Investors First Title Agency is a full-service residential and commercial title insurance agency issuing policies for Fidelity National Insurance Company. Our 30+ years of experience combined with our commitment to excellence in customer services makes us your premier choice for all of your title insurance needs.
Title Company NJ
When you are buying a house or another type of property in the Somerville area, the last thing you may want to do is to pay for unnecessary expenses. Very few first-time buyers are aware that they need to purchase title insurance or what title insurance actually is. While you may not be familiar with this type of coverage, the reality is that it is a requirement for most buyers, and it offers very significant benefits at an affordable price. With a closer look at how our team at Investors First Title can assist you, you will see why you need to have access to the benefits of title insurance.
What Is Title Insurance?
“Title” is a legal or real estate term that essentially means you own the property. Title is given to you at the time of closing when the ownership of the land and building transfers from the seller to you. Title can transfer hands through a sale, inheritance, foreclosure and many other factors. There are several entities that may claim title to the property that you are buying, such as a previous owner or an heir if a previous owner passed away, a mortgage company or bank that issued a loan on the property, a property tax entity and more. Typically, the entity that can prove title to a property first or earliest has legal rights to the property. Title insurance is a way for you to protect your legal rights as the rightful owner of the property. After all, the last thing you want is to face the financial impact of a full loss if someone else lays claim to your property after title is transferred to you.
What Is a Title Search?
One of the services that we offer our clients at Investors First Title is a 60-year title search. This is a thorough review of the ownership chain on the property for the last six decades. In an ideal scenario, each title change will have a clear and legal transfer completed. All legal documents pertaining to the change of property ownership will be duly recorded. Through the title search, verification will be made that no outstanding liens remain on the property and that all property taxes have been paid for previous years. Essentially, a title search gives you the confidence that the seller has the legal right to sell the property to you and that you are able to take ownership of the property without any legal encumbrances in place. If any issues are found during the title search, your mortgage lender typically requires that these issues be cleared up before the closing date. In most cases, these issues can be cleared through the efforts of your title company. In the event that they cannot be cleared, an exception to the title will be made. The lender may or may not decide to extend a loan to you, depending on the severity of the exception issue. In addition, you may or may not decide to assume the risk that the exception creates by buying the property.
Why Do You Need Title Insurance in NJ?
After the initial title search has been completed and has revealed no exceptions, you may feel confident about the seller’s legal ability to sell the property. Because of this, you may wonder why you need to purchase additional insurance. A title search only traces ownership and liens back for sixty years. Some issues may arise from earlier in history that can impact your claim to rightful title. When anyone has a claim to your property, you must endure legal costs as you fight for the right to remain in the home.
In the event the other party wins the lawsuit for your property, title will immediately transfer to that person. You may face a nightmarish situation with your lender, and you may also lose all equity that you have established in the property. In addition, you and your family must immediately relocate to a new home without delay. As you can see, the financial impact of a title issue can be horrendous to deal with.
If you purchase title insurance through Investors First Title, however, the experience will be different. Your title insurance policy may pay for legal fees related to a title battle. In the event the other party wins the case and you lose ownership of the property, the title insurance policy will reimburse you for your financial loss. You may still be required to relocate, but at least you will not lose the equity that you have in the home or have to deal with the money you owe to your lender.
What Types of Title Insurance Are There in New Jersey?
If you have never purchased title insurance, you may not be aware that there are two main types of insurance that you can purchase. These are a loan policy and an owner’s policy. In many cases, it is beneficial or required for you to purchase both types of coverage. A closer look at these different policies will help you to determine which one or ones you need to purchase.
A loan policy is a type of title insurance that is generally required if you take out a mortgage to purchase the property or if you later refinance the property. Any lender that uses the property as collateral for their loan may require you to purchase this type of policy. It protects the bank or financial institution from loss if a claim issue develops. The policy will remain active until the loan is paid in full or until the property is sold.
The other type of title insurance is an owner’s policy. This policy is designed to protect you from financial loss as the property owner. This policy will remain in force until you sell the property. It most frequently is purchased by the buyer, but there are some markets where it is customary for the seller to purchase it for the buyer. You may also negotiate for the seller to pay this expense for you regardless of the market you are in. Keep in mind that title insurance is a one-time cost that is paid in full at closing. There are no monthly or annual payments required to keep the policy in full force.
