Phone: 239.540.7007
Real Estate
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 heirshipProbate 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
Budgeting for a house can be confusing. How much should you save? What should you consider? Here are some tips to help you create a comfortable budget.

The first step in planning for a new home is knowing how much you have and how much you can afford. You’ll probably ask for a mortgage loan, which can take a long time to pay off. You need to be sure that your budget leaves some room to spend on things other than paying off your debt. After all, what kind of life is one where you can’t afford to go out for dinner from time to time? Here’s what you should consider in your budget and not give everything else up.

How to Budget For Your Housing Expenses

If you’re currently renting a home, you probably don’t consider most of the housing expenses that homeowners need to pay.  Your housing expenses should take about 30-35% of your monthly income. These will be your expenses. Mortgage: With a mortgage calculator you’ll be able to calculate what your mortgage payments might look like so you can start your budget. Keep in mind that mortgage doesn’t include the down payment. So when you buy a home, you’ll need to pay that with your own money. Also, mortgage comes with some fees that you should also learn about. You should read a bit about the common mistakes mortgage borrowers make so you can avoid them. Utilities: Many renters don’t consider the services because they come included with their rents. You should contact each utility provider to get an idea of what the rates are going for and prepare. Property taxes: Some mortgage lenders will offer to take care of your property taxes and include them in your mortgage payments. If you choose that option, you just need to raise your monthly payment and forget about your taxes. Property taxes depend mostly on where you live. Condo fees:  If you decide to buy a condo, you will need to consider the monthly condo fees in your budget. Sometimes these charges can set you back multiple hundreds of dollars. The bright side is that these fees might include a part of your utilities, so that’s one thing you can scale back on. Pay very close attention to condo fees before buying any property. Insurance:  There are several types of insurance you need to consider for your new property. As a renter, you should have renter’s insurance, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that your home should need more protection. First, you will want to get home homeowner’s insurance to protect you against robbery and some natural disasters. Consider getting flood insurance as well. A home warranty would also be a good idea in case there’s a structural problem in your home. Don’t forget to get title insurance as well. Since you’re protecting the physical integrity of your home, you also want to take care of the property’s legal safety. Contact Schutt Law- Title Insurance Agency at (239) 540-7007 to learn about the title insurance process and how you can start it. The great thing about title insurance is that unlike other types of insurance, you only need to make a single payment. Life insurance: You will need life insurance if you’re buying the house with a partner or if you have dependents. If anything were to happen to you, who will be able to continue making the home payments? It’s not something you want to talk about in a casual conversation, but life insurance is a basic need.

 Consider Emergency Savings

There’s no possible way to tell if something in your home will break or not. A home inspection will let you know if there are any major repairs you should take care of before buying a house, but after getting the keys, all repairs are on you.  You should have some emergency savings on a budget in case there’s something that needs fixing or replacing. Maintenance and repairs are some of the costs people don't usually consider before becoming homeowners.

All Other Expenses to Consider

While no one is going to tell you how you should spend your own money or how you should be saving it each month, it would be a good idea to save some for your retirement. If you budget your house expenses correctly and keep them under 35% of your income, you’ll have around 65-70% left for your other expenses. You can save 10% of the money you’ve got left towards your retirement fund.

Get Your Title Insurance in Fort Myers

Safety and protection is something you should never skimp on when it comes to buying a home. You might not consider title insurance as a primary necessity, but it is something you can surely benefit from. There are many reasons why you should get title insurance for your home in Fort Myers. You can call Schutt Law- Title Insurance Agency at (239) 540-7007 to learn all about them.