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House Hunt

BUYERS

When purchasing a home, it's essential to verify the seller's rightful ownership and ensure there are no unresolved issues that could impede the transfer of the title to you.

Why is this important?

 

Problems with the title can impose limitations on property usage and potentially lead to financial losses. This is where title insurance becomes invaluable, and One Hour Title is here to assist you. We conduct thorough title searches to confirm that your ownership is clear of any encumbrances. With a title insurance policy, your investment is safeguarded, reassuring you that your ownership remains unencumbered.

The cost of title insurance is paid only once, with no renewal premiums or expiration dates. This protection endures for as long as you, or your successors, hold an interest in the property, ensuring long-term security.

SELLERS

Selling your house?

 

One Hour Title Can help!

 

We will assist you in finding an experienced Closing Attorney and satisfy any liens.  We promise a smooth closing,  great communication, and amazing service.

Whether you are listing your house for sale by owner or working with a real estate agent, we are here for you. 

  • Timely and Accurate Title Commitments

  • Experienced and Knowledgeable

  • Ability to Resolve Complex Issues 

 

One Hour Title will make the closing easy.

 

Contact us to get your transaction started.

What is Title Insurance And Why Do I Need It?

When you take out a mortgage, one part of your closing costs will be title insurance. The premium is a one-time charge, and the policy protects the lender. You also can purchase owner’s title insurance to protect yourself, but it’s not required.

Here’s what you need to know about title insurance: What it covers, how much it costs, and whether you should buy it.

Title insurance is a policy that covers third-party claims on a property that don’t show up in the initial title search and arise after a real estate closing. A third party is someone other than the property’s owner, such as a construction company that didn’t get paid for its work on the home under a previous owner. The term “title” refers to someone’s legal ownership of the property.

A title claim could arise at any time, even after you’ve owned the property with no problems for many years. How could this happen? Someone else might have ownership rights that you don’t know about when you make an offer to buy a property. Even the current owner might not be aware that someone else has a claim on the property. In the case of an overlooked heir, even the person who has those rights might not know they have them.

Before your home loan closes, your mortgage lender will order a title search from a title company. The title company searches for public records related to your home to try to find any title defects that could affect the lender’s or buyer’s property rights such as:

  • Liens can get placed on the property by a contractor, tax authority or lender who hasn’t been paid. You don’t want to get stuck paying a previous owner’s unpaid bills.

  • Easements are someone else’s right to use your property even though you are the owner. For example, if there are utility lines in your backyard, the utility company will have an easement that allows them to access your property if they need to work on the lines. The easement could limit your ability to use your property however you want.

  • Encumbrances include liens (also called “financial encumbrances”) as well as easements but also include zoning laws, restrictive covenants imposed by homeowners associations, and leaseholder rights.

A title company searches public records including deeds, mortgages, divorce decrees, court judgments, tax records and child support orders. 

If the title search reveals any problems (also called “clouds”), the title company will try to resolve them. In some cases, your real estate agent will need to work with the seller’s agent to get the seller to resolve the problem. In other cases, the problem may be significant enough to derail the sale.

What Does Title Insurance Cover ?

A title insurance policy covers underlying issues with a property’s title that might have been missed before you bought the home. Basically, it comes in handy if the public record search conducted by the titled company failed to catch any liens or ownership disputes.

These are some of the issues an owner’s title policy can protect you against:

  • Property survey errors

  • Boundary disputes

  • Errors on the property deed

  • Building code violations by a previous owner

  • Conflicting wills

  • Claims by an ex-spouse who didn’t sign off on the sale

  • Forged documents

  • Liens from contractors, taxing entities or previous lenders

  • Encroachments

  • Improperly recorded documents

What Does Title Insurance  NOT Cover ?

Title insurance doesn’t protect homeowners against all possible infringements on their property rights. For example, it doesn’t protect you against title problems caused by your own actions, such as failing to pay the company that replaced your roof or failing to pay your property taxes. It also doesn’t protect against eminent domain, which is when a government seizes private property for an ostensibly public purpose.

In short, it doesn’t protect against issues newly created after you buy the property. It protects against issues that might have affected your decision to purchase the property had you known about them at the time.

how does title insurance work?

Title Insurance

who pays for title insurance and how much does it cost?

Title Insurance

An owner’s title insurance policy can cover the costs of paying off a previously undiscovered lien or defending against a lawsuit filed against you by someone claiming a right to the property. It can also provide a cash settlement to a new owner who unwittingly purchases a property with a forged deed from a fraudulent seller who did not actually own the home. Further, owner’s title insurance protects your ability to sell the home one day if a problem turns up during a later title search.

You’re probably less concerned about how a lender’s policy works since it doesn’t protect you. But you might still be curious as you’re being asked to pay for it.

Let’s say you lose your home because it turns out the property was sold to you fraudulently. You’re not going to keep paying the mortgage. The lender will then file a claim with its title insurance company to recoup the mortgage payments it was expecting to get from you.

Under other circumstances where you stopped paying your mortgage, the lender could foreclose and recoup its losses from selling the home. But if it turns out that someone else has a right to the home, foreclosure isn’t an option.

Title insurance is a one-time, up-front fee—not an ongoing expense. An owner’s policy is based on the home’s purchase price, while a lender’s policy is based on the loan amount. Both policies together usually cost about 0.5% to 1.0% of the home’s purchase price, or $1,500 to $3,000 on a $300,000 home, according to ALTA. 

In North and South Carolina, the price for title insurance is the same no matter which title insurance company you use. However, It is important to make sure you are using a reputable company with experienced underwriters. You can get an estimate of what title insurance costs in your area using the rate calculator on our home page. 

Who Pays For Title Insurance?

The buyer pays for the lender’s title insurance policy as part of their closing costs. Either the buyer or seller can pay for the owner’s policy on behalf of the buyer. Local real estate custom often determines who pays. Buying an owner’s policy at the same time as a lender’s policy can reduce the cost of the owner’s policy through what’s called a “simultaneous issue charge.

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