When you buy a home, there are many related financial elements to consider. These are the things it pays to learn about in advance, so the homebuying process is smooth and clear. Several types of insurance are included in the costs of buying a home. Title insurance, for instance, is in place to make sure lenders and homebuyers are protected from loss in case there is a property ownership dispute.
Title insurance: Two different sides of liability reduction
Because various parties take on financial risk in the issuing of a mortgage, it's appropriate that there are two kinds of title insurance. A lender's policy is designed to keep the lending organization from experiencing undue loss and an owner's policy has the same goal for you, the homebuyer. Both types take effect in the event that ownership of the property is disputed.
As Forbes contributor Jordan Lulich pointed out, title insurance is a unique kind of coverage. Rather than defending against potential accidents or other problems in the future, it is based on the premise that mistakes may have happened in the past but not been discovered yet. Any discrepancies with the ownership of the house may lead to legal challenges. Title insurance covers costs brought about by litigation that disputes the home's ownership.
As Lulich noted, getting title insurance involves a title search. This deep research into the provenance and legal status of the home is designed to ensure the property is safe to ensure, and that there haven't been any errors made in the past. Title insurance costs are all paid upfront during the homebuying process, rather than on a monthly basis as with other types of insurance.
About policies protecting lenders
The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau notes that if you want a mortgage loan, most lenders will require you to purchase lender's title insurance. These policies ensure the lenders aren't liable for costs if someone sues you over the legal ownership of the home or land. Lulich explained it's usually more affordable to buy a lender's policy than an owner's policy. If you buy such a policy, you should be clear what you're getting – it's designed to protect the lender rather than your investment. That's what an owner's policy is for.
About policies protecting owners
The other side of the title insurance coin consists of owner's policies, which safeguard your finances. The CFPB pointed out there are financial benefits to buying the two kinds of policies from the same provider as a bundle. The owner's policy insures the "title," the deed that establishes the legal sale of the home. The insurance is based on the premise that the document has been issued correctly and defends against costs incurred by contradictory lawsuits.
The CFPB noted that there are a few kinds of events that may incite such suits. People may sue you after you purchase a home, insisting that the previous owner didn't pay taxes on the house, or didn't pay for construction work. The discovery process when title insurance is issued is designed to ensure that such events didn't actually happen.
A clear and easy purchase
Buying a house doesn't have to be complicated. As long as you understand every step of the process, including the purpose of and need for title insurance, getting a mortgage and completing the sale can be simple.