Checking titles is usually quite easy. - Posted by John Behle
Posted by John Behle on November 27, 1999 at 12:37:04:
You can check the title and see exactly who bought the house or whether it went back to the bank. It is just a matter of going down to the county recorder’s office and doing a title search. The people there can help you with that.
Depending where you are, that can mean searching through the records, books and microfiche and might take as much as 45 minutes. In some areas, it can take seconds on the computer. Some county recorder’s records are now even internet accessible - for free. In one county in my state, I can have a complete title search on a property in seconds for free - right from my desk - any time, day or night.
That would answer your questions about who owns it. Now, as far as his redemption period, that depends on the state laws and the type of document. In your title search, you can actually pull and get a copy of the “mortgage” and read the terms. I would also place a quick call to a title company or knowledgeable real estate broker or investor for a quick run down on your state laws and procedures. A real estate licensing school or instructor could also tell you. Of course a real estate attorney could - but might charge a few bucks.
I would HIGHLY recommend taking the real estate licensing course to learn more about your state laws and procedures. That doesn’t mean you need to sit for the license exam and get your license. That is another decision and there are pros and cons.
As far as how you structure the deal, if you buy it at the price you mention and then look for an 85% loan, then you have one of three possibilities. One is you pay that price to your buddy. That would mean you need to put down the amount required by the lender. If your plans are to “say” you put down $12,750 when you didn’t - that is loan fraud.
Another option is that you have a lender that will make an 85% loan with no cares about price or downpayment terms. That is highly unlikely. Yet, if the lender (not just a loan officer - that will get a commission on the deal) knows everything you are doing and agrees and there is no form of mis-representation in any way, that’s fine.
A third option of course is to get your buddy to deed the property to you - or his rights - and then try to find a lender that will do an 85% refinance with little or no “ownership seasoning” meaning they’ll refinance you immediately.
My approach and I think the easiest and safest one would be to work with an investor with capital or a hard money lender to buy the property and then refinance later. That way there are no potential problems with lenders.