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Can I buy a vacation cabin in Montana for cash by just going through a County Clerk and Recorder ?

  • January 11 2014 - Essex
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Answers (5)

I concur with some of the other agents' response to your question,  It would behoove you to have a title search done on the property and also purchase title insurance.  Also you might to make sure there no liens on the property and also find out if there are any covenants for the neighborhood that might restrict your uses for the property.  Researching water rights and easements, especially out here in Montana, is also a step you would want to make prior to purchasing a property.
  • January 12 2014
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Yes, of course. The seller can hand you a deed, and you can go down to the courthouse and record it yourself. Hopefully, somebody else didn't beat you to it!
  • January 12 2014
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Profile picture for Connie Klemme

It is possible to just have someone prepare the deed then trade the funds for the deed and get it recorded yourself at the county clerk.   However since there is a structure on the property there is an increased risk of liens and potential title concerns that you may not find without an involved title search.

You may want to check into options to have at least a title search and an attorney's opion of the title done.  I would recommend also purchasing title insurance that is there to protect you from defects that are not found by the attorney that might appear later.

If you are simply trying to avoid closing costs, you need to consider that closing costs are rather low in comparison to the cost of getting a messy title straighted out later.  Your closing costs may be as little as $800- possibly more, possibly less- contact a title company and ask- how much to close with title insurance on this property for a cash deal?  You won't have lender costs and the seller won't have REA costs, they may wish to pay an attorney for the written contract.  It just depends on the details.
if it's as is no inspections, cash deal....then a contract might be a fill in the blank form you use.  As long as you realize there is risk.  The agents and lawyers provide contracts that consider more complex situations and work to protect both sides from misunderstandings etc.   I wouldn't recommend buying without an attorney or agent writing the contract if you are new to this kind of purchase but if you are not then you should have some expectations on the risks and your willingness to accept them before skipping that expense.

I wouldn't recommend skipping either thing - a pro to handle a contract   or title search/insurance.
but there are people who make such purchases all the time.   if it were vacant land that has never been recorded to have a house on it...the risk would be less

  • January 12 2014
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You must buy the home from the homeowner.  The county clerk and recorder will legally document the ownership, but not do the transaction for you.


Daniel 

  • January 12 2014
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Profile picture for nwhome.us
How are you going to confirm that there are no liens or that there aren't other entities that have an interest in the property (mineral rights, water rights)?
  • January 12 2014
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