How Much NJ Title Insurance Do You Need?
A common question many people ask when purchasing a title insurance policy for the first time relates to the amount of coverage they need. Some will purchase title insurance in the amount of the loan, but others will purchase it in the current value of the property. Keep in mind that title insurance typically provides benefits that reimburse you for the lesser of the actual loss sustained by the policyholder, the face value of the policy or the market value of the property that is being insured. In most cases, if you are buying the property with a mortgage loan, your lender will have a minimum coverage amount that you need to purchase. This is often the sales price of the property. You can choose to increase this coverage amount if desired, but your premium amount will increase.
Is Title Insurance Required in NJ?
It is wise to carefully analyze expenses when buying a home. This process can be expensive, and it may seem as though expenses are flying at you faster than you can keep up with them. Because title insurance is such a significant expense, however, your attention may easily focus on this expense. The reality is that title insurance is not required for all buyers. Most mortgage companies and banks will require title insurance if you are buying the property with a loan. If you refinance the loan later, you may need to update your coverage with the purchase of a new policy. If you purchase your new policy through the same title insurance company, you may receive a discount on your premium.
While many real estate buyers use a mortgage loan to pay for their purchase, others buy real estate with cash. When you buy a property with cash, you are under no lender requirements to purchase title insurance. However, you stand to lose all equity you have in the property if a claim against title is made and verified. With the full value of the property in equity, this is a substantial amount of money that you may not want to put at risk. Because of this, buying an affordable title insurance policy with a one-time fee at closing makes financial sense even when this coverage is not a requirement.
What Can You Expect If You Need to File a Claim?
There are many issues that can impact your legal claim to title on a property. For example, a divorced spouse of a previous owner may review the divorce decree and realize that the property in question was not rightfully transferred to the previous owner in the divorce proceedings. Perhaps an heir to a previous owner has found a will that shows that ownership of the property was supposed to transfer to him or her. These and other events can and do happen more frequently than you might think, and they can create a legal nightmare for all involved.
If you have recently learned that another party is claiming rightful ownership of your property, you need to file a claim against your title insurance. You will generally need to hire your own lawyer and fight the issue in court. The team at Investors First Title will provide supporting documentation to your lawyer to assist with your court case. Regardless of whether your lawyer wins or loses the case, the legal fees will be paid for you under the terms in the title insurance policy. In addition, if you lose your case, your lender will be repaid for the remaining funds you owe on the loan. If you have an owner’s policy, you will be reimbursed for any equity you lost. Because your property value and equity can increase over time, it is wise to ensure that your owner’s policy has an inflation rider in it that adjusts the value of your title insurance as needed over the years.
Why We Are the Company to Contact for NJ Title Insurance?
Investors First Title is conveniently located just off of Main Street in downtown Somerville, not far from the Somerset County Courthouse and the local post office on Division Street. We understand that we are just one of several title insurance companies that you can choose from when buying a new home or refinancing your existing mortgage. However, we firmly believe that we are the right company for you to use for this very important service.
When you choose a title company to work with, you understandably want to choose a local company that adopts local values. You also want to select a company that has proven experience and that is focused on providing you with fast and friendly service. Investors First Title is a small company that has a strong desire to provide each client with exceptional customer service. We understand the need for fast yet thorough results for a title search as well as for the issuance of new title insurance. You can always expect our team to complete quality work for you in a timely manner. More than that, we are focused on providing fair rates for title insurance policies, regardless of the type of property you are purchasing. We also take the time to answer your questions about the coverage you are buying so that you fully understand your coverage.
NJ Title insurance may not be required for all situations, but it offers true benefits for all property owners. If you have been informed that you need title insurance or if you have been advised to purchase it as an optional coverage, now is the right time to contact us for assistance. We can begin the title search process so that you can learn more about your property’s title history as a first step.
Commitment. Our clients are consistently amazed by our prompt response time, excellent communication and hassle-free transactions. Because we are a small, family owned organization and not a large corporate environment, we are able to provide personal attention throughout the process. As a result, we have established long-term relationships with many of our clients.
Quality Service. Investors First Title Agency is dedicated to providing exceptional title and real estate transactions for mortgage companies, the public, realtors, and attorneys. Our services include title abstracting, full settlement services, purchases & refinance services, website access, and quick turnaround time