Clearing title cloud - Posted by BCat (SoCal)

Posted by William Bronchick on February 21, 2002 at 20:13:51:

Most title problems can be cured with time. Title searches generally go back about 50 years. Beyond that, the risk is low.

If you can buy it DIRT cheap for cash and hold on to it for a number of years, the title may become marketable again.

Clearing title cloud - Posted by BCat (SoCal)

Posted by BCat (SoCal) on February 20, 2002 at 13:13:39:

I’ve found a foreclosure that I can get pretty cheap, and then turn around and flip it. The bank’s (actually, HomeStep) been holding it for 6 months, and it just fell out of escrow. The property shared a garage with the house next door. When the garage burned down the neighbor rebuilt the garage without any help from the previous owner, so now the neighbor is claiming the entire garage and the portion of the land on which the garage sits, so there is a cloud on the title placed there by the neighbor.

No one will touch the property because of the cloud (that’s why it fell out of escrow), so I think I can get it cheap - as long as I can get the title cleared up. I haven’t talked to the neighbor yet, so I’m looking for some strategies for clearing the title. I assume that if I can get the neighbor to sign a quit claim to the contested area, everything will be OK.

The sticky part is, of course, getting the neighbor to sign. The most obvious (to me anyway) of handling this is to pay the neighbor for some portion of the cost of the garage. I’m just a little leery of paying for this before I actually own the property, but on the other hand, I don’t see how I can buy the property if I can’t get title insurance because of the cloud. Does anyone have any better ideas?