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Hi. I am bartering , trading some items and cash OR maybe just items for a property house in Pennsylvania..The owner of this

Philadelphia, PA |

House in Pa says that the deed to the property is free and clear in his name ONLY has a tax from this past year and possibly a water bill which may only be a few hundred bucks each..The property does need quite some renovation but that's not an issue to me..I just want to know what else I should ask him about the property? For example in case it has some other mortgage, or lien? He told me he has transfered deeds before and would not be an issue but, however, I just want to make sure that when it is transferred to my name that I have no other liens, penalties, fees..ETC ASIDE from the backtax AND or water bill as he states. After it's in my name, I plan on remodeling and either living , renting or reselling after making several renovations ,improvements. Thanks

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

At the very least you need to hire a title company to run a title search of the title to the property. And be very careful about giving money or valuable items to someone who may or may not own a property - do the search first to make sure this is legitimate.

Asker

Posted

Another way I thought of is can't I just contact or call the local town municipal court or tax assesors office and give them the address of the property? And they would tell me the owner or person on deed , title? Information that's readily available to the public?

Posted

Robert pointed you in the right direction with the title company. Ensure that the person that actually owns the property is the one you are dealing with - otherwise this turns into a law school hypothetical as someone that lost a lot of money to a bad person.

Best of luck

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Asker

Posted

Another way I thought of is can't I just contact or call the local town municipal court or tax assesors office and give them the address of the property? And they would tell me the owner or person on deed , title? Information that's readily available to the public?

Posted

You can check the OPA website in Philly, if the property is there. Do a google search, type in the address, and it will tell you the owner. However, as others have clearly stated, get a title search to avoid encumbrances and to verify the true owner.

Asker

Posted

Another way I thought of is can't I just contact or call the local town municipal court or tax assesors office and give them the address of the property? And they would tell me the owner or person on deed , title? Information that's readily available to the public?

Posted

Definitely check the title. Run a title search. This will let you know who has title to the property, and anyone else who may claim and interest in it via lien, mortgage or otherwise. Also, you should check the local tax office for any outstanding RE taxes. Also, don't forget the issue of realty transfer tax. You should also check to verify what the existing use and occupancy is of the property to make sure you are not inheriting an code violations, specifically an illegal dwelling unit (i.e. legal occupancy is 2 unit building, that was converted without approval to a 3 unit building)

This response is only general and preliminary in nature and is not intended to serve as any legal undertaking, representation or advice until all facts are disclosed and representation is formalized.

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