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Old 02-07-2008, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Redford Township, MI
349 posts, read 859,429 times
Reputation: 535

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Thanks to everyone in advance for any advice-I'll try to be brief, but it'll be tough:
  • The property in question was purchased in a small town in Upper Michigan (da UP) around 1950.
  • Grandparents paid the house but both are now deceased.
  • No deed or bill of sale recorded at Register of Deeds.
  • Co. that owned the land is gone; new co. that absorbed old co. may or may not find deed, so...
  • QUESTION: If the deed is not found, and my Uncle would like the house in his name (there will be no arguments from other heirs)...what is the best way to do this? Title search and Affidavit or Quiet Title? Something else?
*Bonus Question: The new co. that is trying to find the deed also owns the land (grandparents leased it, never bought). They want to sell it, as they only want commercial property. Here is my idea, please advise:
  1. My Uncle establishes ownership of house.
  2. Uncle then takes a home equity loan to buy land.
Will this work?

I again appreciate all replies which may assist in sorting this out. Thanks!
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:18 PM
 
70 posts, read 291,827 times
Reputation: 44
FreeSpirit, this is really a question for an attorney. Best of luck!
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Old 02-09-2008, 09:42 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
631 posts, read 2,361,904 times
Reputation: 331
An attorney could do a quiet title suit.
As for the leased property, that is tricky. I wonder if your uncle could borrow money against a house on land he does not own yet. Lenders would be most careful on something like that.
Why not try to buy the land with a loan and have a mortgage against the home and land?
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Old 02-09-2008, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Mokelumne Hill, CA & El Pescadero, BCS MX.
6,958 posts, read 21,436,991 times
Reputation: 6456
Who does the title company think owns the property?

I'm not understanding how grandparents have paid for the house but leased it. I'm also not seeing the heirs claim on the property or who is the grantee of the "missing deed".

It appears you have a situation from your description where the home and the land are separate and I'm really not seeing how that is possible.

Can you clarify any of this?

You definitely need legal representation, but keep us posted on how this works out.
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Old 02-09-2008, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Redford Township, MI
349 posts, read 859,429 times
Reputation: 535
Default Unrecorded deed - details if it helps...

I can clarify a little, I hope:

The town was originally a mining town, owned completely by the mining company. Housing was provided to the miners, who then were able to either pay on the homes or lease them-but not the land. Once the mines closed, the land was available for purchase by anyone in town who had purchased their home...but my grandparents...did not do that. Why? I'll never know.

Instead, they continued to pay taxes to Copper Range Dev. Co. for years. Then, in 1984 or so, another company, Keweenaw Dev. Co., purchased all of the land Copper Range owned - commercial and residential. Keweenaw Dev. Co's owner told me they sold most of the residential land, but there are a few left he'd like to get sold - my grandparent's being one of those plats. Keweenaw doesn't want to keep any res. b/c they're focus is on selling and/or developing commercial plots. As it stands, I am waiting for Keweenaw to look through their records, so I am keeping my fingers crossed they have the deed, though they call it a "bill of sale".

We are talking about land only worth $9,000 and a house only worth about $20,000 (it still has asphalt siding and an oil heater, and *no* sink in the bathroom!) but my uncle is the only of my grandparents' four children who wants the home.

However, since the home is really behind in necessary maintenance - insulation, roofing, etc. and my uncle is low-income...and, my uncle can only qualify for state-assisted grants for these repairs with the deed - which was not recorded and was not found in my Grams' papers. All other records - utilities, assessment, etc. show my grandparents' names from 1951 on which should help in the event the deed is never found.

As for my uncle establishing ownership, I am guessing that deed or no deed, he will need an attorney, based on answers so far.

Sorry if my first post wasn't clear, but I was trying to keep it short! If it is still confusing, please advise & thanks again.
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Old 02-09-2008, 05:03 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
631 posts, read 2,361,904 times
Reputation: 331
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMenscha View Post
I'm not understanding how grandparents have paid for the house but leased it. I'm also not seeing the heirs claim on the property or who is the grantee of the "missing deed".
Where I live there is property available for 99 year leases. The land is owned by the university and it can't be bought.
Many homes are built there just as a regular neighborhood. They own their homes, just not the land. I have thought about doing the same thing on one of my properties. A person wants the location for a business, but I don't want to sell the land. I told her I would consider a long term lease but not a sale. She can build her business there and have her location.
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Old 02-10-2008, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Mokelumne Hill, CA & El Pescadero, BCS MX.
6,958 posts, read 21,436,991 times
Reputation: 6456
Thank you for the explanation, we have a few places around here like that as well only the timber companies owned the "company store". The original mining company owned the land and the house and offered to vend the house separately to your grandparents.

It seems pretty simple based on your explanation that the Keweenaw Dev. Co is the owner of the land and could sell it to your family. Even if they don't have a deed or bill of sale to your grandparents, the public record should indicate that as the successor corporation, they are the equitable owners. They can sell the land and home in it's entirety to your uncle whether or not your grandparents paid for the home originally.

I guess the only thing left to decide is if the current company will sell both for just what the land is worth and not try to make you pay for the house. From your description, it sounds like they want the millstone taken from their neck.

Good luck
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