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Home Closing 101
Do you know what to expect on closing day?
Most people don’t. And that can lead to some uneasiness. But help is here. The American Land Title Association, or ALTA, has created a website featuring information every homebuyer can use to help familiarize themselves with the closing process before walking into the closing

The Home Closing 101 Site
At Home Closing 101 you will find information you can use to prepare yourself for closing. The site covers topics such as title insurance, escrow fees and closing costs. So when the time comes to sign on the dotted line you’ll feel fully prepared.

Home Closing 101 is especially helpful for first time buyers. Buying a house is an exciting time and the more you know about the process, the more relaxed you’ll be going through it. Spend a little time on the site and you can walk through the home buying process, receiving explanations for each step and helpful hints on how to find the right people to help you on your journey to homeownership.

Click here to start learning about the home buying process.

What Is American Land Title Association (ALTA)?
Founded in 1907, ALTA is the national trade association and voice of the title insurance industry. ALTA members search, review and insure land titles to protect home buyers and mortgage lenders who invest in real estate.

ALTA members advocate safe and efficient transfer of real estate and insist on high standards when searching land title records and preparing insurance documents. The industry seeks to eliminate risk before insuring, which provides homebuyers with the best possible chance of avoiding land title problems. But, title difficulties can and do occur, and members offer both Owner’s and Lender’s title insurance policies as effective safeguards.

Click here to visit the ALTA website.

About Stewart Title Insurance
Stewart (NYSE: STC) is a leading provider of real estate services, including global residential and commercial title insurance, escrow and settlement services, lender services, underwriting, specialty insurance and other solutions that facilitate successful real estate transactions. Stewart offers personalized service, industry expertise and customized solutions for virtually any type of real estate transaction, through our direct operations, network of approved agencies and other companies within the Stewart family. Through a focus on integrity, smart growth and conservative management, Stewart remains committed to serving our customers, innovating and improving to meet their needs in an ever-changing market. 

Please click on the link below for more information:


Owning real estate is one of the most precious values of freedom in this country. You want the assurance that the property you are buying will be yours. Other than your mortgage holder, no one else should have any claims or restrictions against your home.

Title insurance is issued after a careful examination of the public records. But even the most thorough search cannot absolutely assure that no title faults are present, despite the knowledge and experience of professional title examiners. In addition to matters shown by public records, other title problems may exist that cannot be disclosed in a search. Title insurance eliminates any risks and losses caused by faults in title from an event that occurred before you owned the property.

Title insurance is different from other types of insurance in that it protects you, the insured, from a loss that may occur from matters or faults from the past. Other types of insurance such as auto, life, or health cover you against losses that may occur in the future. Title insurance does not protect against any future faults, but does protect you from risks or undiscovered interests. Another difference is that you pay a one-time premium for a policy that remains effective until the property is sold to a new owner - even if that doesn't occur for decades.

What is a Lender's Policy?

A lender's policy, also known as a loan policy or a mortgage policy, protects the lender against loss due to unknown title defects. It also protects the lender's interest from certain matters which may exist, but may not be known at the time of the sale.

This policy only protects the lender's interest. It does not protect the purchaser. That is why a real estate purchaser needs an owner's policy.

What is an owner's policy?

An owner's policy protects you, the purchaser, against a loss that may occur from a fault in the ownership or interest you have in the property. You should protect the equity in your new home with a title policy.

What does an owner's policy provide?

- Protection from financial loss due to demands that may be charged against the title to your home, up to the cost of the title policy.
- Payment of legal costs if the title insurer has to defend your title against a covered claim.
- Payment of successful claims against the title to your home covered by the policy, up to the cost of the policy.

Why the seller needs to provide title insurance?

Any purchaser will need evidence that his investment in your property is free of title defects. The title insurance policy that you provide the purchaser is a guarantee that you are selling a clear title to your real estate, unencumbered by any legal attachments that might limit or jeopardize ownership. It will reassure your purchaser that he or she is protected from any risks or losses and could help you close your deal.

Why the buyer needs title insurance?

Without title insurance, you may not be fully protected against errors in public records, hidden defects not disclosed by the public records, or mistakes in examination of the title. As a result, you may be held fully accountable for any prior liens, judgments or claims brought against your new property. If this should occur, your title policy insures that you will be defended at no cost against all covered claims up to the amount of the policy.

