The Skinny on Title Insurance

By Rebecca Alwine, PCSgrades Blogger Affiliate

You’ve found your perfect house, and you’ve figured out all of the details, including the closing costs. But now something new has surfaced in your conversations with Realtors or lenders, title insurance. Now you’re thinking, of course, one more thing that needs to be paid. You may even be thinking of skipping this step. Suzette Keller of Trinity Title of Texas shares why title insurance is so important.

Keller wants people to understand what title insurance actually is. “When you buy a home, you want to be certain it’s safely yours. But even the most diligent search of the public records could fail to disclose a number of title defects,” she said. There could be some inconsistent ownership, forgery, or title transfers that affect the real estate. “Without the protection of title insurance, you’ll be in jeopardy of losing your investment.”

Surely protection against threats or mistakes is reason enough to get title insurance, but there are more reasons. After performing a title search, you’ll know about the condition and quality of the title to the land you are buying, Keller explained. “From that point, the insurance protects you from things that might otherwise result in financial loss to you including hidden, unknown items.”

What else do you need to know?

  • You, as a buyer, will only pay once. There’s no expiration date, no renewal, and the protection lasts for as long as you, or your heirs, have an interest in the property.
  • The mortgage lender will probably require title insurance, not dissimilar to the auto insurance requirements if you secure an auto loan.
  • The mortgage title insurance doesn’t protect the owner; the owner needs their own title insurance.

Shopping For it is Easy

  • In some states, like Texas, the rate for title insurance is set and will be the same no matter what company you go with. Be sure to check that out for your state, too.
  • There aren’t different levels of insurance; they’re all the same! This makes things so much easier. Be sure you have researched the insurance underwriter, and feel comfortable with your decision.
  • You may even get the seller to absorb the fees, “In Texas, the cost of the policy is normally a seller expense, though it is negotiable,” Keller said. It’s certainly worth asking.

You’ll be glad you had it, even after you sell.

Can you imagine if years down the road a question comes up about the title on your house? Or, even worse, you’ve sold the house and then someone contacts you about the deed? You’ll be glad you have title insurance then. Someone is going to have to pay to clear the question and make sure the title is good. You don’t want that someone to be you, especially if you’ve already sold the house.

There are so many circumstances in which not having title insurance can hurt you. There’s really no reason to think not getting it will save you money or headaches in the future. Save up some extra money when you’re preparing to buy a house and purchase title insurance. You’ll thank us later.

AuthorRebecca Alwine is a PCSgrades’ Blogger Affiliate and a freelance writer, army wife, and mother of three. Over the past 10 years, she’s discovered she enjoys coffee, running, lifting weights, and most of the menial tasks of motherhood. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found hiding behind the sewing machine or with her nose in a book. Her writing experience includes military family topics, research pieces, guest blogging, and much more. She’s a contributing writer for ARMY Magazine, a regular contributor for several publications including to Homefront United Network, PCSGrades, ESME, and has also been published in Ms. Magazine and The Atlantic. You can follow her online at www.whatrebeccathinks.com or on Twitter (@rebecca_alwine) and Instagram (@rebecca_alwine).

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