Cobb County Real Estate and Community News

June 3, 2019

Tips for Buying a Condo

 

Tips for Buying a Condo

(Condos Offer Many Amenities and Conveniences)

Generally, condominium owners fall into one of three broad categories. One group is people making the move from renting to ownership. A second group is retirees or others looking to switch from high maintenance single-family homes to a lower and shared cost living arrangement. And a third group tends to be people wanting a part-time second home. Of course, there are several other reasons that people prefer condo living such as gaining access to many more amenities by sharing the cost with others.C:\Users\user\Documents\Astral Services\Elance\Upwork\Active\Chad - Real estate Article & Blog Writing\Ref and Photos\condo.jpg

 

Styles of Condos

Condos can be large complexes having many owners or smaller properties with few owners. Larger complexes are the most common. There’s good reason for this because it means sharing the cost of more (and better) amenities and property maintenance among more owners. You get more bang for your buck. Swimming pools, fitness rooms, and security are only a few of the perks you can expect with condo living.

Still, your typical condo lifestyle frees you from unwanted tasks such as yard work and common area upkeep that is professionally managed. The common areas are something you want to pay attention to when deciding among the many condo properties available. Condo living is a form of ownership, not a style of construction. Although most are an apartment style property, Atlanta is home to other styles with townhouses being popular.

Condo Advantages

When considering the condo lifestyle, it’s critical for you to fully explore the amenities offered. These vary from one property to another with cost being a factor of what is available to you. Many feature desirable amenities, such as a pool, fitness room, clubhouse, or similar gathering area that you can reserve for private functions, security, business center, covered parking, maybe concierge service, and more.

  • Condos are more affordable, especially in high cost and highly sought after neighborhoods.
  • Condos come with tax write offs not available to renters.
  • Amenities and the property upkeep are paid through homeowner association fees (HOA). Expensive repairs and upgrades are shared across all owners.
  • A professional management company oversees HOA operations. This typically includes collecting and managing finances, holding annual meetings, daily operations, as well as managing complex repairs and upgrades.
  • Some condos work towards attracting owners with similar lifestyles or requirements. Perhaps a younger population with more single owners. Others cater mostly to senior living or families. Still others appeal to urban business professionals. And of course, there are fully mixed communities as well as communities appealing to other lifestyles.
  • Condos do have rules and restrictions intended to make the community lifestyle a pleasant place for all owners. But as homeowners, the community has the right to change the rules to suit their own needs (something landlords don’t typically tolerate). Most rules apply to the exterior appearance of your home, common area behavior, and almost always noise levels. But no one tells you what color to paint your walls or where you can hang a picture.

What to Learn Before Buying?

For many people, couples, and families, a condo is a better option than a single-family house. The purchase process is mostly the same as for a house. However, there are differences you want to know before making the final decision.

You are subject to HOA Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs). A big part of this is you may have to give up personal preferences in some cases if the owner controlled HOA decides on something else. This can include the level of maintenance you are required to partially pay for or deferring maintenance that you may not agree with. Not only does the homeowner HOA have a right to raise fees, they can also call for special levies or decide to increase reserve funds. Any of this can have an impact on your cost of ownership.

Before making the purchase decision, you want to review all current Community Association By-Laws and Covenants as well as check out the HOA’s history of assessments. One way of doing this is reviewing board meeting minutes. It’s also a good idea to have conversations with several current condo owners. Ask if maintenance is done promptly or if it is often deferred. Also ask how often assessments increase along with the frequency and cost of special levies (and what the special levies where for). Ask about any costs increases that are currently under consideration.  

Ultimately, condos range from the extremely affordable to the lavishly luxurious. Whether you are a first-time buyer, looking to downsize for retirement, looking for a second home, or have another reason, you may find that the amenities offered by condominiums make them a desirable and cost effective living choice than a single family home.

If you need more information or have questions, please email us. You can also reach us by calling at (678) 570-8123. We'll be glad to help you!

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May 31, 2019

Dreams Die at Death

Dreams Die at Death

By Victoria L. Collier, Attorney

Home ownership is the American dream!  But all too often it can be an individual’s nightmare. When how we own the home or how the laws work is “assumed” and not actually “known”, unintended consequences can occur – like probate.

A home can be owned (1) individually or (2) jointly or (3) in a business, often called an LLC, or (4) in a trust. Three of the four mentioned will or may go through the probate process – even if you have a will. The probate process required court approval to manage the estate, as well as publication in the paper for four weeks. Once the estate has been fully administered, then the executor or administrator must file more papers to request permission to close the estate and discharge the executor/administrator from all liability.