How much does title insurance cost?

The insurance commission approves and controls the premiums for title insurance policies. The premiums are paid only once and the cost depends upon the purchase price of the property and the policy amount must be equal to the purchase price.

What does title insurance protect from?

  • Fraud
  • Adverse possession
  • Rights of divorced parties
  • Deeds by minors
  • Undisclosed Heirs
  • Errors in tax records
  • False affidavits of death or heirship
  • Probate matters
  • Deeds and wills by persons of unsound mind
  • Conveyances by undisclosed divorced spouses
  • Forfeitures of real property due to criminal acts
  • Deeds by persons falsely representing their marital status
  • Documents executed by a revoked or expired Power of Attorney
  • Defective acknowledgements due to improper or expired notarization
  • Mistakes and omissions resulting in improper abstracting
  • Forged deeds, mortgages, wills, releases and other documents
  • False impersonation of the true land owner
Becoming a homeowner is a dream that can turn real if you follow a few steps. Learn what New Year's resolutions to keep if you want to invest in real estate through this post by Schutt Law Firm, P.A. in Fort Myers, FL.

The new year brings with it the opportunity to improve different areas of your life and achieve a few goals you've set up for yourself. If your goal is to dip your toe in real estate investments, it's the perfect chance. Timing is crucial when it comes to making a big decision like that of becoming a homeowner. After all, it can change your life completely, which is why you need to be sure this is what you want. Moreover, you must prepare for the event properly to ensure the process is as smooth as possible. If you'd like to learn what New Year's resolutions to keep to invest in real estate in 2023, continue reading.

As you work through your 2023 real estate goals, turn to a professional title services company to guide you. Call Schutt Law Firm, P.A. in Fort Myers, FL, at (239) 540-7007 to learn how they can assist you and help you succeed.

How to Become a Homeowner This Year

Do Your Research

The first resolution you should keep is to learn what you can about the real estate business. Reading and researching about it can help you understand what you're getting into and the steps to take. You may want to turn to professionals in the field (real estate agents, lawyers, and other experts) so they can guide you as you start. Likewise, ask family and friends that have gone through the process to get a better idea about it.

Make a List of Your Wants/Needs/Likes

You should also have a clear idea of what you're looking for in a property. There are houses in the suburbs, apartments in the downtown area, etc. As a part of your resolution, think long and hard about what you want, need, or like in a property to create a list and begin your search. As you do, remember to differentiate between negotiable and non-negotiable characteristics.

One way to reach your goal of becoming a homeowner this year is to have a reliable title services company by your side. Call Schutt Law Firm, P.A. in Fort Myers, FL, at (239) 540-7007 for more information.

Work on Your Credit Score

A big resolution you should keep to become a homeowner is improving your credit score. Sellers and loan officers will want to know you can handle your finances and are responsible enough to go through with a real estate deal. Help sellers take you seriously and create a more appealing offer by improving your credit score, paying off your debts, etc.

Save Some Money

Probably one of the most pressing steps to becoming a homeowner. Houses are expensive. Even if you get a loan, you need to have some money saved up to pay for some of the cost. Ideally, you should have enough money to cover 5% to 25% of the property's total price on your own. This is the down payment, and it's the first payment that ties you to it. You'll avoid buying mortgage insurance if you give a more significant down payment. All in all, you need to save money for the down payment and the monthly mortgage payments. This means sacrificing some big purchases and expenses, but it will be worth it in the end.

With the right title services team by your side, you can stay calm during your real estate deals. Call Schutt Law Firm, P.A. in Fort Myers, FL, at (239) 540-7007 to have more successful closing processes this new year.

Create a Home-Buying Budget

A big, final financial resolution you should definitely keep if you want to purchase an estate during the new year is creating a budget. Look at all the money coming in and out of your household on a monthly basis. Then, consider what type of property you're looking for and its price. Calculate the mortgage fees you'll have to pay every month. And don't forget to think about added expenses that come with purchasing an estate (taxes, professional fees, moving costs, adapting the new space, etc.). Once you have that information, you can start creating a budget to help you take care of everything without getting into financial trouble.

A professional team can help you have safer and more successful real estate deals during the new year. Call Schutt Law Firm, P.A. in Fort Myers, FL, at (239) 540-7007 to learn about the title services they offer and how they can assist you in making smarter real estate decisions.