December 2nd, 2022
Buying a home is an undertaking that comes with not only many challenges, but also many expenses. Because of that, home buyers often look for chances to save some money and avoid unnecessary costs, and rightfully so. One of the things people often consider skipping is title insurance. But is title insurance a waste of money or is it a good investment after all?
If you’re not familiar with what title insurance is, how it protects you and why it’s significant, we’re here to explain. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about this part of the home-buying process and help you decide if it is a good choice for you. So, keep reading to find out if this is something to splurge or save on.
To figure out if title insurance is a waste of money, we need to start at the basics. Understanding what it entails will help you decide if this is something you need. So, let's see what title insurance is in the first place.
When you're buying a home, one of the final steps of the transaction is passing the property title from the seller to you (the buyer). Before that happens, the title company has to conduct a search to see if the title is clear and produce a preliminary title report. A clear title means it has no liens on the property, building code violations, etc.
Title insurance protects homeowners from potential financial losses resulting from defects in the title that are uncovered after closing. It can protect you against fraud, forgery, unknown liens or encumbrances on the property, mistakes in public records relating to the real estate transaction, and other issues that may arise with your home ownership.
While we're explaining what title insurance is, we can't fail to mention the different types that exist. There are two types of title insurance you should be aware of: lender's title insurance and owner's title insurance.
The question on everybody's lips is how long title insurance is good for. You'll be pleased to hear that the title insurance you buy when assuming the property title will be valid for as long as you own the property. So, once you finally sign the closing contracts and purchase the insurance, you don't have to think about it again. Until you decide to buy another property, that is.
In any real estate transaction, there are various expenses that need to be paid and it can be hard to keep track of all of them. Some costs are the buyer's responsibility, others are covered by the seller, and then there are some that you split. So, what happens with title insurance?
The buyer is typically the one who pays for title insurance at closing, although it can vary depending on your local market and the terms of your real estate contract. The cost of title insurance is usually set by the state and varies from state to state.
According to the California Department of Insurance, the rules will vary from place to place. In Northern California, the buyer is usually the one paying for the title insurance premium. Occasionally, though, the seller and the buyer will split the cost. In Southern California, the seller typically pays the premium for title insurance.
While we're talking about payment details, there's another question we want to cover. Many people wonder if title insurance is a one-time fee or if you pay it in multiple installments.
Title insurance is, in fact, a one-time fee and not an ongoing cost. You pay the premium up-front, and that's it. As mentioned above, the cost of title insurance is typically set by the state and varies from locality to locality. Remember to factor in these costs when budgeting for your home purchase.
What does title insurance protect against; is it crucial? Well, it covers a wide range of potential issues that could arise as a result of title defects. These include:
It protects both you, as the buyer, and your mortgage lender in case there are any issues or disputes with the title of the property after closing.
It also helps protect against unknown liens or encumbrances that may have been missed during the title search. This can be a huge help if the seller hasn't paid their property taxes or has failed to disclose any other issues with the property that could affect its value.
Ultimately, title insurance provides peace of mind in knowing that you're fully protected against potential complications that could occur after your home purchase. Even if you're working with an experienced professional, and the title search comes back clean, it never hurts to be extra safe. It might not happen very often, but sometimes the title search can be inaccurate, so you shouldn't risk it.
While you may think that title insurance is just another cost in your home-buying process, it's important to remember how beneficial it can be in protecting your investment. Just make sure you understand all the details before signing any closing contracts.
If you’re posing the question ‘’Do I need title insurance?’’, you now have all the facts that will help you decide. Just like escrow fees, paying a title policy is not obligatory, but it does give you peace of mind and protect you in case things go south. So, if you want to be sure that you will be safe in case any issues with the title come up in the future, getting title insurance is the way to go.
We understand that these decisions can be tough and that real estate transactions are often stressful. But with the right partners by your side it can be smooth sailing. So, don’t hesitate to contact us and lean on our expedient services no matter what kind of real estate transaction you’re dealing with.