Most people, even people just casually browsing houses for sale online, have a dream of what it would be like to buy that perfect home. They imagine the thrill of taking ownership, choosing paint colors, arranging their furniture, etc… but most people never imagine that dream turning into a nightmare.
Picture buying your home, closing the deal and then learning the previous owners had not been paying taxes on the property for years. After the sale is completed, those taxes are your responsibility! The taxing entity could even take your home from you.
Or perhaps the original owner, who sold the home to your seller, did not properly get signatures from an estranged spouse, and that person returns and lays claim to their part of the home? What if a contractor was not paid for improvements done and a lien was placed on the property? Or you’re all settled in and then the power company shows up with a crew to take advantage of an easement though your new backyard. There are so many possible pitfalls hidden in the history of any home, and there is only one real way to be certain they are avoided.
Unlike homeowner’s insurance or car insurance, you only pay one fee for your title insurance. But that one time fee covers your property for the duration of your ownership. Your lender will require you to purchase lender’s title insurance to cover itself, but that policy will only cover the outstanding amount of the loan at the time of any claim. You want to also make certain you have a policy which covers your interest as well, called (appropriately enough) an owner’s policy. When purchased together, the owner’s policy is a relatively inexpensive addition.
Unlike other types of insurance, title insurers rarely have to pay out on claims. However, this doesn’t mean you’re paying them for nothing. To the contrary, title insurance companies mostly incur their expenses upfront in order to prevent any issues down the road. While you are in the escrow phase of your purchase, the title insurance company conducts a comprehensive search. You are paying them now to make certain there are no surprises later, nothing that may threaten your ownership lurking in the dusty files on your home, buried in a forgotten pile of papers in the corner of your county’s courthouse.
It’s important to shop around. You want the security of a title company who knows what they are doing and has strong community ties as well as good relationships with underwriters. Setco has local offices all along the Florida Panhandle, and we partner with Fidelity National Financial, one of the top underwriting companies in the industry, so you know every last detail of your home’s history will be verified and double checked. Please click below to learn more about our closing services and what we can do to give you peace of mind in your home buying journey.