Title Insurance Questions
Buying or selling a home can be an overwhelming process, no matter what side of the transaction you are on. We know there are a large number of moving parts, and it can be hard to keep track of all of them. Title insurance is simply one of those moving parts, and the team at Bulldog Title Insurance Agency, L.L.C., is here to guide you through this phase of the process.
As part of our commitment to our clients, we have compiled some frequently asked questions and useful tips to guide you through the process. Our agency is based in Monroe, LA, and serves clients across every one of Louisiana’s 64 parishes. We provide title insurance services to homeowners, home buyers, real estate professionals, and all others involved in a real estate transaction.
What is title insurance?
How much does title insurance cost?
Title insurance is a one-time fee that usually costs less than one percent of the property’s selling value. Title insurance costs are regulated by the Louisiana government and does not vary from company to company.
What are the different types of title insurance?
Title insurance is often classified in terms of whom the policy protects. There is lender’s insurance, which protects the lender from disputes surrounding the title, and owner’s insurance, which directly protects the owner of the property.
What is a title search, and what do title searches reveal?
A title search occurs when a title professional refers to ownership documentation in an attempt to discover any defects or previously unknown issues to the property title that must be cleared before the transfer of property. Unpaid taxes or bills, a claim on the property, or any easement, ordinance, restrictions, bankruptcy proceeding, or mortgage can all result in a “title defect,” which must be addressed before the sale of the property.
Why do I need title insurance after a title search has been made? Shouldn’t that protect me?
There are some issues that no title search, no matter how thorough, would be able to uncover. Such an issue could potentially result in major financial loss to those who have a stake in the property, such as the owner or mortgage lender, if it is discovered.
What is a Closing Disclosure?
The closing disclosure or “C.D.” is a closing form that is used during settlements. It contains information about the closing costs associated with a particular transaction. Our online system “Paperless Closer” allows a buyer or seller to download closing documents including the C.D. prior to closing.
What do I do when a title search indicates a title defect?
Usually, when a defect is discovered, it must be corrected before the transaction can proceed. The steps taken depend on the specific issue discovered, but usually involve the title insurance either correcting or paying an amount necessary to resolve the issue.
How do I learn more about title insurance?
At Bulldog Title, we offer a free consultation for those interested in learning more about title insurance and title searches. In order to speak with one of the members of the Bulldog team, call us today at 318-361-0061 to learn more about our services!
Useful Tips to Make Your Transaction Easier
Remember that you are not only buying a home: you are buying into a neighborhood. Choose accordingly. Make sure to address such factors as your commute, the quality of the school system, the crime rate, the proximity to stores and entertainment options, and the home’s position in relation to public transportation.
Every American is entitled to one free credit report a year, issued by the government. Check that report for any unaddressed or incorrect issues or blemishes. You don’t want any surprises down the line, especially when shopping around for a mortgage.
Have the home inspected and check the entire home from top to bottom so that any issues can be discovered and resolved. This includes ensuring that all the appliances are in good working order.
Research the market thoroughly and keep abreast of the latest developments in the real estate industry. Knowledge is your most powerful ally as you begin the homebuying process.
Notify your attorney immediately if you are planning to use a power of attorney, as this must be approved before closing.
Loop your attorney into the process. Give your attorney a copy of the contract to ensure that everything is in order and that there are no gaps, inconsistencies, ambiguities, or unforeseen clauses. If the lender asks for payment of any outstanding bills before the closing, ask your attorney for guidance.
Make sure that all the utilities are in order so that you can begin living normally in your new home as quickly as possible after moving in.
The closing itself can be intimidating for homebuyers, especially if it is their first time purchasing a piece of real estate. In order to smooth the process, make sure that you have all the proper documentation and paperwork. If you are required to bring funds, make sure to have a cashier’s check for that amount. Bring identification, settlement and title insurance documents, proof of all relevant insurance, and the estimates of closing costs prepared by your attorney. Familiarize yourself with the process beforehand so that you know exactly what you are doing at the closing table.
Trusted Title & Settlement Services Across Louisiana
Buying a home can be a complex process. Having the help of an attorney who is knowledgeable about real estate law and the issues surrounding the buying and selling process is an indispensable part of protecting yourself as you take this major step.