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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
Learn how to effectively manage your finances and create a solid down payment budgeting plan to achieve your dream of homeownership with this guide from Stewart: Schutt Law in Fort Myers

Buying a home is a significant milestone in many people's lives, but it often comes with a hefty down payment requirement. The key to successfully navigating this financial hurdle is down payment budgeting. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the ins and outs of down payment budgeting, offering practical tips and strategies to help you achieve your homeownership goals.

Protect Your Investment: Ensure the security of your real estate investment by obtaining title insurance from a reputable agency like Schutt Law in Fort Myers. Call (239) 540-7007 for expert advice on the importance of title insurance and title searches.

Understanding Down Payment Budgeting

Before diving into the specifics of down payment budgeting, it's essential to understand what a down payment is and why it matters. A down payment is a lump sum payment made upfront when purchasing a home, typically expressed as a percentage of the total purchase price. This payment reduces the amount of money you need to borrow through a mortgage loan and may also affect your loan's terms and interest rates.

Setting Your Down Payment Goal

The first step in down payment budgeting is setting a realistic goal. Consider factors such as the price range of homes you're considering, your current savings, and any additional funds you may have available. Aim for a down payment that allows you to secure favorable mortgage terms while still maintaining a comfortable financial cushion.

Creating a Budget

With your down payment goal in mind, it's time to create a budget to help you achieve it. Start by evaluating your current income, expenses, and savings habits. Identify areas where you can reduce or reallocate funds toward your down payment goal. Consider using budgeting tools or apps to track your progress and stay on target.

Automating Savings

One effective strategy for down payment budgeting is to automate your savings. Set up automatic transfers from your checking account to a dedicated savings account earmarked for your down payment. This "pay yourself first" approach ensures you consistently set aside funds without relying on willpower alone.

Secure Your Peace of Mind: Don't leave your property ownership vulnerable to unforeseen legal issues. Trust Schutt Law in Fort Myers for reliable title insurance services. Call (239) 540-7007 today to learn more about safeguarding your peace of mind.

Exploring Down Payment Assistance Programs

In addition to saving on your own, explore down payment assistance programs that may be available. These programs, offered by government agencies, nonprofit organizations, or employers, provide financial assistance or grants to help qualified buyers cover their down payment and closing costs. Research programs in your area and determine if you meet the eligibility criteria.

Adjusting Your Timeline

Flexibility is vital when it comes to down payment budgeting. If your original timeline is too ambitious or unrealistic, feel free to adjust it. Consider extending your timeline to allow for additional savings or explore alternative options, such as purchasing a less expensive home or exploring different loan programs.

Staying Disciplined

Down payment budgeting requires discipline and commitment. Stay focused on your goal and remind yourself of the benefits of homeownership. Avoid unnecessary expenses and temptations that could derail your savings efforts. Remember, every dollar saved brings you closer to achieving your dream of homeownership.

Revisiting Your Budget Regularly

As your financial situation evolves, it's essential to revisit your budget regularly and make any necessary adjustments. Keep track of changes in your income, expenses, and savings progress. Consider consulting with a financial advisor for personalized guidance and support.

In Summary

Down payment budgeting is a crucial step on the journey to homeownership. By setting realistic goals, creating a budget, automating savings, exploring assistance programs, and staying disciplined, you can effectively manage your finances and achieve your dream of owning a home. Start today and take the first step towards building a brighter future for yourself and your family. In conclusion, mastering down payment budgeting is essential for anyone purchasing a home. By understanding the process, setting realistic goals, and implementing effective strategies, you can make your dream of homeownership a reality. So start budgeting today and take control of your financial future.

Choose Schutt Law for Confidence: With Schutt Law’s expertise in title insurance in Fort Myers, you can confidently navigate the complexities of property ownership. Call (239) 540-7007 for personalized advice on securing title insurance and conducting thorough title searches. Protect your investment with Schutt Law's trusted services.