A title search is an important part of the process of preparing to buy a home. Title searches in California are almost always performed by title insurance companies. When you have the search done, you will receive what’s known as a preliminary report.
The California Land Title Association explains that a preliminary report provides details about the ownership of the property you wish to purchase. It will specifically reveal whether a search of the county recorder’s records discloses any liens or other encumberments that could hinder your ability to obtain title insurance.
As a buyer, you will also want to ensure your new property has a clean title. Along with your insurer, you will want to use the report to identify areas that need attention before you finalize the purchase. Specifically, you’ll want to see if there are any restrictions on the land, such as easements. You will also want to look for the statement of vesting as well as whether the property is a “fee” or “fee simple”, which is the highest level of ownership.
The preliminary report is a helpful document. It can uncover issues that could change your mind about purchasing the property. If you have questions or concerns after receiving the report, consulting with an attorney who has knowledge handling issues involving liens and other particulars of a preliminary property report is advised.