Press Club

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

Purchasing land is a bit different than purchasing a home or commercial building.

In its vacant form, you may find yourself wondering about a few key things, such as what you can legally use the land for or what its true value is. For instance, will you legally be able to build a house on the land if that’s your intention? And, what is the value of the property when you take into consideration such things as drainage, road access, location and zoning restrictions?

And, of course, how will you protect your rights to the property? When buying a home, most consider title insurance to be a form of loss prevention for your property — so buying it is a must. But what about vacant land?

Check our latest blog post to find out the answer!

Are you considering a land purchase or planning to build on purchased land? Contact us with your questions and we’ll connect you with one of our title experts.

0 Comments

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

Real estate title work isn’t glamorous and it’s extremely technical. From the outside, the process may look quite boring, but underneath the surface, there are many moving parts working together to create a seamless transaction for buyers and sellers.

At Allied Title, we have a dynamic crew working behind the scenes to ensure that your closing experience is not only seamless, but it is just as much fun as getting the accepted offer on your dream home!

Check out the video below to see how Allied is not your typical title company!

What do you think we should feature in the next video? Comment below to let us know!

Videography by Jonathan Thorpe. Check out Jonathan’s work and get in touch at www.jthorpephoto.com.

Have questions related to title insurance? Email [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! 

0 Comments

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

This week, Allied Title’s CEO, Latane Meade, catches up with Kristin Francis, top-producing agent and leader of the Kristin Francis Team of Keller Williams.

When you hear Kristin talk about her creative approach to real estate, it will come as no surprise that her team was voted one of Arlington’s favorite real estate agents for sellers in the 2021 Arlies, ARLnow’s community awards.

Kristin’s team is wholly committed to fostering community and building relationships which not only gives her clients a competitive advantage, it also enables her to leverage the team’s success for the greater good. Plus, they like to have fun!

Want to learn even more about the Kristin Francis Team? Visit their website, send them an email, or give them a call at 571-348-4604.

Have questions related to title insurance? Email [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! 

0 Comments

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

Question: Do I need insurance for my house flip project?

Answer: If you don’t want the hassle of buying a home and renting it out to others, then buying a fixer-upper and selling it for more is the next best thing. While the process sounds rather simple, there is something really important that should never be overlooked — and that is the need for home insurance for flipping houses.

Since no one is living in your investment property, you may feel that you really don’t need insurance. However, that is not true at all. Believe it or not, there are so many things that can go wrong during remodeling projects while the house sits vacant for months at a time — such as falls, fires, vandalism, theft of pipes/fixtures and more. Traditional insurance providers and homeowner’s policies view house flipping as ‘high risk’ and are not designed to protect vacant properties or properties that are needing rehab.

Flipping houses requires a special type of insurance coverage that a typical Home Owner’s Insurance policy does not provide. The insurance policies discussed below will protect your property and personal assets and provide peace of mind.

Dwelling Policy

A Dwelling Policy is designed for vacant buildings and protects against any direct, physical damage to the property. This is a common type of insurance used for flipping houses. It isn’t always easy to see the issues that may arise during even the simplest renovations.

Although a dwelling policy is a way to remain protected, it should be noted that this policy will not cover any materials or equipment used in the renovation.

Builder’s Risk Policy

A Builder’s Risk policy is also designed to protect vacant property and it is necessary if your renovation includes tampering with the structure. This policy, again, covers the direct physical damage to the property while it is in the construction process.

Unlike dwelling policies, a builder’s risk policy does cover the renovation materials. This is often purchased as a rider in addition to the dwelling policy.

General Liability Policy

As you can tell, dwelling policies and builder’s risk policies focus on the damage to the property itself, and potentially the materials. But what about bodily injury? It is not uncommon for injuries to occur during a renovation. Should you get hurt, your general liability policy would be in place to protect you, but it does not protect your contractors or people you have working at the property.

What it does do, though, is protect you in case you are sued due to an injury at the property. Any medical expenses or legal fees that arise due to a slip and fall, for example, will be handled by this insurance company.

Have questions related to title insurance? Email [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! 

0 Comments

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

Seriously, can your house be stolen? If it could, is there anything you can do to stop it?

In this week’s edition, Tim RoysterTeam Lead of The Royster Hearth Group, talks with the legal team at Allied Title about protecting your home, title insurance and more!

Tim is the Team Lead of The Royster Hearth Group, a real estate team with Compass. A home is more than a place with a roof over your head. It is a place of comfort, love, warmth, rest and security — “HEARTH”. The Royster Hearth Group is dedicated to helping you reach YOUR HEARTH. Their mission statement is simple: Serve Our Neighbors, Not Ourselves.  

