If you’re buying property in Florida, finding the best lien search service for your needs can be a real lifesaver.
There are a few quirks of Florida real estate which can trip up newcomers to the state – and one of the most potentially disastrous for buyers is how property liens are handled. Simply put, unlike how most other states handle the topic, liens are typically attached to the property regardless of its owner or changes in ownership.
Which is to say, if you buy a property that has a huge tax lien on it from a previous owner, chances are you would end up responsible for paying it off.
This makes it important to hire a great Florida lien search service for any real estate purchases in the state – but it’s particularly vital if you’re looking to buy a distressed property. While these may initially appear to be a great deal, either as a fixer-upper or for flipping, they can easily end up costing far more than you expect.
The Potential Dangers of Buying Distressed Properties in Florida
A distressed property is a home which is either on the brink of foreclosure or has already been repossessed by the bank. These properties tend to be priced significantly lower than other properties in the area. However, they also tend to have more problems. Since you know going in that the previous owner was financially neglectful, the assumption is that the property will have other issues.
Many of these issues can be uncovered with a basic title search, but a title search will not necessarily uncover any previous liens placed against the property. Some may go unrecorded in the title record; others may be in the system but have not yet fully propagated to all official records.
This could include liens for matters such as:
- Unpaid property taxes
- Fines for building code violations
- Unpaid construction bills
- Unpaid bills for municipal utility hookups
- Outstanding special assessments
Again, a distressed property is more likely to have these sorts of issues than a standard property.
In some cases, even radical changes to the property won’t make the liens go away. For example, if a property had a number of unpaid building code violations but the building in question was demolished prior to purchase… those liens may still be attached to the property.
In short, there’s truly no way to know if a distressed property is truly a good deal unless you perform a lien search before buying. It’s absolutely necessary to protect yourself from very expensive surprises.
Real Res Protects Your Investment
Real Res is one of the best lien search services in Florida, with more than 20 years’ experience working in every county and municipality in the state. Our work is thorough, efficient, and fast. We know deals must move quickly, and we move quickly to match.
If you’re buying a distressed property, you need to know if it has any hidden liens. Contact us to learn more!