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
During the winter months, your home may need some help in dealing with the elements. To ensure it stays at its best all winter long, check out these winterizing tips from Schutt Law.

Get Your Home Ready for Winter

Winter weather isn't the most friendly, especially when it comes to your home. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to prepare for whatever winter throws your way. To ensure your home is ready for the season, use these tips.

If you're buying a new home, you're not protected if you don't have title insurance in Fort Myers. To learn more about title insurance, contact the experts at Schutt Law. Give them a call at (239) 540-7007 to get your questions answered.

Clean Out Your Gutters

It's no secret that the winter months often come with lots of rain and sometimes snow. Because of this, it's important that you take the time to clean out your home's gutters. Since these can fill up with debris during the fall, think fallen leaves and dirt, this task is a must. The debris can pile up and make it harder for rain water to drain properly during a storm. These clogs can lead to backups which will then make the gutters fill up and get heavy. They can then break off your home and lead to pooling water around the foundation. This is easy to avoid by simply cleaning them out and running water from your hose through them to be sure there are no clogs anywhere.

Take a Close Look at the Roof

While you're up there cleaning out the gutters, don't forget to also inspect your roof. Again, the rain and snow can lead to issues here if your roof isn't in great shape. Look out for missing shingles, broken parts, and other issues that can lead to leaks in the roof. If you're not comfortable going up on your roof to spot fix these issues, it's a good idea to call the pros. They can quickly patch up your roof so that you can enjoy the first rains rather than stressing over potential leaks.

Insulate Areas That Are Exposed

The winters are known for being cold, but this doesn't mean you have to sit in a cold home all season long. It's not uncommon for cold air to get into the home through the attic, so be sure to check that you have plenty of insulation in there to prevent this. Ideally, your insulation should be 10 to 14 inches deep, so check that the insulation you do have meets that requirement. Use it on the attic floors and place a cover on the stairways or entryway that leads to your attic to prevent losing the warm air provided by your heating system.

Get Your Heating System Serviced

Speaking of your heating system, now is the time to get it serviced. Since the winter can make your home uncomfortably cold, you want to be sure your system is ready and safe to use. Test it out to be sure it works and call a professional service to have it maintained. This will give you the peace of mind you need to use it all winter without being paranoid that it will malfunction or be unsafe to use.

Be sure to purchase title insurance in Fort Myers to protect your investment. To learn all about the importance of title insurance, contact the friendly experts at Schutt Law at (239) 540-7007.

Prepare Your Fireplace

If you have a fireplace in your home, the winter months are the perfect time to take advantage of this amenity. Of course, you will first have to clean it so that it's safe to use. If you haven't cleaned it since you used it last winter, it can have buildup on the walls which can be flammable and make it unsafe to use. You can take care of this cleaning yourself or hire a professional to do the work for you.

Seal up Your Home

Avoid wasting money on heating your home this winter by ensuring all the cracks and holes around your home are properly sealed. While checking the insulation in your attic, look out for holes around vents and wires that can let cold air in and let warm air escape. Around the exterior of your home, check the windows and doors for cracks and holes that can also be letting the cold in. Use caulk to fill all of these holes and keep your home warmer all winter long.

Put Away Outdoor Items

Finally, if you're expecting a harsh winter, don't forget to store outdoor items that can be damaged. You may have patio furniture that is fine to be outside, but that may not be true in the winter. Instead of risking damage, grab these items and store them indoors until the weather gets nicer.

Protect your home investment with title insurance in Fort Myers. The title insurance experts at Schutt Law can answer all the questions you may have. Give them a call at (239) 540-7007 to get your questions answered.