Tim Royster, Team Lead of the Royster Hearth Group, is a U.S. Army Veteran. Contact Tim at [email protected] or 571-275-0871.  Check out their website at www.roysterhearthgroup.com and subscribe to their YouTube channel for weekly updates on all things Northern Virginia!

Have questions related to title insurance? Email [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! 

0 Comments

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

Once you have an accepted offer on a home, it’s time to close and pass the keys to the new owner.

Thanks to technology, the buyer and the seller no longer need to be in the same room at the same time. Closings can take place in one of our DMV office locations, but what if a buyer or seller cannot be physically present in the office to sign at settlement?

Remote Online Notarization (RON)

Social distancing during the pandemic accelerated the need for remote closings options. In 2021, 40% of sellers who closed with Allied Title opted to sign using Remote Online Notarization (RON), a fully remote home closing.

Using a platform called Notarize, sellers and all-cash buyers can complete the entire closing process from the comfort of their homes. Closings take place in a virtual room via webcam after an ID verification process has been completed.

Hybrid Closing Method

Buyers who are financing must get lender approval first to sign using RON. Most lenders utilize a hybrid closing method which allows the buyer to electronically sign documents that do not require a notary before the actual closing date. “Wet signatures” are still required on mortgage documents like promissory notes and other notarized closing paperwork. Once the closing date arrives, the remainder of the closing documents can be signed in person before a notary or closing agent.

Close at Topgolf!

When you close with us at Topgolf, you’ll enjoy an unforgettable closing experience. We currently offer closings in three Topgolf locations: National Harbor, Loudoun and Germantown. At Allied Title, our mantra is “Close anywhere, anytime.” In addition to in-office and remote online closings, we can have a vetted closer come to you! Before your closing, we can discuss which option works best for you. See you at settlement!

Have questions related to title insurance? Email [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! 

0 Comments

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

What does a contingency period mean? This week, Kim and Hope Peele of The Peele Group at McEnearney Associates help explain contingency periods and how best to navigate them in a competitive real estate market.

Like any industry, real estate has a ton of lingo that isn’t common to most people. To me, it’s incredibly important that someone who is buying or selling a home has all of the information and resources that they need — before the stakes get high!

When I am working with both buyers and sellers, some of the most frequently asked questions are about contingency periods. These are lengths of time written into the
contract in which one of the parties has the option of voiding the contract, without penalty.

Of the many different types of contingencies, some are more common than others — so here is a quick guide to the top three contingencies that I am asked about most often.

Inspection Contingency — In some home sale contracts, there is an agreed upon number of days in which the buyer can hire a licensed inspector to examine the home
for defects. Sometimes the contract allows for the buyer to void during this contingency period, and sometimes there is also the option to negotiate repairs with the seller. If the buyer chooses to either negotiate or void, they must provide the seller with a report from a licensed inspector. In a hot “seller’s market” buyers can sometimes make this period very short, or even waive it altogether, to appeal to the seller.

Financing Contingency — This contingency protects the buyer in case something happens to their loan. Changes in things like employment and credit could potentially
put the loan in jeopardy. If there is any risk of this happening, it is important to have this contingency in place so that the buyer is not bound by the contract terms. Depending on where the buyer’s loan is in the pre-approval process, on occasion this can be confidently waived.

Appraisal Contingency — An appraisal contingency gives buyers security in case the appraisal from the bank does not come in at the contract price. The bank wants to know that the loan they are approving is worth it — so, if they conduct an appraisal that values the property less than the contract price, the buyer either needs to make up the difference or come to an agreement with the seller. Without an appraisal contingency, the buyer is responsible for what they agreed to in the contract — with or without a loan.

An appraisal contingency protects the buyer in case the bank will not allow the loan to go as high as the contract price.

Each buyer and seller should work closely with their Realtor to decide what is best for them in each particular situation. To learn more about contingencies, and to discuss your real estate goals, reach out to Hope Peele at 703-244-6115 or [email protected].

Have questions related to title insurance? Email [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! 

0 Comments

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

While we are still in the early days for the 2022 housing market, experts are advising buyers to brace themselves for another competitive year.

New data in Realtor.com‘s Monthly Housing Report shows home buyers are already off to the real estate races. In the first month of the year, the typical home sold faster than in any prior January in recent history, according to the report released earlier this week.

The bottom line is that buyers need to be prepared before they start shopping around. This week we sat down with David Piatek of Summit Funding to discuss the major changes for loan products that consumers can take advantage of in 2022 in order to be more competitive in the current real estate market.

Questions for David? Learn more at summitfunding.net/sites/dpiatek.

Have questions related to title insurance? Email [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! 

