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Our new title insurance video on YouTube

December 14, 2010 Leave a comment

10 Things You Should Know about Title Insurance: APR Includes Settlement Costs

August 29, 2009 Leave a comment

Settlement costs factor into your loan’s Annual Percentage Yield (APR). Home buyers should know the settlement process can be delayed due to recent changes to the Truth in Lending Act (effective Aug. 1, 2009). If the actual APR differs from the estimated APR by more than 0.125 percent, your mortgage lender must issue a new initial disclosure that reflects the accurate rate and wait a minimum of 3 business days to close the deal. To avoid surprises at the closing table, invest five minutes of your time at the beginning of the transaction to obtain a guaranteed quote online for settlement services.

10 Things You Should Know about Title Insurance: Fixed v. Variable Rates

August 28, 2009 Leave a comment

Some closing costs are fixed while others are variable. The cost of your title insurance policy and government recordation fees are dependent on the purchase price of your home, and the bulk of settlement costs are typically paid by the home buyer. However, the seller doesn’t get off scot-free. Seller fees include a fee for mortgage release procurement and deed preparations. The settlement fee is often split between buyer and seller. Home buyer fees include a title examination/abstractor fee, location survey fee and a fee to process paperwork. A title company may charge additional fees unique to each transaction, but the extent of the fees should be disclosed up front.

Closing Costs Explained Visually ‘Good Introduction’ to Settlement Process

August 27, 2009 Leave a comment

If you’re shopping for a home and haven’t had a chance to watch this quick introduction to title insurance, you may want to check it out. While “Closing Costs Explained Visually” is targeted toward consumers, real estate experts are also finding it useful.

“Rather than a detailed step-by-step dissertation on title and escrow — which many consumers really need before the home buying begins — the two-minute Federal Title & Escrow Co. video is useful as a primer to get you into the basics of the process,” writes Broderick Perkins, editor of Deadline News and the Real Estate News Examiner blog.

After a proper intro to the settlement process from Federal Title, home shoppers may then want to read Perkins’ thorough three-part title insurance series for a better understanding of today’s title insurance industry.

My favorite installment: Part 3 – Shop Around for Title, Escrow Services.

Title insurance companies sometimes get a bad rep, but we’re not all bad. Some companies are committed to giving their customers the lowest rate possible on insurance premiums. Federal Title for one is saving home buyers as much as $2,000 through our REAL Credit Program.

As a home buyer, the more you know about the settlement process, the more you’ll be able to save on closing costs.

10 Things You Should Know about Title Insurance: Location Weighs In

August 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Who pays for title insurance depends on where you live. Sometimes it’s the buyer who pays, sometimes it’s the seller. And sometimes the cost is split between the two. In the Washington Metro Area, for example, title insurance premiums are generally paid by the home buyer. It’s important to note that title insurance is regulated largely on the state level. If you’re conducting a little Internet research, be sure to use regional qualifiers in your search (e.g. state, county, etc.).

Washington Post Shows No Love for Title Insurance

August 26, 2009 Leave a comment

By Nikki Smith
Marketing Director
Federal Title & Escrow Co.

The Washington Post ran an article in last Sunday’s paper called Easing the Pain of Closing Costs. Considering closing costs pertain largely to the title insurance and escrow services, I was a little surprised to see just three sentences about choosing the right title company. See below:

Find cheaper title insurance. Title insurance protects against challenges to your ownership, with separate coverage for your lender and for you. But as much as 80 percent of the premium goes to paying commission to a title agent. Shop around for title insurance.

I wanted to throw in my two cents in the comments section at the WaPo website but the comments section has been closed! So since I already went the trouble of cobbling some thoughts together, I’ll leave them here:

Where’s the love for title insurance? Three sentences is all?!?

If somewhere down the road a title defect comes to light, title insurance is all a home buyer has to protect his/her real estate investment. In DC, the most common title defect is a result of fraud.

Lenders require home buyers to purchase a lender’s title insurance policy, while an owner’s policy is optional. So there is an opportunity to save some money there.

You can choose between standard coverage or enhanced coverage, too. Some title companies may downplay the standard option, but in many cases a standard policy is sufficient. And it’s cheaper.

The main thing for home buyers to know if they have the right to choose: Home buyers choose the policy, and they can choose what title company handles the settlement. So don’t let a mortgage lender or real estate agent steer you toward a title company without doing a little cost comparison of title companies on your own. Lots of companies offer online quotes. Some title companies (like Federal Title) offer extra savings just for ordering services directly from them online.

This video is a good introduction to the overall process.

… Anyway, the article represents title insurance unfairly. Yes, it can cost thousands of dollars on top of the sale price of your home (around 3-6 percent extra depending on where you live), but the peace of mind is worth it in the long run.

Here’s a final thought: If closing costs are outside your budget, consider offering the seller more money for the home in exchange for him/her covering settlement and escrow fees.

10 Things You Should Know about Title Insurance: It’s a One-time Fee

August 25, 2009 Leave a comment

Title insurance is a one-time fee. Unlike other types of insurance, there is no ongoing premium to pay for title insurance. Your mortgage lender is required to provide you with a Good Faith Estiamte for closing costs, including title insurance, and factor those costs into the initial disclosure. This three-minute video explains closing costs in laymen’s terms: Closing Costs Explained Visually.