Why should you search for municipal liens before buying real estate in Florida? Like most other states, there can be unrecorded liens, as well as fees and permit violations attached to a property rather than an individual. When you close on a property, a municipal lien search makes sense to find out if there are any liens, etc.
Have you heard of the term “zombie homes?” They’re vacant, deteriorated small homes whose owners are/were behind on their mortgage payments. In recent years, Florida has been one of the nation’s leading states for zombie homes, typically in the top 3! A 2016 ruling allows the state of Florida to keep liens on zombie properties which have been abandoned and left with lien debt.
Meanwhile, in 2017, Florida passed a ruling that allows tax liens to stretch backward, which means they can apply up to 10 years retroactively.
It’s no wonder, then, that a municipal lien search is involved (and necessary) for homebuyers in Florida. The search helps buyers find all sorts of “issues” that need to be resolved… such as code violations, expired permits, and, of course, unrecorded liens. Oftentimes there are “unknown or undisclosed” fees and costs involved in the home-buying process. These could easily impact a buyer post-closing; a municipal lien search, therefore, is so informative– it means fewer surprises “down the road.” Buyers are better off when they’re well-informed with all associated costs of that which they’re buying; there should be no “surprises” at closing.
Basically, if you’re buying property in Florida, would you like to buy something without knowing it has a bunch of fees that YOU have to pay after you’ve bought it? Of course not! That’s why municipal lien searches make sense– find out if there are any “surprise” fees before you buy a property. That way you can make an informed decision whether or not to proceed with the purchase.
While most people assume a municipal lien is part of a normal title search, it’s not. Reliable Lien Search, located in Florida, can help you get the municipal lien search done; call 954-447-6947.