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
If you're starting your home search, be ready to compromise. Chances are you won't find a home that is perfect in every aspect, but there are also some things you shouldn't compromise on.

What You Shouldn't Compromise on When Searching for a Home

Before you start scouring listings hoping to find your dream home, arm yourself with a list of needs. Oftentimes, home buyers will find themselves getting attached to a home that doesn't even have any of the things they're looking for. With a needs list, you can have a clear reminder of what you need and why. If you're not sure what needs you should never sacrifice, check out the points below to help you on your home search.

Don't Change Your Budget

Start your home search by setting a realistic budget that will narrow down your choices. Having a budget range is your best bet because it will give you a range to work with when putting in an offer and subsequently negotiating with the seller. Never go beyond your maximum budget since this can result in you investing in a home you can't afford. You shouldn't barely be able to cover your mortgage and other home related payments since this can make you feel stressed out and unhappy. Instead, invest in a home that you can comfortably afford while still maintaining a lifestyle that makes you happy. Don't forget that you should also have enough at the end of the month to keep a healthy savings account.

Stick to the Location You Want

If you don't like the paint color on the walls or the wall-to-wall carpeting, you can change this. One of the few things you won't be able to change is the location of your home. Because of this, it's important that you have a clear idea of the areas you want to live in. If you hate long commutes, avoid buying a home that is far from your workplace. If you hate the noise in the city, don't buy a home downtown. You get the picture. Also, keep in mind that a home's location greatly affects its resale value. Even if you plan on staying for a long time, you never know how long you'll be there. Get the best return on your investment by choosing the location strategically.

Fixer-Upper or Move-In Ready?

If you want a home that you can arrive at and automatically start moving your things into, a fixer-upper is not for you. Fixer-uppers require quite a bit of work and sometimes can't be lived in for a while. Avoid the stress of your home always being under construction and stick to a move-in ready home. While a fixer-upper may look charming and there is a certain appeal in being able to renovate a home, if you want a move-in ready home, a fixer-upper won't make you happy. No matter what type of home you're after, be sure to protect your investment by purchasing title title insurance in TARGET. To find a title insurance policy that's right for you, contact Schutt Law. Give them a call at (239) 540-7007 for more information about their title insurance policies.

The Size of the Home

The size of the home you're looking for should depend on a few factors. If you have a large family, work from home, or have pets, you may need quite a bit of space at home or in the yard. Similarly, if you don't yet have a family but are planning on starting one, think to the future when deciding how much space you need. Think in terms of square footage but also in terms of number of bedrooms and bathrooms. This information is crucial as it will ensure you family is comfortable at home. Don't sacrifice rooms for a lower price because things can get tight and uncomfortable. There are some space related things you can compromise on, like the size of the kitchen, but bedrooms and bathrooms are one of them.

The Surrounding Community

You should feel happy and safe in the community surrounding your home. This means your neighborhood and the surrounding areas and services. If you have young children, look at crime rates and school districts. Consider public transportation options if you use it often and make sure your neighbors are welcoming. If something doesn't match what you're after, you're better off passing on the home instead of being uncomfortable every time you step outside.

Buy Title Insurance in TARGET

Now that you're ready to buy your dream home, don't forget to also purchase title insurance at closing. This can help protect you and your lender from major losses if a title issue comes up in the future. To learn more about this or to find your ideal title insurance policy, contact Schutt Law at (239) 540-7007.