What is Title Insurance?
Title insurance is a product that makes sure you own your home. When you purchase property, title insurers make sure no person or entity has greater rights to your property than you. Title insurance protects against unknown or undisclosed claims from the past against your ownership. It is a way to provide you with peace of mind when you come buy your home.
Why Do I Need Title Insurance
Owning real estate is an investment. Title insurance provides the assurance that the property you are buying is yours and also protects you against loss should anyone register a claim against your ownership rights of the property.
Owner's title insurance protects the buyer should a problem arise with the title to the property that was not discovered during the title search. The title insurance company promises to defend against claims made against the title of the property. It is purchased for a one-time fee at closing and lasts for as long as you or your heirs have an interest in the property.
Lender's title insurance protects the lender's interest in the property should a problem with the title occur. The policy amount decreases as the borrower pays down the loan and is no longer effective once the loan is paid in full.
What Protection Does Title Insurance Provide?
A title insurance policy provides peace of mind by insuring against any losses that may be suffered due to legal action (up to the face amount of the policy) and pays any and all legal costs incurred in defending your rights against the claim. This can add up to thousands of dollars you would otherwise have to pay on your own.
Is Title Insurance Expensive?
There are no annual payments to keep the policy in force and the original premium is your only cost. The cost of title insurance on any piece of property is very small when compared with the benefit and security it provides.
What is a Closing?
Also called a "settlement", a closing is the process of completing a real estate transaction. During a closing, the buyer will most likely sign a mortgage, a note, and any other documents required by law to complete the transaction. The seller will sign the deed and any other documents required by law to complete the transaction. After the closing, the settlement agent disburses money to the appropriate parties.
What Documents are at Closing?
- Deed – transfers the property title from the seller to the buyer. It includes both the seller's and buyer's information and the legal description of the property. This document is filed at the local Register of Deeds office to complete the transaction.
- Mortgage – places a lien on the property as security for the loan. If you default on the note mentioned above, then the bank has the right to foreclose on your property. This document is filed at the local Register of Deeds office to complete the transaction.
- Settlement Statement – provides a detailed listing of all the fees and costs associated with the transaction. It also shows that the parties agree to the terms of the funds being disbursed in the transaction.