It is no wonder why most people, especially real estate professionals, want to avoid probate. Yet, a majority of people who die subject their estates to probate. Why? Because they don’t know how to avoid it.

How to avoid probate:

All individually held assets go through probate. Thus, to avoid probate, the individually held assets need to either be placed in a trust or held with joint owner.

There are two ways to jointly own property. One way goes through probate (tenants in common), the other avoids it at the first person’s death (joint with rights of survivorship).  To avoid probate with jointly held property, the deed must include language referencing “rights of survivorship”; otherwise, the law will presume it is “tenants in common” and require probate. Most people assume they have the type that avoids probate. Most people are wrong. The only way to tell is by looking at the language on the deed.  Keep in mind; however, once the first joint owner dies, the property is then held by an individual again and would be subject to probate up the second person to die. Thus, joint ownership only delays probate.

Businesses, LLCs, are considered personal property that is subject to probate. The only ways to avoid this are (1) having a solid business succession plan – a written legal document – detailing how the business is to be designated at the death of the owner, or (2) place the business in a trust.

Sometimes there are tax advantaged reasons to go through probate. So, avoiding it should not always be the goal.

The Elder & Disability Law Firm of Victoria L. Collier, PC d/b/a The Estate & Asset Protection Law Firm helps families create estate and asset protection plans to avoid probate, but also helps families through the probate process when an avoidance plan was not in place prior to death. Check out our website at www.ElderLawGeorgia.com.  

 

 

May 31, 2019

The Resort Lifestyle At Vinings Estates In Mableton

 

The Resort Lifestyle At Vinings Estates

In Mableton

(Resort Amenities in a Luxury Setting)


Located just northwest of Atlanta, Vinings Estates, in Mableton, is your private haven and retreat away from a hectic life and the busy city. This short 20-minute commute is close enough in for a city view while still enjoying your forested back yard sanctuary. The all-inclusive gated community embraces amusement and relaxation for the entire family.

Vinings Estates is Rich with Resort Style Activities and Amenities

Fun for all ages is the resort theme with a wide variety of recreational opportunities. While your home is truly the family castle, social events, entertainment, and sporting activities define the village. Appealing to adults and children alike are year-round gatherings including:

  • Two-Story Clubhouse with a Fitness Center
  • Competition pool
  • Wading pool
  • Waterslide
  • Cabana
  • Indoor walking
  • 8 Lighted Tennis Courts
  • Tennis Pavilion
  • Multi-Purpose Sport Court
  • Children’s Playground
  • Meeting Room and Kitchen
  • Just to mention a few of the outstanding amenities

But there’s more for the outdoor buff. Just beyond the club, the Silver Comet Trail calls out for bike rides, running, walks, rollerblading, and more. This highly prized countryside access stretches 61.5 miles across three counties. Along the way, it provides links to other trailheads with abundant amenities ranging from convenience stores slightly off the trail to horse trailer parking, camping, and so much more.

Vinings Estates Home Styles

Many of the homes are two-story on .25 to .75 acre lots with upscale brick townhomes also an integral part of the neighborhood.

The single-family home styles tend towards classic gabled roofs with shuttered windows. These cover a wide range of time periods and architecture styles. Typical sizes range from three bedrooms to five bedrooms with many having four bathrooms.

This distinguished subdivision of Mableton is located just off Cooper Lake Road. The luxury homes were developed by renowned builder John Wieland (over 600 awards for excellence including National Builder of the Year and National Housing Quality Award.) The Vinings Estates commute to Atlanta is an easy jaunt by major highways. Both public and private schools near Vinings Estates are well regarded.

The townhouse communities are The Ridge at Vinings Estates and Cove at Vinings Estates. These are also John Wieland developments. Make this your home for lasting memories with the low-maintenance lifestyle of a condominium. The townhouses feature 2 and 3 story floor plans with 3 and 4 bedroom options. The floor plans can include the master suite on main floor. Some also include basements. Sizes range from 2,200 to 4,300 sq. ft. with HOA privileges to the community amenities.

The Vinings Estates and Mableton Community

Known as one of the best places to live in Georgia, Mableton is an Atlanta suburb with a population of about 39,800. It covers approximately 20 square miles. Settlement began in 1843 when Robert Mable purchased 300 acres of land in the area. The Southern Railway opened a train station in 1881 with a post office established a year later. The City of Mableton incorporated in 1912.

