Navigating the realm of title searches can be complex, especially when considering the various types available. In this blog post, Dave from sheds light on the five most common types of title searches, offering valuable insights into their purposes and when they are most applicable.

1. Current Owner Search (O&E Search): Unveiling Recent Liens and Encumbrances

The first and arguably most common type of title search is the Current Owner Search or Owner and Encumbrance (O&E) Search. It focuses on a timeline from when the current owner took title to the present. Typically, when a property changes hands, a title search is conducted. A Current Owner Search reveals any liens or encumbrances that have emerged since the current owner acquired the property, offering a snapshot of the recent history.

2. Two Owner Search: Adding an Extra Layer of Assurance

A Two Owner Search delves into the property’s ownership history, going back from the second prior owner to the present owner. This type of search adds an extra layer of assurance by providing insight into whether the previous owner had any claims or issues related to the property.

3. Chain of Title: Unraveling Ownership History Over the Years

The Chain of Title search explores the ownership history over an extended period, which could span decades. It can be tailored to cover a certain number of owners or years. This search type is valuable for gaining a comprehensive understanding of the property’s lineage, though it may not necessarily uncover all liens and mortgages.

4. Abstracted Chain: A Detailed Examination of Each Owner’s Title

The Abstracted Chain combines the elements of a Chain of Title with individual title searches for each owner in the chain. For instance, in a 50-year search with eight owners, a title search is conducted for each owner to identify any outstanding liens or mortgages during their ownership. This detailed approach ensures a thorough examination of potential encumbrances.

5. Search Back to Patent: Exploring Centuries-Old Property Roots

The Search Back to Patent is an in-depth investigation that traces the property back to its original patent, often reaching back 100 to 150 years or even further, depending on the location. This search type provides historical context and can be crucial in understanding the property’s evolution over time.

Choosing the Right Type: Understanding Your Needs

As you explore title searches, it’s essential to align your needs with the most relevant type. The Current Owner Search remains the most common, offering a cost-effective and informative solution. However, specific situations may necessitate other types, such as mineral rights or easement searches.

Consulting with a title search professional is crucial to determining the most suitable type for your requirements. Their expertise ensures that you receive the necessary information efficiently, striking a balance between cost, turnaround time, and relevance to your needs.

Title searches play a vital role in real estate transactions, providing a comprehensive view of a property’s history and potential encumbrances. Understanding the nuances of each type empowers buyers and industry professionals to make informed decisions. If you have further questions or specific needs, reach out to for expert guidance.