Homebuying Horror Story #2: Hidden Lien
At Clear Title, we help people make one of the biggest financial decisions in their life: purchasing a home. The closing process can be complex and challenging, so we have developed this Homebuying Horror Story Series to bring to light some of the situations that can arise during this process. Last month we covered the forgotten owner; this month we are focusing on liens.
Fictional Situation: Kayla & Brayden
- Married couple purchasing their first home
- No children
- Goldendoodle named Dakota
Kayla and Brayden had been renting an apartment in Pensacola since they got married five years ago. The time had come for them to start thinking about starting a family, but first they decided to get a dog. Dakota, a 60-pound Goldendoodle, was a rambunctious puppy and as an adult required vast amounts of daily exercise. Living in a third floor apartment was not convenient for anyone in the family.
A single-family home with a fenced in backyard was the perfect solution. After months of house hunting, they found their first home. To save money, they enlisted a friend to help them with some of the homebuying details (rather than hiring a professional to perform details such as a title search). Unfortunately, their attempt to save money backfired.
What they didn’t know was that a lien that was placed on the property when the previous homeowners lived there. The lien was a legal notice attached to the property due to an unpaid home renovation debt by the previous homeowner. That meant that the owners of the property owed money to another party – in this case a contractor – and that lien had to be paid before the sale could go through.
Kayla and Brayden found out about the lien as the sale of the home moved toward the final stages of the closing process. The previous homeowner did not have the $20,000 to pay off the lien and the contractor was unwilling to set up a payment plan for the previous homeowner. Because Kayla and Brayden did not have an extra $20,000 to take over the lien, they were unable to purchase the house.
Excitement quickly turned to disappointment as the couple had to restart their home search from scratch. If a thorough title search had been performed, this lien would have been brought to the surface much sooner and could have saved Kayla and Brayden a lot of time and stress.
Clear Title is a title company in Pensacola, Florida, led by Board Certified Real Estate Attorney Stephen R. Moorhead. For over 30 years he has honed his skills in real estate closing and built a team of experienced, trustworthy experts to keep the horror out of homebuying. When you trust Clear Title, you’re getting 100s of years of combined experience in your homebuying court.
To schedule a meeting with our experts and explore our Pensacola title services, contact us today at (850) 202-8518 or visit ClearTitlenwfl.com.