What could go wrong, legally, with my home purchase?

This is a great follow-up question to the last question because there are literally hundreds of things that potentially could go wrong with the purchase and that is why one hires a lawyer, to make sure things don't go wrong. If I could categorize the types of problems one might come across, I would suggest that there are two major categories: 1- you don't get what you bargained for; and 2- it costs you more than you bargained for. The first type of problem is concerned with title defects, that is, the vendor doesn't have clear title to what he is trying to sell or else he owns it but someone else has a lien on it. An example of the former would be a vendor who owned property jointly with another person who has since died but the property is in both names. An example of the latter situation would be if there are property tax arrears for the property. The second type of problem relates to additional costs to the unwary purchaser that could arise in the future, for example, purchasing from a non-resident without obtaining a tax clearance certificate could render the purchaser liable for the non-resident's outstanding income taxes to the extent of 25% of the purchase price of the property. One has only to read the standard agreement of purchase and sale to get an idea of some of the potential problems one could face since virtually every paragraph deals with one or more problems that have arisen in the past.