Dan Green

Dan Green

Since 2003, Dan Green has been a leading mortgage lender and respected industry authority. His unwavering commitment to first-time home buyers and home buyer education has established him as a trusted voice among his colleagues, his peers, and the media. Dan founded Homebuyer.com to expand the American Dream of Homeownership to all who want it. .

Indiana Home - Title

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What Is Title?

Title refers to the legal right to own, use, and dispose of real estate property. It is a legal concept that signifies a person’s ownership of the property and comes with rights to use the property within the bounds of the law.

A Longer Definition: Title

In real estate, having a title means legal ownership and the right to use a piece of land or property. The title isn’t a physical document but rather a concept granting these rights.

Legal documents called deeds prove property ownership, which are recorded in public records. Deeds contain details about the property and its ownership history.

Holding a title comes with certain rights, typically including the right to possess the property, control it, lawfully use it, exclude others from it, and dispose of it, which may include selling, renting, transfering, or leaving it to a person or entity in a will.

Title rights may be limited by outside forces such as mortgages, leases, easements, or restrictions imposed by law. Examples of a mortgage affecting a homeowner’s title rights include mortgage lenders restricting use of the property to residential purposes, and ensuring property owners cannot sell their home without paying off the mortgage first.

Title: A Real World Example

First-Time Home Buyer Stories: Title`

Imagine a first-time home buyer purchasing a single-family home.

At their closing, the buyer receives a deed from the title company, which proves their title to the property. The title allows them to use the home to live in, to make changes to its interior or exterior, and to sell it in the future.

Also, because the home buyer financed their home with a mortgage, their mortgage company receives limited rights over the property, too. For example, the mortgage language requires the homeowner to keep adequate homeowners insurance and pay off the mortgage upon the home’s sale.

When the home buyer sells their home, the title will pass to the home’s next owner.

Common Questions About Title

What is a Title Search?

A title search is an examination of public records to determine and confirm a property’s legal ownership and find out what claims or liens are on the property.

Why is Title Insurance Important?

Title insurance protects against future discoveries that may question your legal ownership of the property, such as undiscovered wills, missing heirs, and legal complications.

Can Titles Have Encumbrances?

Yes, titles can have encumbrances like mortgages, liens, easements, or zoning restrictions, which may restrict the owner’s ability to use and transfer the property.

Does a Title Ensure Physical Access to Property?

Not always. While a title signifies legal ownership, physical access can be influenced by other factors like easements and property disputes.

       Title refers to the legal right to own, use, and dispose of real estate property.

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