If you’ve been through a closing process on a home, you know that both you and the bank will have a title insurance policy to protect both of your investments. But let’s say you’re not purchasing a home, just some land to build on or invest in. Do you need a title insurance policy for vacant land?
The simple answer is yes. Title insurance doesn’t just cover a home, because a title search isn’t restricted to only the building on your property. Empty lots and vacant property could be just as vulnerable to fraud or errors on a title. A policy covers any future legal trouble, regardless of the kind of real estate you’re buying.
Unfortunately, many assume that the deed to a piece of land guarantees your ownership forever. A deed merely shows the transfer of the ownership, but doesn’t protect you from other hazards. Unwanted liens and claims can still come out of nowhere, even if you have the deed to the land.
Did you know that over time you can obtain the rights to the air above your land or the utilities that run through it? Some of these may have been purchased by a previous owner, but if they were missed in the public records, they could be overlooked during a title search.
The last thing you want in your vacant land is any hidden problem, like outstanding taxes, rent, or misfiled documents that you merely inherit from your purchase. You still need an owner’s title insurance policy on your new land. Like purchasing a home, the purchase occurs once at the closing and is in place as long as you or your family owns the property. If your client is interested in purchasing a vacant lot, remind them that they still need a title insurance policy, and that they have a choice when it comes to the company they use!