What is a Preliminary Report and How do I Read it?

March 10, 2014

When purchasing your home in South Lake Tahoe you will come across many different documents. Thankfully, your SoTahoe  Realtor will be there to help you understand these sometimes confusing terms. But, it never hurts to be prepared and get familiar with the important documents that you will come across.

A Preliminary Report, also referred to as a Prelim, will provide you with some of the most crucial and pertinent information in regards to your South Lake Tahoe home purchase. The Prelim is prepared prior to the issuing of title insurance. It provides buyers with the opportunity to review issues that could affect the title of the home.

Below are some of the key points that buyers should take notice of:

Vested Owner’s Name – This name should match the owners name on the purchase agreement exactly. If the names are different, there could be a problem with who actually owns the property and if they have the legal right to sell it.

Type of Estate or Interest – Here is where you can find out the extent of the owners interest in the property. The most common type of interest held is “fee simple” or “fee” which is the highest level of interest an owner can hold.

Easements – Listed you will find the type and location of all easements. Easements are a right given to another person or entity to trespass upon land that person or entity does not own. For Example easements are used for roads or given to utility companies for the right to bury cables or access utility lines. Almost all properties will hold some type of easement.

Legal Description of the Property – This is exactly what the title implies. The property will be geographically identified and will include the Assessor’s Parcel Number (APN).

Deeds of Trust – Includes all existing loans held against the property.

Covenants, Conditions and Restriction – Also known as CC&Rs, are property restrictions and agreements that have been place in a prior deed.

Notice of Default – Will alert you to any existing foreclosure proceedings.

Tax Liens, Judgments or Bankruptcy – Another important section that identifies any claims by creditors affecting the seller and/or property that will be excluded from title insurances coverage. Bankruptcies will be listed if a copy of the petition has been filed in the relevant county.

List of Standard Exceptions and Exclusions – All standard items not covered by title insurance.

When reviewing your Prelim, keep in mind that not all lenis, defects or encumbrances will be listed. Nor is the Prelim a concrete list of the condition of the title of the property. The Prelim is simply used to inform you of matters which could affect the title of your soon to be Lake Tahoe property. Your title insurance policy will actually be the instrument to protect you from issues should they be raised. But don’t worry if these terms don’t make sense! Your SoTahoe Realtor will be there for you every step of the way to make sure your transaction goes as smoothly as possible.

Thank you Century 21 @ Tahoe Paradise for such an informative article.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information.

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