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Buying or Selling a Home/Quickdeed on city tax house


I am wanting to purchase a house from the city in ND. They can give me a quickdeed. The house has been empty 10 years or more. The county owned it for taxes, the city bought it and wants the taxes for it. I want to know how I could get a clear title. I don't want to pay for this house and have problems later, either with potentially selling or fix it up and have a relative of the family or the estate come claim it. Thanks.

Hello Cassandra.

Thank you for your question. You are definitely on the right track to ensuring you have your new home free and clear of any title issues.  Please note I am not familiar with the specific procedures in North Dakota.  And, I don't know if the city you are referring to use an outside, professional title company.  So, what I am going to suggest to you is that you check with the city regarding being provided with what is referred to as a 'preliminary title' report from a title company.  This report is provided by a title company who insures their research regarding the taxes, encumbrances, encroachments, liens, lot location and size, etc.  Your goal is to ensure the property is free of all liens and there are no title claims prior to signing your name on the 'dotted line'.  Keep in mind past due taxes are considered liens. Unless you are willing to pay them to get the property, you will want the title to be free of this type of lien.

Bottom-line; get the report from a title company. If the city orders the report it should be free to you.  If you are uncertain about how to read it, I recommend you take it to an attorney. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find a no or low cost attorney doing pro-bono work at the local library. At the very least, ask a local Realtor or mortgage loan agent to review it with you. They see the reports regularly and should be able to quickly give you guidance.

By the way, another way to protect yourself is to hire a home inspector prior to taking over the home. The up front cost could save you thousands in needed repairs, sleepless nights, and emotional trauma!  

Good luck, Cassandra! 'Sounds like a great deal!  

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Kathryn Hisert; Realtor


Everyone deserves an answer! My rounded background will provide you with information beyond ‘just’ buying and selling. I can answer questions regarding short sales, foreclosures, deed-in-lieu, home staging, vintage home related concerns, most mortgage related questions, and divorcing couples’ housing options. I am a research oriented individual who strongly believes in connecting all the dots and providing as much, or as little, information and communication my clients want or need. My expertise is in San Diego and Santa Clara Counties.


After 25+ years in the Financial industry, Sales and Marketing, I came to the real estate industry as a mortgage loan agent. From 2002 to 2010 I was my clients' Realtor and loan agent. Since 06/10 I have been strictly a Realtor.

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