0 Comments

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

Most people tend to think of title work as, well, boring.

In this week’s edition of Boring Title, brought to you by Bill Johnston, Historic Preservationist with Honey Do Today, we discover that a thorough chain of title can reveal a fascinating history of even the most mundane structures, let alone the grand historic houses and structures scattered throughout the DMV.

For Johnston, the historic summarization process begins with a chain of title search, revealing not only the owners, but the circumstances under which they purchased, sold, and divided their properties.

The so-called “Ball-Sellers House” is, simultaneously, both common and uncommon. It represents what the “common (property-owning) man” of Virginia would have dwelt in during the 18th century (the “colonial period”). Its commonality made such houses almost disposable, unlike the grand estates like Mount Vernon or Gunston Hall. Nowadays this makes it all the more rare and through the painstaking analysis of local history, period accounts, and title research, gives us a story that is quite uncommon…

The house was built at some point after 1742, when a yeoman farmer named John Ball was given a land grant of 166 acres by Lord Thomas Fairfax (as in Fairfax County).  His family would later give rise to the name “Ballston” after further development. John worked the land with his wife, five daughters, and quite probably his nearby brothers and nephews until his death in 1766.

In 1766, deed records show that the property was sold to a William Carlin, a tailor by trade from Alexandria who made clothes for, among others, the Washingtons. The Carlins owned the property for over 100 years, until it was sold in 1887. During this time, they constructed an adjoining house, quite possibly another, only one of which remains standing today. The last Carlins also ran a dairy farm, and a vacation spot at a place called “Carlin Springs” (currently on Four-Mile Run) which D.C. and local residents enjoyed for its airy atmosphere, and the springs themselves.

The last Carlin residents, siblings Andrew and Anne, sold the property in 1887, to two lawyers named Samuel Burdett and William Curtis, who subdivided the land into the neighborhood known as “Glencarlyn.” They intended it to be a neighborhood of modern homes for those of modest means, reinforcing the trend of this modest house as a “Fanfare for the Common Man.”

The house later became a schoolhouse, vacation house and a private residence for a final time under the ownership of the Sellers Family. Marian Rheinhart Sellers sold the property in 1975 for the whopping price of $1, to the Arlington Historical Society. AHS has worked tirelessly using the same research methods that I do: deeds, chains of title, probate/will research, and corresponding inventories as well as written accounts and newspapers. They did this in aid of recreating the house as it would have been around the time it was lived in by the Balls and Carlins.

Maintained by the dues and donations of Arlington residents and patrons alike, the house is well-used by the AHS for community events.

The adjoining house, painted in its original 1880 colors, is now occupied by a tenant under the Resident Curator Program, where the tenant is responsible for upkeep, maintenance, or a bit of restoration in exchange for tenancy.

Want to learn more? Check out the extended version of the history of the Ball-Sellers house. For additional links as well as visitor information, please visit the Arlington Historical Society’s website.

For further inquiries into property history research and historic preservation, Bill Johnston can be reached at [email protected].

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! 

0 Comments

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

A home purchase comes with a lot of emotion, especially since it’s something you only do every 7-10 years. The heartbreak and stress of multiple offers, negotiating home inspection repairs, and planning a move can take quite a toll. Not to mention that terrifying feeling of wiring almost a whole year’s salary!

At Allied Title, we get it. That’s why we created a dedicated Client Experience Team whose sole purpose is to make sure that our buyers, sellers and agents have a great closing experience.

While you may not have control over the timeline and the many moving parts of the homebuying process, you should at least know what to expect when you’re expecting to sign at settlement. Our Client Experience Team has created an Office Experience video for each of our five offices in the DMV area. This week we are featuring our Arlington office located in the heart of Clarendon.

Welcome to Allied Title’s Arlington Office!

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! 

0 Comments

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

Thank you to all of our readers! In celebration, we’d like to share a few of the highlights from the year as we head into 2022.

This year we opened 3 beautiful new offices in Chevy Chase, Old Town Alexandria, and Ashburn and hit a new milestone of 5,000+ closings in 2021. The ongoing pandemic accelerated demand for remote closing options with over 40% of sellers now choosing to sign virtually. We have partnered with Notarize and several of the industry’s best solutions providers to meet new demands and remain flexible as the industry evolves.

We are more focused than ever on enhancing our technology and risk-management capabilities to ensure a secure transaction as wire fraud and other cybersecurity crimes become more sophisticated.

And lastly, our dedicated Client Experience Team created earlier this fall is a true Dream Team and work extraordinarily hard to maintain an open dialogue with our clients to ensure we deliver a valuable experience.

From Allied Title & Escrow, thank you and happy holidays!

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! 

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list