Friday, August 21, 2015

The End (Almost) of a Quarter Century At the Bolt Hole

Made my last trip to the Bolt Hole today. There were a few odds and ends we had left in case I was going to stay there the night before the closing. I also arranged to sever connections with the power company (National Grid) and the phone company/internet provider (Newport Telephone Company). BUT...

The sale of the Bolt Hole is currently on hold as the title company is searching for a warranty deed somewhere deep in the Stone Age. When we purchased the property some 25 years (!?!) ago, we had a title search done. It did not go back beyond 40 years (1950) and no encumbrances were found. Chicago Title Insurance Company tendered a policy that protected us should some long lost ghost of sales past crop up.

[Our title search back in early 1988 DID discover that the seller (K) did not own the 101 acres he thought he did—and on which he was paying taxes. Turns out he only owned 34. The other 67 acres still belonged to the persons he purchased from (R)—and they, too, were paying taxes on those 67 acres! At the time, K lived in New Mexico, R lived on Long Island and I lived in New Jersey. I was the only one with a lawyer in the county in which the property was located. What transpired was a comedy (?) of errors and was the reason we never took possession of the property until spring of 1989.]

In today’s litigious society, I guess they want to be more careful. Forty years would be just me, and the three previous owners a total of just three sales. You can trace things back a bit further using the computer data, but that must be attached to some hard data which, if the county records are anything like I’ve been told, are a labyrinth of unsorted and mislabeled (if labeled at all) boxes and boxes of paper—kind of like my basement.

Anyway...the couple to whom we are selling need a place ASAP. They insisted on the quick closing date (three weeks from acceptance of their offer), I really hope the clerks in the county office work a little faster or that an alternative to a warranty deed can be accepted by both parties.

Today I dropped off the keys with my attorney as well as a not for the new folks detailing where different things are (power line to garage, water line to the house, etc.), how no one has lived in the cabin over winter since...oh...1987 so I don't know what the baseboard heat (only one of which has ever been used) will be like, and so forth. 

Good thing I signed all the papers including a power of attorney the other day when Terry did the same. (She was going to be out of town today; Pittsburgh for a stitching thingy.) Having done so means I can get on with doing what I want to do and do not have to show up at the closing...when ever that will be.


Ruth said...

hah, sounds like the "fun" that occurred when we bought our house.

The guy we bought from bought the property as his first house. He put in an offer, closed two weeks later, and was told he had a clear title.

OUR closing was delayed by over a month because it turned out the title wasn't clear.

30+years previous there had been a $3000 mortgage on the property that was never closed out. The guy who took that mortgage out died about 30yrs ago, his will was probated (which means that the mortgage SHOULD have been taken care of in the process) but no one could find his death cert when OUR lawyer went looking, the property passed to one of his kids, who sold it to a lady, who sold it to a lady, who turns out to have (had?) 6 aliases and couldn't be tracked down, who sold it to her daughter, who's also disappeared, who sold it to someone who sold it to the guy we bought it from.

Oh, and the bank that the original mortgage was taken through has been bought and sold 3 times and the current holder of that bank's property couldn't find any record of the mortgage......

The final solution was to have everyone (folks we bought from, bank holding the old bank's property) swear that they were unaware of the mortgage and that there had been no attempts to collect for the previous 15yrs, the sellers paid for extra title insurance for us, and everyone decided that was close enough......

Rev. Paul said...

The never-ending stubbornness, verging on stupidity, of the title companies has alternately amused or infuriated me ... depending on the circumstances. Perhaps they're afraid the Iroquois and Algonquin will launch a legal challenge to the new owners?