It takes a great deal of research to get an abstract of title for real property. An abstract of title is distinguishable from other types of title related reports. The term abstract of title can be confusing to the average person and even to professionals in property-based industries.It is common to come across the term when purchasing property; however, there are other times where the abstract of title is utilized, such as with the oil and gas and legal industries.
Whatever the interest in a particular property, it is vital to fully understand its legal history.A property's abstract lists a myriad of legal activities associated with it, and that knowledge is a powerful tool.Having a full grasp of a complete history can give you an edge in negotiating leases, sales, and other property transactions.
Not only will having an abstract of title on hand benefit you when it comes time to negotiate, but it can also reveal potential risks associated with the conveyance or acquisition of a property.
What Is an Abstract of Title?
Before we go any further, we must have a clear working definition of an abstract of title.The abstract is a comprehensive written chronology of all recorded documents and legal proceedings related to a particular piece of property or real estate.
A title abstract will offer an in-depth scope of a property's entire recorded history and goes beyond showing merely when a property's ownership changed hands.An abstract goes as far back as the original land grant or patent deed from the government.From there, an abstract offers a detailed report of all changes of title and ownership, as well as all subsequent conveyances and encumbrances pertaining to a particular property.
What Does an Abstract of Title Tell You?
Reading a title abstract is like reading a historical document that can tell you almost anything you want to know about a piece of property or land.
Liens—including mechanic's liens, repair liens, monetary liens for purchase money, or second mortgages borrowed using the property as collateral.
Tax Liens—will alert to any unpaid property taxes by a previous owner.Knowing this information can protect you against losing your investment in a tax sale due to purchasing a property encumbered with a tax lien.It does not matter if the lien was not the result of any wrongdoing done by you, the current owner; a tax lien takes precedence over any other lien.
Homeowner Association Liens—informs you of liens placed upon the property resulting from unpaid dues.
Homeowner Association Restrictions and Covenants—Since an HOA has a say in what you can and cannot do with a property within its authority, it is important to have this information.
Easements inform you of others' legal rights to use the property, such as utility companies, for installing and maintaining water lines, sewer lines, and electrical power lines.This information would alert the owner not to build on the easements as they could be removed should repairs or additions need to be made.
Consecutive grants, wills, conveyances, records, and judicial proceedings—listed in the abstract to provide a comprehensive history of all legal activity pertaining to the property.
Deed History —including deed type, deed restrictions, and the chain of title deeds.
Why Do You Want an Abstract of Title?
While an abstract does not guarantee a clean title, this powerhouse document certainly provides peace of mind with minimal risk when diving into a property investment.Because of its broad scope going back as far as a property can be traced, an abstract carries a lot of weight with all parties in a transaction.It delivers confidence.
Hollerbach & Associates, Inc.—Research You Can Trust
When a bank, a real estate attorney, or a more retail oriented title company needs to dig up the background on a property for closing a sale, they depend on an abstract company like Hollerbach. Our reputation for delivering extensive, timely, and accurate land title research and abstracting makes Hollerbach the clear choice for even the most complex projects.
With 254 counties in Texas, each with its own unique record system, you need the very best to get the job done, and not just any title research company can navigate the complicated and varied record-keeping systems across the great State of Texas.
At Hollerbach, we go beyond the basics and deliver custom solutions tailored to your unique situation.With over 35 years of experience providing real property research to our clients, you can trust us when we say that We Know Texas Better™...you can bank on it!