Title research is an essential step when buying a tax deed property in Jacksonville, Florida. Conducting comprehensive online title research allows you to assess the property’s ownership history, identify any potential liens or encumbrances, and ensure a smooth and secure transaction. Here are some guidelines to follow when conducting online title research for a tax deed property in Jacksonville.

1. Start with the County Clerk’s Website: The Duval County Clerk of Courts website is a valuable resource for online title research. Visit their website and navigate to the Public Records section, where you can access various records related to the property.

2. Search for Deed Information: Look for the most recent deed related to the property. This will provide you with the current owner’s information and help establish a chain of title. Make note of any transfers or changes in ownership.

3. Check for Liens and Encumbrances: Look for any outstanding liens, mortgages, or judgments against the property. These can affect your ownership rights and may need to be addressed before finalizing the purchase.

4. Research Tax Information: Ensure that all taxes on the property have been paid up to date. Verify the current tax status and check for any outstanding tax liabilities or pending tax sales.

5. Assess Additional Documents: Review any additional documents available on the county clerk’s website, such as easements, covenants, or restrictions that may impact the property’s use or value.

6. Verify Legal Description: Confirm that the legal description of the property matches the one provided in the tax deed auction or sale. Any discrepancies could lead to complications in the future.

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7. Analyze Survey Reports: If available, review survey reports to understand the property’s boundaries and easements, ensuring there are no encroachments or discrepancies.

8. Consult with a Title Company or Attorney: If you encounter any complexities or uncertainties during your online title research, it is advisable to consult with a title company or real estate attorney. They can provide professional guidance and conduct a thorough title search to ensure a clear and marketable title.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

1. Are online records sufficient for conducting title research?
Yes, online records provide a wealth of information for conducting title research. However, it is still recommended to consult with a professional for a more comprehensive search.

2. How can I access the Duval County Clerk of Courts website?
Visit the Duval County Clerk of Courts website and navigate to the Public Records section to access property records.

3. What should I do if I find outstanding liens or encumbrances?
Consult with a title company or attorney to understand the implications of these liens and determine the necessary steps to resolve them.

4. Can I rely solely on online title research?
While online research is valuable, it is essential to conduct a physical inspection and consult with professionals to ensure a thorough and accurate title search.

5. How can I verify the property’s legal description?
Compare the legal description provided in the tax deed auction or sale with the property’s official records available online.

6. What should I do if I find discrepancies in the legal description?
Contact a surveyor or a professional to resolve any discrepancies and ensure accurate property boundaries.

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7. Can I purchase title insurance for tax deed properties?
Title insurance is typically not available for tax deed properties due to the inherent risks associated with their acquisition.

8. Is it necessary to consult with a professional for title research?
While conducting online research can provide valuable insights, consulting with a professional title company or attorney is highly recommended to ensure a secure and legal transaction.

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