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Why Do I Need Owner’s Title Insurance?

Right around the time that buyers are reviewing their estimated closing costs when making an offer on a property is when they ask why they need to purchase title insurance. Let’s face it.  We ALL want to save money where we can and we begin to question what we really need versus what we would like to have but can do without.

What is Title Insurance?

It is insurance that protects the homeowner from having to pay legal fees and claims for matters that were not discovered during the title search, such as back taxes, compensation to missing heirs, fraudulent or forged signature on the deed.

Who is covered by Title Insurance?

There are 2 types of policies:

Lender’s Title Insurance Policy: The mortgage lender often requires you purchase title insurance to protect their mortgage.  This coverage does NOT protect you as the owner.

Owner’s Title Insurance Policy:  This policy protects you as the owner and provides assurance that your title insurance company will stand behind you monetarily and with legal defense if a covered title problem arises after the purchase of your home.

Here are some common (or not so common) issues that owner’s title insurance may protect you from:

Fraud and Forgery: Individuals involved in real estate fraud and forgery can be clever and persistent, which can spell trouble for your home purchase.

Illegal Deeds: A prior deed by an unauthorized individual, on behalf of a corporate seller, a person of unsound mind, or who reports being single when actually married can affect the ownership of a property.

Unknown Easements: An unknown easement may prohibit you from using your property as you like.  In addition, other parties can leave expensive liens against your title.

Undiscovered Encumbrances: Unknown restrictions or covenants can limit the use of your property.

Foreclosures: Mistakes in a foreclosure in the ownership history of the property can leave expensive liens against your title.

Errors: Mis-indexing in the public records can cause hidden liens or undetected interests of others.  These liens and interests can be costly to correct.

Conflicting Wills: Conflicts over a will from a deceased former owner can lead to costly legal disputes challenging your home ownership.

While the purpose of the actual title search is designed to identify all possible hurdles, these are not only caught in large part because it can only search public records.  Some of the largest issues regarding title have to do when property is passed incorrectly upon the death of an owner.  This can happen if the required inheritance tax wasn’t paid, or if their are unknown heirs that later come to make a claim on the property.

It is VERY important to understand and read the title binder and insurance declarations before you accept the title and property transfer.  Although it is uncommon, there are incidents where the title insurance will note a known issue and still issue the policy with the known issue excepted from coverage.  You do NOT want to settle on a property that has a known title issue.  All issues should be sorted and negotiated BEFORE settlement.

Questions regarding title insurance and title searches?  Call Gina at 717.963.0016 or email homesalesinyourarea@gmail.com.

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Gina Casner

In 2016, I began my tenure in real estate as a licensed Executive Assistant for a leading real estate training coach and subsequently for high-producing real estate teams. I very quickly fell in love with real estate and by 2019, I transitioned into personally helping clients turn their dreams into keys. After dozens of transactions, I have been dubbed the “unicorn hunter,” finding out-of-the-box solutions for clients looking for a home with unique requirements. In addition to managing my real estate practice, I am involved in providing community education on responsible home ownership through my exclusive Path to Home Ownership workshop series. I also am the founder of Chronically Strong, an organization that promotes mental health awareness and suicide prevention in our local communities. I take a holistic and individualized approach to real estate. Buying or selling a home in Central PA can be complex, sophisticated and often a deeply personal endeavor. Your experience should mimic the high level of customer service all of my clients have, while being very specific to your own individual needs. I work with a team of experts to provide a full, complete experience that only a cohesive team can consistently provide. Working with us, you will be given personal attention in every aspect of your home buying and selling experience with the professionalism and consistency of a thoughtful business model. And yes, superior results will follow! On a personal note, I attribute my success not only to my passion for helping clients execute on their next “big move”, but also to my knowledge regarding the psychology of buying and selling. My clientele works in diverse industries with an emphasis on technology, finance, medicine, law, and business. My real estate practice has grown successfully and consistently thanks to the repeat business of happy clients and their introductions to friends, family and neighbors. This track record is only possible because we deliver both results AND an enjoyable experience. Growing up, my family moved frequently all across the continental U.S., but you will hear me say that I am from California because that is the longest place that I lived during my formative years. Moving became a way of life for my family and each place I lived became a part of my story. It taught me that our home truly is the foundation of everything in our lives, and it is this belief that compels me to work hard for my clients when they are buying or selling their home. In many ways, our home becomes a part of our identity, an identity and memory that should be honored. I have been accused of being tenacious and super honest. I like to win (for my clients) but do so with a calm demeanor and a smile. I live in a raised ranch home in Lower Paxton Township with my main squeeze, my teenage son, and our very spoiled dog, Ginger. I have mad faith, and truly believe that each and every one of us is capable of great things. I graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelors’ in Sociology. There is a running joke in my family that every day I go to real estate school because every day my clients teach me something new. I continually invest time, money and thought into the latest sales, marketing and negotiation techniques. Why? Because I believe that you deserve to have the best working for you. I want to live life on my own terms, and am committed to helping you do the same. Would you like to work together? Please reach out. I look forward to hearing from you! Gina

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