An important financial attraction is a lower tax rate than neighboring Fulton County and Atlanta. The acclaimed Cobb County school district also pulls residents to this location with affordable housing and plenty of space. Mableton is young at heart with a median age of only 35.

Mableton and Vinings Estates is a great place when you want a small town feel located just minutes away from many parts of Atlanta including the airport, Buckhead, and downtown Atlanta. One recent newcomer had this to say about Mableton, “The Best Kept Secret in METRO-ATLANTA! Close to everything! nice ppl, great area; wonderful place to live.”

It’s time you join the life at Vinings Estates where the homes and resort lifestyle are highly desirable!

If you need more information or have questions, please email us. You can also  reach us by calling at (678) 570-8123. We'll be glad to help you!

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May 23, 2019

Why You Should List Your House for Sale This Spring

 

Why You Should List Your House for Sale This Spring

 

Most people believe that spring is the best time to sell a house, is it or isn’t it? As with most life events – “that depends.” It makes sense if you want to move while the children are out of school so that you can enroll them in a new school at the beginning of the school year. Spring is also the time of year when your home shows best to buyers.

 

Spring is About Change

This spring is a little different from the past several years. It remains an active market but with changes. Prices continue trending upward at a slower rate because affordability is weighing on buyers. One change here to stay is that Millennials now firmly control the market.

The market will be active but less dynamic compared to 2017 and 2018 because house unaffordability continues outpacing wage growth. Major affordability drivers are continuing low inventory, student debt, and interest rates. Price increases vary depending on neighborhoods. A broad section of experts anticipates the Atlanta price growth for 2019 will be between 4.0 – 7.0%.

Most of this will happen during the spring and summer sales surge. Further increases are likely to slow. Short term (one year or less), interest rates, affordability, and low inventory are not expected to change significantly.

Tips and Trends for Your Home Sale This Spring

Some of these observations may surprise you:

  1. Some things come back around. Millennials will begin accepting homes that are more basic. They will better prioritize what they “must have” rather than “nice to have.” These buyers will accept trade-offs. This applies to both the house and the neighborhood. Millennials buyers want more affordable prices to leave financial room to make their own upgrades to hi-tech and other features they want.

  2. Opportunity for those who have been saving for years.  Not everything will be perfect, but this will be a better year for those who have been saving long term to buy. Those who have been on a budget to save typically see their credit score improve. Although interest rates will continue rising, these are the people qualifying for the lowest interest loans this year.

  3. Unaffordability will continue keeping many out of the market. Affordability is getting worse, not better.  Interest rates will play a big role. Although still historically reasonable, rates were reaching seven-year highs.  Interest rates have dropped in the recent months but that is only temporary. There is no sign of relief for those who couldn’t afford a mortgage last year.  Those with burdensome student debt will not find relief in lower interest rates for student loans.

  4. Buyers know what they can afford. There continues to be an ample number of buyers but many have been in the market for quite some time. They know what they can afford and won’t jump into bidding wars based on unbounded hope. Many who are in the market have been saving for more than a year. These buyers understand budgets. Few think their incomes will grow substantially to make an overpriced home more affordable within a few months. Buyers will be scaling down rather than up – a dawning of a new reality for many millennials.

Whether you’re ready to sell or considering selling, your Customizable Market Report keeps you up to date on properties currently on the market and sold in your area.

Next Steps for Spring Time Sellers

Selling your house is a very important decision. We want to make this easy, simple, and as transparent as possible for you. Total Atlanta Group is ready to answer your detailed questions at any time.

Here are more resources and services we happily provide.

 

- Another great service we provide is our Home Valuation Tool.

- Our Selling Tips and Information page answers many of the questions you are likely asking yourself.

- We also offer several short Videos for Sellers.

- We are here to help you!

 

When autumn arrives, there will be fewer buyers in the market as children return to school and listings drop off as spring and summer purchases close.

 

If you need more information or have questions, please contact us. You can also  reach us by calling at (678) 570-8123. We'll be glad to help you!

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May 18, 2019

What to Expect From a Home Inspection

 

What to Expect From a Home Inspection

(For the Benefit of the Homebuyer)

Whether you are a first time buyer or buying your seventh home, you need a home inspection. Some people confuse a house inspection with the appraisal or even title insurance. However, the home inspection is a distinct and important step in the buying process and is definitely value added.

