When purchasing a property, there are two ways to ensure that you are not exposed to unreasonable risk in completing your purchase, and that you have good and marketable title to your property.
A Lawyer’s Certificate of Title is the traditional means of protecting yourself and your lender on a property purchase. The lawyer searches the records at the Registry of Deeds, and provides you with an opinion of the title to the property. This opinion may be subject to certain limitations. The lawyer’s certificate ensures that you will have good and sufficient marketable title. You will also have to obtain a Surveyor’s Location Certificate to confirm that the dwelling is located completely within the boundaries of the lot. Your mortgage company will usually require these two certificates. A Tax and/or Zoning Certificate may also be required.
Title Insurance is a new product in Atlantic Canada, but it has been used in the United States for over 100 years. With Title Insurance, the lawyer still searches the title to the property you are buying at the Registry of Deeds, and then certifies title to a Title Insurance Company. The Title Insurance Company then provides a written policy issued to you and your mortgage company. This policy confirms that you have good and sufficient marketable title, and protects you from loss if this is not the case. It also protects you if the dwelling is not completely located within the boundaries of the lot. Financial institutions will accept Title Insurance in the place of Location, Tax, or Zoning Certificates.