Title insurance sounds like yet another mystery fee buried under all the other payments you need to make when buying and maintaining a house, but it could very well be in your best interest to investigate what it is and how it can affect the home-buying process. According to IBISworld.com, over the last five years the title insurance industry has grown by 3 percent, which means many buyers are understanding the value in it. Here’s what you need to know when considering whether it’s the right move for you.
What is Title Insurance?
Title insurance protects home buyers from a financial loss that is related to owning the actual property. There are two policies involved, the lender’s policy, which is required, and the owner’s policy, which is optional. Both policies are a one-time payment that are taken care of up front and will not be taxed on a monthly mortgage. Whether you’re buying an already owned house or a brand new one, this insurance can be important to have as it is all about the land itself.
What Does it Protect?
Whether you’re looking at Cincinnati homes for sale or property in another city, you will likely need title insurance if you are borrowing from a standard mortgage lender. It covers the amount of the loan for the lender in the event of any issues arising with the house after financing. If you choose to get an owner’s policy, it will protect you against zoning law violations, building permit violations, inaccurate surveys and some types of structural damage.
Is It Worth It?
Having title insurance can protect you from big problems that might come along long after you close. However, whether or not you choose to obtain it depends on how comfortable you are with buying the house based on the title information that you already have. Even if you have a thorough closing attorney, they can sometimes overlook something that could result in a nightmare issue later on down the road – and there could be other major potential problems that even the best attorney couldn’t detect at all. For those reasons, it’s a smart idea to consider getting it.
What Does It Cost?
Costs really vary from state to state, but on average, buyers typically pay between $1,000 and $4,000 for title insurance. In each individual state, some rates are standard among all insurers, but in others you may have to do a little shopping around to ensure you’re getting the best possible deal.
Title Insurance Shopping Tip
It’s true that many builders offer incentives to shoppers who decide to use their partnered title company to settle their insurance matters. Builders typically know good title companies because they can’t afford to put their own company at risk, so it’s a safe bet that they’ll guide you towards an insurer that has a strong reputation. It can also be a good idea to ask your realtor for recommendations as professionals who know which insurers have made their past clients happy.