If you’re buying a home and in the process ask yourself, “Do I need title insurance”, you’re not alone. It’s a common question from home buyers in California. The list below might help you understand title insurance and the need for it a bit better.
Everyone knows that when you buy a home, you then need to take care of it and protect it from the point you close escrow on the purchase. What many people don’t understand is that the past can jeopardize your ownership rights in the home you purchase as well. Here is where title insurance comes in.
Title insurance protects home owners against challenges to rightful ownership of real estate (real property)… these are due to occurences related to past ownership.
- Claims to property ownership have risen substantially over the years.
- Claims are known to arise frequently due to marriage status and validity of dissolution of marriage (divorce).
- Title transfers via inheritances may be subject to tax liens.
- A home mortgage or deed may have been obtained through fraudulent activities.
- Potential ownership claims can arise from children of a homeowner after death.
- Potential claims can arise in the event a court action was not processed correctly.
- A previous deed or mortgage may have been signed by someone who was under age.
- There may have been a forgery somewhere in the chain of title.
- A claim can be made that someone in the chain of title was incompetent to act.
- It’s possible that a mortgage was created under a power of attorney after expiration of the POA, making the transaction void.
- Someone in the chain of title could have been presumed dead, but then return to claim property (or an heir).
- Someone other than the rightful owner could have signed as the owner by having the same name.
- Title insurance covers attorney fees and court costs in the event there is a claim on title.
- Having title insurance strengthens your position when attempting to sell your home and gives the buyer peace of mind.
- There may have been a mistake or defect in the recording of the property in the past.
If these 15 reasons don’t answer your “Do I need title insurance?” question, you need much more than title insurance.
Don’t take the chance, make sure you demand title insurance when buying your next home.
For assistance in buying or selling a home in Southern California, contact Cameron Novak at The Homefinding Center 951.212.7479. Of course I’m happy to hear from you if you just need more information on why you need title insurance.