Greetings, property enthusiasts! Dave here from, and today we’re embarking on a journey to unravel the intricacies of a do-it-yourself title search. If you find yourself in need of a non-certified or non-insured title search, fear not! Follow these steps to navigate the process yourself effectively.

1. Secure a Robust Property ID: Beyond the Street Address

The foundation of any successful title search lies in having a robust property identification. While the street address may not suffice, a valid legal description, often found in Schedule A of a document, becomes your golden ticket. Start with a deed or mortgage to extract the accurate legal description and establish a strong property ID.

2. In-Person Records Retrieval: Unearthing the Official Title Records

For a non-certified do-it-yourself title search, bypass the allure of online records. Head to the records rooms in person to pull the official documents. Online versions, even if sourced from county websites, lack the precision and completeness of the official title record. Accuracy is key, and physically retrieving records ensures just that.

3. Visit All Four Essential Locations: A Comprehensive Approach

Understanding that title records are dispersed across various offices is pivotal. To get the full picture, visit:

  • Deed Recorder: Often at the county clerk’s office.
  • Civil Court: Unearth judgments, tax liens, and more.
  • Probate Records Office: Essential for changes in individual status.
  • Prothonotary Records (if applicable): For auxiliary records and cross-references.
  • Secretary of State (Check UCC Records): Valuable information pertaining to the property.

Allocate one to two hours for each location, as navigating government records offices can be time-consuming.

4. Get Physical Copies: The Importance of Tangible Records

When you’re at each location, don’t shy away from getting physical copies of the documents. Don’t attempt to read them on-screen or in the courthouse. Pay the nominal fee for copies and take them with you. The value they hold might outweigh the cost.

5. Reading and Analysis Off-Site: A Thorough Examination

Take that stack of paperwork off-site for a comprehensive reading and analysis. Avoid the rush of the courthouse setting and meticulously go through each document. Read line by line, dissecting terms, conditions, and clauses. Analyze in detail to extract every bit of valuable information.

6. Use a Comprehensive Title Form: Structuring Your Findings

Ensure you’re not just jotting down information on any piece of paper. Utilize a good title form, even if it’s for personal use. The abstract form aids in structuring the information logically. It allows you to follow the flow of liens, releases, and assignments, providing clarity on what’s still open.

Mastering the Art of DIY Title Searches

And there you have it – a step-by-step guide to mastering the art of a do-it-yourself title search. Whether you’re a property owner, a prospective buyer, or a real estate enthusiast, arming yourself with the knowledge to conduct a thorough title search is empowering.

Connect with Us: Title Queries, Solved!

If you have questions or seek further assistance with title information, title searches, or related queries, head over to our website at Our team is ready to assist you in navigating the complex realm of property titles.

Your Thoughts Matter: Share Your Title Search Stories

We encourage you to share your experiences or questions in the comments below. Have you ever attempted a DIY title search? What challenges did you face? Let’s foster a community of knowledge-sharing to enhance everyone’s real estate endeavors.