Helpful Hints Concerning Land Records
Deeds: When a piece of property is to be conveyed to a new party, an attorney will usually draw up a Deed and have the current owner sign it. Once the document is properly executed, it is brought to our office to be recorded. This procedure transfers a property from one person to another. There is no law that says an individual cannot draw up their own Deed or other document but it is better to seek the advice of an attorney unless you are sure you know how to do this yourself.
Plats: A Plat, or Survey, is a drawing showing the boundaries of a piece of property. We receive many requests from the general public for a copy of a plat. A survey is usually done when you borrow money to purchase a home. Please remember that we won’t have a copy of the plat unless a surveyor was hired and the plat was brought to our office to be recorded. It is possible that a previous owner may have had a survey drawn and recorded.
Property Restrictions: Restrictions, or Restrictive Covenants are usually placed on properties to protect the value of the homes in a certain area or subdivision. Restrictions are usually put on by the developer of a subdivision. The period of effectiveness can run anywhere from a month to forever. Only the owners in the chain of title can place restrictions on property and only during their period of ownership. i.e.: No one can place restrictions on property after they have already sold it. But anyone who does own property can place restrictions as long as they don’t conflict with the previous ones. For example, if the developer’s restrictions state, “…no poultry or livestock…but household pets are okay…” an owner can place a restriction against having a white dog on the property. For this reason it is very important to have a title search done before you purchase a property. Only a full title search will reveal all of the restrictions concerning a particular property.