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
At first glance, buying a condo can seem like a great idea with no downsides. However, this may not be the best option for all. To find out if it makes sense for you, check out these pros and cons.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Condo

Many people looking to buy property are often attracted by the idea of buying a condo. Although it's not quite a home, it does come with many benefits and can be just as comfortable as a home. If this is an idea you haven't given much thought to but are interested in, check out some of the pros and cons of buying a condo.

Pros of Buying a Condo

If you're looking into buying a condo, there are plenty of reasons why you should. Beyond it being a great first step into property ownership, consider these other reasons why buying a condo is a great idea.

Less Maintenance

When you buy a home, you're responsible for the maintenance of the home and yard. This may not seem so bad, but over the years this can add up. Not only can it turn into extra work that has to be done if you want your home to stay in good condition, but it can also add up in terms of money. When you buy a condo, all of this maintenance won't be your responsibility. Maintenance is usually included in the deal, so someone else will take care of the lawn and the grounds.

Tons of Amenities

A house with a pool can sound like an exciting purchase, but maintaining something like this can turn into a nightmare. Everyone dreams of having a huge home with tons of activities, but if this doesn't fit your budget, a condo can make it happen. Condos are often located on grounds that come with plenty of amenities. A pool, tennis courts, green areas, and even picnic areas are often included in your contract. You can enjoy all of these amenities without ever having to stress over their maintenance.

More Affordable

Buying a home can be a very expensive investment. If you decide to invest in a condo, this can be a much cheaper alternative. Many condos offer space, amenities, and security that are just as great if not better than those that come with a single-family home and at a better price. If you're ready to take the next step into ownership but are on a budget, this is a great alternative. If you're ready to put down a downpayment, be sure you're also aware of the importance of title insurance in Fort Myers. If you're not sure why title insurance is a must, contact the title insurance experts at Schutt Law at (239) 540-7007.

Cons of Buying a Condo

Buying a condo can sound too good to be true, but it also has its downsides. Before you decide this is the right step for you, check out some of the cons of buying a condo.

Less Privacy

When you buy a home, you typically have some space between you and your neighbors. Not all condos are the same, but the majority of the time, your neighbors will share a wall with you and sometimes they may even be above or below your unit. Think of it as apartment living to an extent. If you want the comfort of having space between your home and your neighbors, this may not be an ideal living situation for your family.

More Rules and Regulations

As part of the condo community, you'll have to follow more rules and regulations. The management may have a number of rules you're expected to abide by when living in the condo. Some of these may affect your ability to modify things in your home or on the outside of it. Before deciding a condo is right for you, be sure you understand the rules you're expected to follow. They will differ by community, so don't get discouraged by the first place you see.

Extra Fees

When you purchase a condo, you become part of a community. Not only will you have more of a community feel with your neighbors, but you'll also be part of the homeowners association. As a part of this association, you are expected to pay some extra fees. These should go to paying the maintenance staff and keeping your home and the rest of the grounds in great condition. So it's not just the price of the condo you should consider, but also the homeowners association fees.

Protect Your Investment With Title Insurance in Fort Myers

Before buying property, be sure you have title insurance in Fort Myers protecting your investment. To learn all about the importance of title insurance, contact the friendly title insurance experts at Schutt Law. Give them a call at (239) 540-7007.