The small price tagged Maine real estate listings sure make the phone ring, the emails to flow like honey."The lower the price, the more the buyers". But the reality of the small house with ten foot pole marks on it, or the acre lot in the middle of nowhere is the lint on the title. Legal issues, surveying concerns that come with this segment of "blue light specials." Why? Someone buying a $100,000 parcel of Maine land searches the title, surveys the lines, checks for easements, liens, etc. But the property buyer who only has a little stack of tens and twenties in his wallet but really really wants to own something, no matter how much real estate drama comes with the property, needs to know about what can come up on radar.
For starters, with family transactions where grandfather splits off the end of a field for junior, back in the 1940's, the deed is written on a napkin at a local diner. Something gets lost in translation to paper and a barn yard approach causes a home made jerry-rigged deal.
A deed does not have to be wrapped in a lawyer embossed, frilly outer blue wrapper to be satisfactory for a legal conveyance of title. But the way the deed is drafted, missing elements, no title search, heirs that show up out of the wood work are like the iceberg portion you don't see on the surface.
The description may not come together and close. The reference to the old elm tree that was there in the 1950's but evaporated thanks to Dutch elm disease make it harder and harder to know what the seller, the grantor had in mind. Confusion, neighbors bickering, calls to the real estate broker, hurt feelings, misunderstandings. A warranty deed could have a swiss cheese full of holes title behind it and having to hire an attorney to fix it, to go to court to make the seller square it away is expensive, a long and drawn out process. The myth that as long as the deed is a warranty one is not the protection you need if you really begin to improve the property, dump a lot of money in to it.
The seller of the real estate to a cash or owner financed buyer is not interested in running the title, surveying the lines, and it is an "as is where is" situation. The property buyer has lots of hope, expects the best in a naive sort of way. A bank is not so interested in a mr fix it property if there is a building because the secondary mortgage market won't buy the paper, the assignment of the mortgage. Many times there are minimums that banks just refuse to get involved with because the very nature of the low end properties is problems. Its like a car deal who does not sell something that can not be inspected so the days of $800 cars are pretty much over unless it does not have a VIN number. If you can not drive if off the lot, what good is it?