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Boring Title: Title Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Title insurance is boring, but Allied Title & Escrow is here to decode the jargon and make it (somewhat) more interesting. This biweekly column will explore the mundane (but very necessary!) world of title insurance while sharing interesting stories of two friends’ entrepreneurial careers. 

Enough Entrepreneurial stories… how about we try to educate the audience about title insurance. This week we will provide title tips for first-time home buyers.

Title Tip 1: Get an owner’s policy in addition to the lender’s policy.

Did you know that 1 in 3 title searches have either a title or public record defect? Getting the owner’s policy will make sure that you are covered in a circumstance where defects were not found in the initial search, but then pop up later down the road.

Title insurance is ONLY a one time cost at closing unlike health and car insurance which you pay monthly forever! That one time cost will protect you for as long as you own the home AND as long as your heirs own the home. Yes, a one-time cost!

Title Tip 2: The second tip is something that many people who are purchasing a home in the DMV go without knowing: Title insurance premiums are regulated.

This means that the title insurance premium will basically be the same no matter what title company you use. Title premiums are set by underwriters and underwriters prices are within a few dollars for each policy.

Where there is an opportunity for a buyer to negotiate is with the fixed fees that title insurance companies charge. Those fixed fees include a variety of services, which may include the title search (aka the abstract), title commitment, processing fees, settlement fee, courier fees, etc.

If you are one to negotiate you’ll have an opportunity to do so with a title company’s fixed fees which are usually $800-$1000 per side (buyer/seller).

Title Tip 3: The buyer (not the seller) gets to select which title company they use.

Seller’s may offer incentives to the buyer if they use a preferred title company which many times can be a good offer. However, service in the title industry matters so make sure you to do your homework on the title company. Check their Google and Facebook reviews!

Have questions related to title insurance? Email Latane and Matt at [email protected]. Want to use Allied Title & Escrow when you buy a home? Tell your agent when you buy a house to write in Allied Title & Escrow as your settlement company!

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