Home Title Services
A home is probably one of the most valuable assets you can purchase so, it's in your best interest to protect it from any potential threats. This is why it's very important to get the right insurance coverage, including title insurance.
While homeowner's insurance gives you protection from any physical loss or damage to your home, title insurance protects your rightful ownership of the property. However, unlike homeowner's insurance that covers you for possible damage to your home such as fire, water damage and unforeseen incidences, title insurance gives you coverage for past title mistakes or unforeseen liens or judgements against your home which can come up after settlement and threaten your current ownership.
Integrity Title & Escrow Company provides comprehensive residential title services in Maryland, Washington DC, and Virginia. If you're buying a home in these areas, call us to find out everything you need to know about title insurance.
To help you get started, we prepared this comprehensive guide with answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about title insurance.
Table Of Contents
What is Title Insurance?
The title to your property is legal proof that you own the property it covers. If the title is incorrect or defective in some way, you could spend a considerable amount of money correcting that damage, or worse, you could lose the property altogether.
When you buy a home, you must make sure it has a clear title that's free from liens, judgements, and encumbrances. If you unwittingly buy a property with a defective title, you may eventually have to face legal battles that can cost you a lot of money, or, lose ownership of the property without recovering your investment.
Title insurance provides financial coverage for any expense you might incur in resolving issues with the title. In the extreme case that you lose possession of the home, title insurance can help you recover the money you've put into purchasing your home, including your down payment and other upfront costs.
How Does Title Insurance Work?
With so much at stake, title companies do more than just your settlement and provide title insurance.
The first and most important role of the title company is to do a title search on the property that you are buying to identify any potential problem with the title of the property you want to buy. The title search involves looking into the history of the property as far back as possible, usually 60 to 120 years.
After the title search, the title company will issue a preliminary title report to your lender that details all the problems they find. It is the title company’s role to clear up all matters affecting the title prior to closing. If everything is in order and all outstanding issues have been cleared, the title company will issue a title insurance policy.
have the following options:
Require the seller to settle the issues before closing
Ask the seller for a discount or compensation to cover the costs of fixing the problem
Get out of the deal and receive a refund for your deposit
Is Title Insurance Required When You Buy A Home?
There are two types of title insurance: Lender's title insurance and Owner's title insurance.
If you're financing your home purchase with a mortgage, the lender will always require that you obtain the lender's title insurance. If the lender incurs losses due to a defect in the title, the policy will ensure that the lender incurs no loss and that they have a priority claim on the property if a problem with the title comes up after settlement.
An owner's title insurance is optional. However, it is highly recommended that you obtain one for your own protection. While the title search conducted as part of the process gives you plenty of assurance that you have a clear title, you can never be completely sure that your home ownership will not be threatened in the future. If the lender will not give you a loan without title insurance, it’s highly recommended that the owner take out a policy too. This is a one-time fee that covers you as long as you own the property. If you decided to refinance in the future, you never have to pay this fee again.
How Much Does Title Insurance Cost?
Title insurance is a one-time expense. You pay the title premium and other title service fees at settlement. You receive immediate coverage after settlement and are protected for as long as you or your heirs own the property.
Title insurance premiums are usually regulated by the state. The price of a lender's title insurance policy is based on the mortgage amount, while the price of an owner's title insurance is typically based on the home's purchase price. If you get both policies, the total premium is approximately 0.5% to 1% of the purchase price.
The premium is the most significant payment you will make to the title company. Other fees for the service include:
Are Home Title Services Fees Negotiable?
The premiums and service fees for title insurance are not negotiable and is regulated by the state. However, title companies’ individual fees for title services they provide may vary from company to company.
The important thing to remember is that when you are buying or refinancing a home by law, you have the right to choose your own title company. Your lender, real estate agent, or lawyer may recommend someone, but you don't necessarily have to follow their recommendations. Shop around and compare rates and services. Work with a title company that’s transparent about their fees and can give you the best value for your money.
Why Should You Choose Integrity Title & Escrow Company?
The team at Integrity Title knows how important your home is to you and your family. That is why we make sure we provide only the best title services available, no matter the size and value of your property.
We make it a point to live up to our name. You can be assured of transparency, and reliability at all times. We are honored to say that our hard work and dedication over the years have resulted in accolades and recognition from our clients and our peers throughout Maryland, Washington DC, and Virginia.
When you work with us, you can expect the following: