Avoid These Real Estate Title Pitfalls

Over more than 30 years of experience in the title insurance industry, I have seen it all. Preliminary real estate titles often don't tell the whole story, leaving out important elements that can lead to expensive lawsuits down the road. As a lawyer who has focused my career on title review, I can help you avoid real estate title pitfalls such as the common pitfalls below.

1. Environmental Cleanup

Failing to do environmental due diligence can lead to thousands of dollars in environmental remediation costs and litigation fees. I will try to determine whether there are environmental hazards on your title as part of my title review services.

2. Mineral Rights And Exemptions

While you may own the surface rights to your land, a company may own the mineral rights underneath it, dividing your land horizontally below the surface. This may affect your use of the land, development plans and even your ownership rights should the company with mineral rights have the right of entry.

3. Gas Leases

Few attorneys are willing to delve into oil and gas lease issues on land titles. I can help identify whether or not an oil and gas lease still affects the property or whether it has been terminated and determine whether it is still an encumberance on the property so that you can move forward with your development plans.

4. Easements

An easement is one of the most common title pitfalls. Even if you own your land, if another person, agency, business or party has the ability to access and use that property, your business plans could be out the window. I can uncover and plan out the easements on your prospective property and try to help you clear your title of those easements. I helped one client uncover an Edison easement that would have cost them over $1 million.

5. CC&R's (Covenants, Conditions And Restrictions)

There may be unknown building restrictions on your property or other covenants and conditions that can prevent you from using the property as you intend. I will outline the CC&R's and whether you can obtain a variance.

6. Subdivision Map Act

The Subdivision Map Act is a California law that governs the subdivision of land. Violating the Subdivision Map Act can lead to significant fines, rescission of your contracts and even imprisonment. I will verify that the property you are buying is a legal parcel that complies with the Act.

Protect Your Business From Title Pitfalls With Experienced Legal Help

It is vital to do your research and understand the potential pitfalls you could face upon assuming a real estate title. It takes years to learn title and do it right, especially with subdivision titles, which need a minimum of five years of experience to even understand what you are doing. That is why it is vital to work with an attorney who knows how to research a title and determine all of the potential encumbrances and pitfalls you could face.

Call my law firm, Steven F. Ball Consulting, LLC, at 949-385-6420 or send me an email to arrange a consultation. Located in Laguna Hills, many of my clients are from Southern California, but I am able to represent people throughout the Western U.S.