 

Both the buyer and the seller hope to see a home inspection report free of any major defects. You need to understand that never happens.  All houses, from newly built to historic landmarks, have a “to do” list. Hopefully yours will be a very short list of minor tasks, but buyers need to know if there is a major problem before making the biggest investment of a lifetime.

The Home Inspection is for the Benefit of the Buyer

One of the most important benefits of a home inspection is the professional inspector looks in the cubbyholes and behind service panels. Places and spaces where few homebuyers look while touring a prospective home. Unless you are an experienced home builder, you aren’t likely to be skilled or knowledgeable about evaluating the condition of house systems including:



  • Attic
  • Basement
  • Electrical system
  • Foundation
  • Heating and A/C systems
  • Insulation
  • Plumbing system
  • Radon detection equipment (if applicable)
  • Roofing
  • Walls, ceilings, and flooring
  • Windows and doors
  • And more



The home inspection is thorough and gives the buyer confidence in the overall condition. However, a well-informed buyer needs to know that hidden and unknown problems may still occasionally exist. Examples like asbestos, molds, and pests might only exist behind walls or other inaccessible places. Underground systems like wells and septic tanks aren’t always fully accessible by a general home inspector. More specialized inspections may be necessary if something is suspected.

You can enhance the home inspection process by making the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement available to the inspector prior to the inspection. Seldom does anyone know more about the property than the seller. The disclosure statement provides the professional inspector with a road map of areas needing special attention.

Tips for the Homebuyer During the Inspection

You should make an effort to be there during the house inspection. This could be the time to go over the seller’s disclosure statement. The statement will be fresh in the inspector’s mind as he/she begins. You could also ask questions about what’s in the disclosure statement as well as learn if you should ask follow up questions of the seller.

By accompanying the inspector, you’ll will learn all about the house the good with the bad.  You’ll learn where the main water shut off and where the main electrical box is. You might ask the inspector to point out the pilot light for the gas furnace. You’ll probably pick up a few maintenance tips specific to these systems and learn where model/serial numbers are located.

Follow Up After the Home Inspection

Once the inspection is complete, you will get an extensive report with pictures and explanations about the property. Many inspectors highlight, in yellow, areas that are of concern. He or she might even highlight in red the areas that are of critical concern.

Of course, you need to discuss in detail any areas of concern. You’ll almost certainly get more information from the conversation than from a report with photos. The discussion is also your chance to ask detailed questions.  

You should always go over the report with your Realtor.  They can help you with the major concerns that need to be addressed and talk with the sellers Realtor about fixing those items.

If you need more information or have questions, please send us a note. You can also reach us by calling at (678) 570-8123. We'll be glad to help you!



May 14, 2019

All About Serenity Living in Smyrna Georgia

 

All About Serenity Living in Smyrna Georgia

Smyrna (the Jonquil City) made Money magazine’s List of Best Places to Live in 2018. One of the most treasured qualities is the real sense of community while being a close-in suburb to the thriving Atlanta metro scene. Highlighting this charming quality is the Village Green.

 

The Village Green features City Hall, a library, a fountain, and an arboretum. As the community hub, year round festivals, events, and concerts are held here as well as shopping being within walking distance.

Smyrna is Abundant With Activities and Attractions

If you’re considering Smyrna as your future home, you might want to know how it got to the top of the list for best cities to live in. The study first narrowed the list to 583 cities based on having a population above 50,000. The list was further shortened using common concerns like crime rate, being high relative to the state’s median income level, and having a diverse population.

It went on to consider the local cost of living, the city’s economic vigor, quality of education, housing, and amenities. All factors important to the city’s livability.

That’s a long and impressive list of quality of life attributes to lead the pack!

But that is really only the beginning of the list. Smyrna’s outdoor and community life extends to include 25 parks, trails, playgrounds, golf courses, sport fields, swimming pools, dog parks, and obviously much more. All with a wealth of scheduled and unscheduled activities and entertainment for people of all ages.

It’s impossible to believe anyone will be bored with the quality of life in Smyrna!

Smyrna – Yesterday

Smyrna has a long history of how it became the great place to live that it is today. Along with all of the parks and activities, it has several historic sites and facts. The city was first incorporated in 1872. The name comes from the Bible's Book of Revelation. It's the name of one of Paul the Apostle's seven churches in Asia.

