Being able to locate your abstract of title and survey can save you hundreds of dollars when it comes time to sell your home. The abstract of title is a bound packet of documents that show the chain of title for your property. When you sell your house it is generally required that you produce the original abstract. If you do not have the abstract then a new one must be created which can cost hundreds of dollars.
For most of us, buying and selling our home is something that does not happen very often and may only occur once or twice in our lifetimes. This can make it difficult to locate important documents when it comes time to sell the home 10, 20, or 30 years down the road.
When buying a home, there is generally another entity (i.e. attorney or bank) that will walk guide you through the process making sure that all the pieces of information get gathered. At the end of the home buying process the new home owners will get a packet of important information. Besides bank documents (copy of note & mortgage, etc.) there may be a copy of the deed, survey, and abstract of title. If you kept the packet of documents in a safe place and you remember where the safe place is, then great you get a gold star.
However, if you do not have a copy of the abstract all is not lost as you may not have been given the abstract to hold. One trick for locating your abstract is to review the documents from the closing. The lender likely had a title insurance policy (and maybe you had an owner’s policy) and some documents (HUD-1 or Statement of Sale) may have the title company’s name on it. It is a good bet that they would have the abstract. Also, if you had an attorney then your attorney may have a copy of the abstract as well. A copy of the survey is also helpful and can save time and money because if there were no significant changes to the property then all you may need is for the survey to be re-certified rather than completely reconstructed. This can also save a few hundred dollars and help you realize the full value of your home at sale time.
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