A title company will usually run the history of the deeds during the house buying process. However, deeds have only been electronically submitted for a few years. It is possible that an older deed exists, affecting your ownership in the house. A real estate attorney, however, can draw up paperwork to protect you in the event of a deeded issue.

Adverse possession laws

Depending on the state of the purchase, an adverse possession may be a problem. According to title 10 of California civil procedures code, any property that is abandoned is classified as unclaimed property. If after three years such property remains unclaimed, it escheats or transfers to the California government. Hiring a property attorney can help protect you from escheated deeds or property that does not legally belong to the seller.

Previous lease agreements

A house owner is legally allowed to sell a property they own, even if they have tenants residing in it. This, however, can present a problem for the new owner. The laws become very tricky as to the previous lease agreement and how long the new tenant must let the old tenants stay in the house. Property attorneys frequently work with lease agreement disputes.

Most lease agreement disputes will be taken in front of a judge, making a legal professional even more useful. If an eviction escalates to a court setting, a judge will hear and decide the case within 20 days (on average) after the tenant or the landlord files a request to set the case for trial. Court proceedings can get very expensive, so it is best to attempt to handle these types of disputes before the close of the property.

Homeowners association regulations

It may be surprising to some home owners that they are required to follow homeowners association rules and regulations. They may even be required to pay homeowners association fees. This information is generally disclosed prior to closing on the house. However, disputes may still arise as to housing renovations and approvals of the homeowners association. Homeowners association rules and regulations can be disputed in court, with the assistance of a property attorney.

Foreclosure purchases

One in every 96 homes reported at least one foreclosure filing in 2013. Foreclosures occur when the owner is unable to make the payments. The property then goes back to the lending institution and may be sold for much less. Foreclosures provide home buyers with great deals, but can come with clouded deeds and problems with the property. It may also be difficult to negotiate with banks. When you buy a foreclosed home, it is important to have both an inspection done and to work with a property attorney to ensure you are fully aware of what you are getting into.

Buying a house may be one of the biggest purchases that you ever make in your entire life. Purchasing a home with legal problems, tenant disputes, or unclear deeds can put you in a very tricky financial position. Avoid these home buying problems by working with a property attorney. The cost of the attorney will pay itself back multiple times if there ends up a problem with your new property.

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