Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Title?

A title is the evidence, of right, that a person has to the ownership and possession of land. It is possible that someone other than the owner has a legal right to the property. If that right can be established, this person can claim the property outright or make demands on the owner as to its use.

 

Do I Need Title Insurance?

YES! Title insurance is a means of protecting yourself from financial loss in the event that problems arise regarding the rights to ownership of your property. There may be hidden title defects that even the most careful title search will not reveal. In addition to protection from financial loss, title insurance pays the cost of defending against any covered claim.

 

Why is Title Insurance important?

Title insurance plays a major role in making certain home ownership is safe and secure. The title insurance company protects against loss due to any defect in title, and in the event any problems should arise, it is the title company's obligation to provide legal support. A reputable title insurance company offers reliable purchasing information, insight into historic matters of importance, and the security of a state licensed and regulated company.

 

What Kinds of Problems can a Title Search Reveal?

A title search can reveal any party that might have an interest in the property, as well as a number of title defects, liens, or other restrictions. For example, things like outstanding taxes, unsatisfied mortgages, and judgments against any recent owner, as well as restrictions on the use of the land may require an extensive search.

 

But the Lender Already Requires Title Insurance, Won't That Protect Me?

Not necessarily. There are two types of Title Insurance. Your lender likely will require that you purchase a Lender's Policy. This policy only insures that the financial institution has a valid, enforceable lien on the property. Most lenders require this type of insurance, and typically require the borrower to pay for it.
An Owner's Policy on the other hand is designed to protect you from title defects that existed prior to the issue date of your policy. Title troubles, such as improper estate proceedings or pending legal action, could put your equity at serious risk. If a valid claim is filed, in addition to financial loss up to the face amount of the policy, your owner's title policy covers the full cost of any legal defense of your title.

 

How Much Does Title Insurance Cost?

Normally a lot less than you may think. Generally, the cost of title insurance (including the search, examination and related services) is about one percent or less of the value of the property. This premium is not paid annually, but it is a one-time fee usually paid at the closing.

 

What Items are Needed at Closing?

When closing with ClearStream Title, we will inform you of what documents and check amounts you need to bring; however, here is a is a list of regular items that are needed are the time of closing:

 

Buyer

  • Buyer's copy of purchase agreement
  • Cashier's check(s) for payment of all associated fees
  • Proof of purchase of insurance for fire, casualty, etc.
  • Invoices for any unpaid taxes, utilities, or assessments
  • Photo identification (passport, driver's license, or state-issued identification card)

 

Seller

  • Seller's copy of purchase agreement
  • Invoices for any unpaid taxes, utilities, assessments, and latest utilities meter readings
  • Receipts for last payment of interest on mortgages
  • Bill of Sale of personal property covered by the purchase agreement
  • Any unrecorded instruments that affect the title
  • Proof of satisfaction of any mechanics' liens, chattel mortgages, judgments, or mortgages that were paid prior to the closing
  • Photo identification (passport, driver's license, or state-issued identification card)