I am frequently asked questions about Abstracts. An experienced home buyer recently asked me" What is the approximate cost of of Abstract update?"
Because most First Time Home Buyers are not familiar with Abstracts I am going to answer these Abstract points:
- What is an Abstract?
- Why Do I need an Abstract?
- What is the approx. cost of abstract update?
Lake Charles, LA Real Estate Attorneys usually do not ask for an Abstract anymore to examine Title. With today's technology everything can be found online to review. If a Seller has an Abstract in their possession the Buyer's agent can ask to have it delivered to the Title Company ahead of time and the Attorney can review the Abstract itself before researching the property history online. Abstracts can be a time saver. The Abstract should be conveyed to the new Buyer at closing.
If you don't know what an Abstract is, it is that thick bound document you probably have stuck in a drawer, filing cabinet or in your bank deposit box. It is really Abstract of Title to the Property....Abstract for short. Some properties will not have an abstract, especially bank owned properties. Homeowners do not always posses the original Abstract.
The Abstract is not required to close on a property but it is nice to have. If there is no Abstract the Real Estate Attorney/Title Company will review the history online via courthouse records. The Real Estate Attorney is going to search the property in order to make sure there are no issues with Title. This is referred to as the "title search". During the course of review the Real Estate Attorney will be able to see the chain of ownership to make sure the property can convey to the new owner cleanly with a free and clear title (no tax liens, successions, or other issues)
You can find alot of helpful information in an Abstract which is the condensed history of the property containing:
- Original land information
- Plat Map
- Lot & Block Diagram
- Subdivision Restrictions
- History of the Property
- Recorded Deed
- Recorded Mortgage
- Legal Actions/Suits Filed
The Louisiana Purchase Contract does not have any language referencing the updating of the Abstract. (it is not required by either party) If a Buyer chooses to include this as a condition of purchase the REALTOR will have to add this language in the write-in section provided within the contract. A Seller will usually opt to choose paying for Title Search vs. Paying to Update an Abstract. A conservative estimate of the cost of a Title Search is $250 more/less vs. estimate of Abstract Update of $500 more/less.
Sometimes Buyer will choose to have an Abstract updated at their own cost. If there is no Abstract Buyer may also choose to have a new Abstract built. This means binding all of the document history of the property (this is why it is more costly).
If you are a first time home buyer or have other real estate questions you would like answered, I am here to help answer your questions in a concise easy to understand manner. Subscribe to my Blog "Lagniappe Living in Lake Charles" for up to date answers to the questions you may have wondered about! Or just pick up the phone and call me MARILYN BOUDREAUX 337-499-9592