But even before incorporating as a city, the growth began when the railroad first came to Cobb County in 1836. By the time the railroad was completed in 1842, the area was permanently changed from a frontier to the growing and vibrant community that it still is today. Prominent to its early growth were the many gristmills and factories that located close to the railroads. And that only happened after the Cherokee Indians deeded the land to the State of Georgia in 1831.

After the railroads brought civilization to the frontier, Smyrna became mostly an agricultural community. In 1850, the first major building (brick) went up as the Smyrna Institute (boy’s academy). As the town grew, the building went on to be an officers’ training school, a hospital, and a house of worship. It was the only building to remain standing after General Sherman led the Union Army through the county in 1864. Today you’ll find the Market Village at that location. You’ll also find the 20th Century Veterans Memorial at the intersection of City Hall and the Market Village.

Another famous Smyrna historical landmark is Aunt Fanny’s Cabin (a famous plantation themed restaurant). The city purchased and relocated it to become a Welcome Center in 1999. Today, it is again being renovated. This time into the Smyrna History Museum.

Why People of All Kinds are Attracted to Smyrna Today

It’s been a few years but Smyrna was also the proud winner of the prestigious Urban Land Institute’s Award of Excellence in 1997.  What’s important about it today is you now have the benefit of enjoying and living with the results that made this award possible.

The award represents Smyrna as a powerful example of a suburban community not overpowered by the congestion of a neighboring big city. The beautiful, yet functional and successful revitalization maintains the small town feeling. Although it is only a 15-minute drive to downtown Atlanta.   

The town people are highly educated and yet the cost of living is very reasonable. More than 91% have a high school degree and a full 52% have a 4-year college degree. The median income is $62,363 and the median home value is $216,000. All strong indications of how livable and affordable you too will find Smyrna.

It’s time to enjoy Smyrna’s good weather, great shops and restaurants, small community feel, and good schools. You’ll certainly find a well-loved neighborhood to call home.

If you need more information or have questions, please email us. You can also reach us by calling at (678) 570-8123. We'll be glad to help you!



April 26, 2019

Top Ways to Develop Money Saving Habits

 

Top Ways to Develop Money Saving Habits

(Best Ways to Save for Your Home)

When you have the American dream to buy a house, you’re looking for ways to save money for that down payment. Although being a homeowner is a big step towards accumulating wealth, the down payment is a lot different from slowly building a retirement account. You need to be more aggressive about saving money quickly. In the end, you’ll have more discretionary income when your house payment becomes stable and you no longer face frequent rent increases. You’ll gain tremendous tax savings and build wealth through ownership and through your retirement account for your future!

The Home Buying Process (link)

 

Determining How Much You Need to Save

Before you apply to prequalify for a mortgage, you can roughly calculate how much home you’ll be able to afford. Knowing that is the cornerstone of knowing how much you need to save for a down payment.

The rule of thumb is that your mortgage payment should not exceed 28% of your gross stable income (FHA allows up to 31%). That means if your monthly household income is $6,000, your total house payment can be as much as $1,680 ($6,000 X 0.28). This must include insurance, taxes, HOA fees, and other mandatory costs.

Examples of the other homeowner costs are:

Property taxes - $2,500

Homeowner’s insurance - $1,900

Down payment - $9,500 (3.5%)

Interest rate – 4.5%

30-year mortgage

However, there are a few other considerations in the calculation that include monthly car payments, credit card debt, and maybe college debt. You can check your own numbers with this calculator: New Home Calculator.

Or, please send us a note. You can also reach us by calling at (678) 570-8123. We'll be glad to help you!

How You Save Money Fast

If you haven’t at least tried it, you’ll be surprised how fast you can save $1,000 a month by simply going on a budget, staying at home more often and eating at home. Doing these simple things can help you save your down payment in less than 10 months. But there are other things to make this happen even faster…

Before you do anything else, set up a separate account to save towards your down payment. You need to see this amount growing and you will want to think twice or three times before touching it.

Another technique for saving is looking for ways to reduce expenses. When was the last time you shopped around for better prices on life, health, and auto insurance? You can go several months without buying new clothes, start buying more generic and store brands, Cut back on the premium TV cable, or drop that gym membership you don’t use.  Look closely at your personal life to find all kinds of ways to save or reduce expenses.

Big Ways You Save Money

Set up an automatic savings deduction.  This money can be automatically deposited from your paycheck to your down payment account. You can also have your automatically move a set amount from checking to savings each month.

