A story that is (unfortunately) as old as real estate transactions – a home goes on the market and the price is a steal The seller’s wife just passed away and is looking to move on. You jump on it and make an offer that gets accepted…but it turns out the ‘seller’ has been divorced from their former spouse for 10 years and doesn’t actually have the title, thus isn’t actually the owner and doesn’t have the right to sell it.
Buying a new property has always come with a surge of adrenaline, but in this highly competitive South Florida real estate market, home buyers are willing to pull out all the stops in order to win the home of their dreams.
There is a no-holds barred mentality right now where buyers are skipping inspections, offering appraisal guarantees, and finding other creative ways to win, even if it means facing potential headaches and expenses down the road.
But in the midst of all that goes on when buying a new property, there is one thing you should never pass over on the road to owning your new home – title insurance.
Why You Need Title Insurance
Title insurance is a policy that protects you, as an owner, against third-party claims on your property, including liens and easements. The premium is a one-time charge and protects you for as long as you or your heirs own the home.
While your mortgage lender will require title insurance for their protection, it is optional – though highly recommended – for homeowners to purchase a separate owner’s title policy. After committing to such a large purchase, it only makes sense to safeguard your investment by putting forward the relatively minimal cost it takes to secure title insurance coverage.
How Much Does Title Insurance Cost?
In Florida, title insurance rates are set by the Florida Administrative Code. Rule 69O-186.003 specifies rates for all types of title insurance scenarios, including original owner and leaseholder title insurance coverage, reissue rates (if a prior owner’s policy exists), a new home purchase discount, substitution loan rates, and other situations.
Before you close on your home, your property’s ownership history should be checked by a title company, but even if it has a “clear title,” undiscovered issues can arise even years after you complete your purchase. If a title defect shows up after you close, you’ll likely face a variety of legal costs (at a minimum). At worst, you could be faced with losing your property and everything you’ve put into it.
Purchasing title insurance is a way to mitigate risk and safeguard your home’s purchase. At Silverberg | Brito, PLLC, we highly recommend that our clients purchase some level of title insurance. If you have questions about what title insurance is and why it is a good choice for you, get in touch with our team of real estate lawyers at Silverberg | Brito, PLLC.