How can I find out if there is a lien on a piece of property before I purchase it? Will it cost me money to find out this information? It is located in a different county from where I reside.
You should hire a title company (or depending on the part of the country your in hire a lawyer that hires a title company) to to a title search on the property, lien and judgement searches, etc. These searches should turn up liens on the property. The contract of purchase should also have representations and warranties of the seller to help identify potential issues. You may also need to environmental and other investigations (due diligence). The safest approach is to hire a real estate attorney in the area to identify issues. Finally, talk to your real estate broker (if there was one involved) - a sharp real estate broker can help with insights and contacts on almost every aspect of a transaction, including your concern about identifying liens.
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