Property Title Insurance Services in Charlotte, NC & the Surrounding Area
You already know that your real estate purchase will probably be one of the biggest financial investments you ever make. Once you become a property owner, you will need to purchase various types of insurance to protect your investment should something unexpected occur. You’re probably familiar with homeowners insurance, which provides protection from theft, fire, and other threats — but what about property title insurance?
For many homebuyers, purchasing title insurance is a matter of “better safe than sorry.” If you’re not sure whether you need title insurance or where to buy it, an experienced real estate attorney at Matheson Law Firm, P.A. can help. Our team has decades of experience handling every aspect of a real estate transaction.
To learn more about home title insurance and why it’s important for your Charlotte property, please call (704) 946-7985 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.
What Is Property Title Insurance?
This coverage protects you against defective titles. There are two forms of title insurance:
A required lender’s policy
An optional owner’s policy
Both are paid for upfront rather than as monthly premiums, and the policy protects you until the next transfer of ownership takes place.
Title hazards can threaten your investment and your right to occupy and use a residential or commercial space. Your title gives you this right, but there’s a possibility someone made a mistake in passing on the property somewhere down the line.
To catch as many of these problems as possible, a real estate title company conducts a search during the buying process to check the property’s ownership history. The goal is to uncover all outstanding claims, defects, and other issues — but it doesn’t always happen. That’s where title insurance comes in.
What To Know About Title Insurance
Your mortgage lender will require it.
There are two different policies to consider purchasing (lender’s and owner’s policies).
You have the right to choose your provider.
Even new construction needs coverage.
Do I Need Title Insurance?
If the title company doesn’t uncover any problems during its search, you may wonder why you would still need title insurance. The fact is that even a thorough title search may not expose everything about a property’s past. If there’s a mistake in ownership history, a previously unknown heir, or an oversight by the title researcher that surfaces later, you could face a barrage of issues, headaches, and extra expenses. At worst, you could lose your property and all the equity you’ve built.
Lenders insist on title insurance because this protects their interest in the loan, which makes sense considering that they’re responsible for the majority of the home’s value until several years into the mortgage. You should insist on it, too, because your stake in your property could be at risk.
Who Pays for Title Insurance?
The party responsible for purchasing the buyer’s and lender’s title insurance policies varies by state and, sometimes, even by county. It’s also possible for buyers to haggle with sellers, so they pay a part or all of both policies. Even if you end up shouldering the bill, it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind. In fact, title insurance offers one of the best insurance values around.
We Work With Real Estate Agents
At Matheson Law Firm, we work with real estate agents in the Charlotte, Huntersville, and Cornelius areas. All great real estate agents know that real estate attorneys are required for real estate service. We will help make this process as painless as possible, ensuring you and your real estate clients are protected from unwanted issues and getting the home closed as soon as possible.
Get Help Obtaining Home Title Insurance in Charlotte
It’s important to note that not all title insurance policies or insurers are the same. Fortunately, North Carolina law makes it illegal for lenders to require the use of any specific company, so you can comparison shop. The process is easy when you partner with Matheson Law Firm. We’ll help you find the best plan for your needs and ensure fair payment from the appropriate parties.
Have more questions about title insurance? Call (704) 946-7985 or contact us online for more answers and advice regarding home title insurance in Charlotte, NC.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does title insurance cover?
Each policy is different, so it is important to review your policy carefully. However, most title insurance policies cover the insured against common hidden risks, such as:
Confusion caused by similar names
Impersonation of the true property owner
Forged deeds and other documents
Signatures of minors or people who are not mentally competent
Spouses of prior owners who represented themselves as single but who are actually married
Errors in recording legal documents
Clerical errors in public records
Undisclosed or missing heirs
Invalid documents executed under an expired power of attorney
Unpaid child support lien
Unpaid taxes (local, state, federal)
Unrecorded easements (rights of way)
Unsatisfied prior mortgages
Errors or omissions in deeds
Mistakes made in examining records
Undisclosed recent construction generating lien claims
Title irregularities arising from a person’s estate, a bankruptcy estate, or a trust as a prior owner
In the unfortunate event of these or other hidden hazards, your title insurer protects your financial interests by handling negotiation with third parties, paying to defend your property against an attack on title, or by paying certain claims.
As always, it’s a good idea to have your attorney review your title insurance policy and discuss the policy’s coverages and exclusions with you.
What is not covered by title insurance?
Title insurance does not protect you from all problems. For example, all title insurance policies include a list of exclusions and exceptions. Our attorneys can review your title insurance policy with you before closing and outline any non-covered items. Examples could include:
Condemnation of the property by the government
Building and zoning ordinance violations
An unrecorded title defect you weren’t aware of
Covenants and restrictions that limit how you may use the property
Claims pertaining to waterway rights for properties on or near rivers, streams, and lakes
Losses resulting from claims by renters
Discrepancies in boundary lines, encroachments, and certain overlapping of improvements
Do I need title insurance?
Both buyers and sellers are responsible for purchasing title insurance. Sometimes, buyers can negotiate with sellers so they pay for all or part of both policies.
However, after a title search comes back clean, you may wonder why you would still need title insurance. The fact is, even a thorough search may not catch a mistake in ownership history, previously unknown heir, or oversight by the title researcher that comes to light later on. If any of these things happen, you could face a barrage of legal issues and extra expenses. You might even lose your property and the equity you’ve put into it.
Many lenders insist on title insurance because they are responsible for the bulk of your home’s value for the first several years of ownership. For your peace of mind, you should insist on it, too.
How long does title insurance last?
A title insurance policy is effective as long as you (the insured) hold the title. Title insurance does not have to be renewed, unlike other types of insurance such as auto insurance or life insurance. Also, unlike other insurance premiums, you only pay the premium for your owner’s coverage one time.
What is lender’s title insurance?
When you close on your mortgage loan, your lender may require you to purchase a “lender’s title policy” or “mortgagee title policy.” This type of insurance policy protects the lender’s investment by paying the mortgage if a title defect ends up voiding your title as the buyer. The cost of this title insurance is often included in your loan and typically decreases as the loan is paid off.
When (and how) do I pay for title insurance?
Your closing attorney will collect your payment for the title insurance premium at your closing, along with all other expenses (such as for a title search). The attorney will order your owner’s policy shortly after closing, recording of your deed, and clearance of any title objections.
We are here to help your transaction to run smoothly and efficiently. Our Charlotte real estate attorneys can help guide you through your property sale. Contact us at (704) 946-7976 today or contact us online.
Get in touch
Douglas P. Matheson, Attorney at Law
With 20 years of experience in real estate law and closing real estate transactions, I understand your purchase or refinance transaction can feel overwhelming. I am here to provide you with advice, counsel, and peace of mind to help you through the process. Let's keep moving forward together.
The information on this website is for informational purposes only; it is deemed accurate but not guaranteed. It does not constitute professional advice. All information is subject to change at any time without notice. Contact us for complete details.