Protecting Your Home with Title Insurance
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Purchasing a home is probably the biggest investment you will make in your lifetime. So before you commit to the transaction, you must be sure that the property's title is free of any other claims.
A title insurance company does all the research to insure that a property has clear title. Making sure that a property is clear of all legal encumbrances is the job of a title insurance company.
You pay the title company a single premium which includes the cost of verifying clear title and covers you in case some fault is later discovered in the title.
The title company searches the property's title history. Through its research, the title company can almost always identify any title problems and have these problems cleared-up before you close on the property.
Real Estate law is extraordinarily complex. Title companies make sure that all the T's are crossed and all the I's are dotted so you don't end up with a clouded title and legal problems. Your title insurance owner's policy will describe the property and outline any recorded limitations on your ownership. It will also cover what the title company is responsible for. Typically your title insurance will protect you in the following cases:
- Contested title — This usually happens when someone who owned or even lived in the home before you claims to still hold an interest. In this case, the title company will defend the title and will cost you nothing.
- Defective title — This is a general term for a legal problem with the title that cannot be corrected and includes "contested title" above. Other examples of title defects include problems with legal access to the property, easements that make the property less usable, unusable, or unsaleable. Any number of other complicated problems define "Defective title" or "Clouded Title." The title company will find these title problems, or if they miss them, insure your loss up to the amount of the policy.
At Custom Lending Group, we answer questions about this process every day. Call us at (707) 252-2700.