Does your Title Insurance only protect the bank?

Forbes magazine recently published an article entitled: 12 Important Steps In Buying A Home No One Talks About. These included:

  1. Calculate What You Can Afford
  2. Access Grant Money Assistance
  3. Consider Potentially Hidden Costs
  4. Develop An Exit Strategy
  5. Consider The Buyer’s Lifestyle Needs
  6. Pick The Right Agent For You
  7. Get Home Insurance
  8. Check Permit History
  9. Set Up A Yearly Maintenance Account
  10. Prepare For Functional Obsolescence
  11. Check Who Lived There Before You
  12. Check Out The Immediate Neighborhood

I would add one additional thing: Get an Owner’s Title Insurance Policy. As explained this article: Title Insurance: Is it Required?

Title insurance is a policy that covers third-party claims on a property that do noit show up in the initial title search and arise after a real estate closing. A third party is someone other than the property’s owner, such as a construction company that didn’t get paid for its work on the home under a previous owner. The term “title” refers to someone’s legal ownership of the property.

A title claim could arise at any time, even after you’ve owned the property with no problems for many years. How could this happen? Someone else might have ownership rights that you don’t know about when you make an offer to buy a property. Even the current owner might not be aware that someone else has a claim on the property. In the case of an overlooked heir, even the person who has those rights may not know they have them.

I would personally never purchase land without having an examination of the title records performed.

Many buyers think they have title insurance; however, their bank actually is the beneficiary of the policy. Most banks and mortgage companies cause the buyer to purchase title insurance that only benefits the bank. That is why I recommend each buyer to purchase an owner’s policy.

An owner’s title insurance policy protects the homebuyer. For an owner’s policy, the coverage amount is usually equal to the purchase price and remains constant for as long as you or your heirs own the home. This type of policy is optional and only needs to be purchased once.