Answers to your questions

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about title searches, escrow services, and title insurance. For more information on these topics or any other real estate related question please contact us today!

What is Title Insurance?

Title insurance is a policy that protects an owner’s or a lender’s financial interest in real property against loss due to title defects, liens or other matters. It will defend against a lawsuit attacking the title as it is insured, or reimburse the insured for the actual monetary loss incurred, up to the dollar amount of insurance provided by the policy.

Do I need both types of coverage?

Yes. Most lenders require a Loan Policy for almost all mortgages, but this policy offers no protection to the landowner. Many claims pose no threat to the lender but could cause great loss to the owner. An Owner’s Policy protects the owner from the threat of loss.

How long does my coverage last?

The insurance coverage never needs to be renewed. It is valid for as long as you or your heirs have an interest in the property.

What is a title search, and why do I need one?

A title search is a detailed examination of all public records that affect a property. These records include deeds, mortgages, tax records, court records, property and name indices, and many other documents. The purpose of the search is to verify the seller’s true interest in the title and right to sell the property, and to discover any claims, defects and other burdens on the property. The search protects everyone involved in the property transaction since problems with real estate are transferred with the ownership.

Are there any problems that a title search cannot reveal?

Yes. There are several “hidden hazards” that are impossible for a search to uncover. For instance, a previous owner may have recorded his marital status incorrectly, resulting in a possible claim by a legal spouse. Other “hidden hazards” include fraud and forgery, defective deeds, mental incompetence, confusion due to similar or identical names and clerical errors in the records. These defects can arise several years after the purchase of your home and can jeopardize your right to ownership.

What are the different types of title insurance?

There are two basic types of insurance policies – Owner’s Policies and Loan Policies. The Owner’s Policy protects the interests of the real estate owner; likewise the Loan Policy protects the interest of the lender or mortgagor.

How much does title insurance cost?

The price of title insurance is regulated by the State of Florida. The cost is based on the purchase price and loan amount as well as specific additional coverages that a lender may require.

What is a real estate settlement?

This is the final step in the home buying process when ownership of real property is transferred from seller to buyer. As soon as the contract of sale is accepted, the process for settlement should begin, and your title company is chosen. The closing itself takes about one hour in which numerous documents are explained and signed, funds are received and disbursed, last minute questions on the condition of the property and operation of systems are answered and the keys are delivered.

What kinds of problems can a title search reveal?

A title search can reveal any party that might have an interest in the property, as well as a number of title defects, liens or other restrictions. For example, things like outstanding taxes, unsatisfied mortgages, and judgments against any recent owner as well as restrictions on the use of the land may require an extensive search.