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Frequently asked questions & answers
When you are buying any real estate, including a house, land or commercial property in Florida, you buy everything that comes with it, including the building structure or house, improvements such as a fence, additions, landscaping, and even the well and sewer system. When you buy a condominium, you buy into the interest in the building and you have a share in the common areas along with owning your own particular unit. When a seller is transferring ownership of property to another person the seller needs to ensure that the buyer is getting the property free of encumbrances and liens and expects to receive clear title to the property he or she is purchasing. A title search will reveal problems that the buyer will need to be made aware of including but not limited to:
Fraud & forgery
Incorrectly executed deeds by minors, corporations, heirs or non-entities
The seller has fraudulently sold the property to another recent buyer
A prior seller has fraudulently sold the property to more than one buyer
The seller purchased the property while committing mortgage fraud
The boundaries may be incorrect, and part of the property may be owned by an adjacent neighboring property owner
There may be an easement burdening the property which limits the uses and thereby decreases the value of the property
Structures on the property may encroach onto valid easements or an adjacent property
There may be an older unrecorded deed transferring the property which is now recorded
The seller or prior seller may have outstanding personal judgments which could attach to the property
Foreclosure sale issues
The title company handles the title search and escrow aspects of the transaction. They coordinate and act as the center point for the closing for buyers, sellers, lenders, realtors and third parties such as surveyors, insurance companies, and inspectors. Prior to closing, they put together all the pieces of the puzzle with the primary objective being to clear title and make sure all judgments, liens, and encumbrances are satisfied at closing. The title company also prepares all closing documents including the CD 1 (closing disclosure statement), loan documents, and any other legal documents related to the closing. Finally, buyers and sellers usually gather at the title company’s office to sign and notarize all their documents.
Yes, unlike homeowners or flood insurance this is a one-time expense and protects your title to the house for as long as you own the house. However, if you transfer your original interest in the property via a Quit Claim Deed, the policy will be null and void.
Florida title insurance rates are set by the Florida Department of Insurance. A Florida title insurance owner’s policy and a Florida title insurance mortgagee policy are generally issued simultaneously, with the policy of lesser value having only a nominal premium rate. The scale of Florida title insurance rate premiums is as follows based on the insurance amount:
Up to $100,000.00 a rate of $5.57 per $1,000.00 of insurance;
Over $100,000.00 up to $1 Million a rate of $5.00 per $1,000.00 of insurance;
Over $1 Million up to $5 Million, a rate of $2.50 per $1,000.00 of insurance;
Over $5 Million up to $10 Million, a rate of $2.25 per $1,000.00 of insurance;
Over $10 Million, a rate of 2.00 per $1,000.00 of insurance.
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