If you have debt trouble, free debt counseling may be available. You can begin with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®) or Consumer Credit Counseling Services (CCCS). A reputable counseling agency should send you free information about itself and the services it provides without requiring you to provide any details about your situation. Trustworthy services offer 45-90 minute counseling sessions free of charge and with no obligations. If a firm doesn't do these, consider it a red flag and go elsewhere for help.

Smart Ways You Save Money

Block the shopping channel on your TV and unsubscribe from marketing emails you receive (unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email). Do the same with any other temptations or triggers you face regularly.

Don’t buy things simply because they are on sale. You don’t save anything if you didn’t have a budget to buy it in the first place.

If you have to borrow money for a down payment, borrow it from yourself. You can borrow, penalty free, from your 401k retirement account for a down payment. You pay the principle and interest back to your own retirement account and it won’t appear on your credit report.

Believe in yourself! You can do it! You can have that down payment sooner than you think!

If you need more information or have questions, please send us a note. You can also reach us by sending an email or calling us at (678) 570-8123. We'll be glad to help you!

 



April 25, 2019

Fantastic renovated home in Maple Valley Estates Mableton

725 Ayres Road 

Mableton, GA 30126

$205,000

 

Move in ready. This wonderful home has new/updated  kitchen with granite, hardwood floors, laundry room, 1/2 bath, hardwood flooring, 2 back decks, level backyard with great one car garage out building. The 2 car garage is a one car with a small space on second stall. Part of garage was used to make 1/2 bath and laundry room. Just a few minutes from Shopping, I285, and 75. EXCELLENT location! 
The house is bigger than sq footage shows- it has a half bath/laundry and finished basement.

Features

  • 4bd / 2.5ba
  • Minutes from Shopping, I285, and 75
  • 2 car garage 
  • Hardwood floors

 

Additional Property Links 

  • Property Disclosures and Exhibits

Check our Latest Newsletter

April 22, 2019

What is Title Insurance and Why Do You Need It?

What is Title Insurance and Why Do You Need It?

(For Home Buyers and Lenders)

The good news is that title insurance is a one-time expense (non-recurring). You don’t have to pay for this monthly, quarterly, or annually. Title insurance is different from car or health insurance. Once you pay it at closing, the policy remains in effect as long as you own the home or are on the title to the home. The reason for this is that the title company is responsible for knowing everything the policy covers at the time it’s issued.

Their ability to know everything covered is what makes title insurance different from most types of insurance. Specifically, it looks backwards in time rather than forward. It extends indefinitely into the past. However, it doesn’t cover what might happen in the future.


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What is Title Insurance?

Title insurance is all about protecting, you as the new owner of the property, from what might have happened regarding ownership in the past. Issuing title insurance is a two-step process. The first step is the insurance company researching the past ownership of the property. They search for flaws on the title or what are called “clouds” on the title.

This is significantly different from property or homeowners insurance. While property insurance deals with liability and disaster, title insurance does not cover things like slips and falls or a house fire. Title insurance only covers the right to ownership of the property as recorded on the title.

The first step in the process, an attorney completes a title search. The attorney researches documents related to the history of ownership. It looks for things such as fraud, undisclosed heirs, unpaid taxes and/or tax liens, recording errors, pending legal disputes, and other problems with the deed or title.

Why You Need Title Insurance

You have no control over how property ownership was previously recorded. Many times, more than one person or entity (business) may have had ownership rights. A couple of examples include a married couple could sell their home during a divorce and legal ownership could be in question at the time of the sale.  Another possibility is a tenants-in-common ownership could have existed and one tenant dies with unknown heirs having a right of survivorship. The property could have been in a trust or an estate where the right to make a sale is questionable.

The point is, this requires knowledgeable and professional people to be sure you are buying property with a “Clear or marketable title.” This uncertainty is the reason for the second step of the process - issuing an insurance policy that you are receiving a clear or marketable title.

That doesn’t mean you should expect to have title problems but it does mean that any potential problem will be fixed before you take ownership.

Who is Title Insurance For?

If you are taking out a loan secured by the property, the lender requires title insurance to protect their interests. You don’t have the option of doing your own research.  

There are generally two types of title insurance. One is for the lender and the other is for you (the new owner). You can think of these as similar to car insurance where you purchase insurance for your own car as well as for another car that you might be in an accident with.

Lender’s title insurance. This policy specifically insures the lender that you will be the property owner. It also insures that the lender will have a valid mortgage lien against the title. It protects the lender in case something comes up from the past to create a problem with the title. You can expect this to be a separate line item on your closing documents.

Owner’s title insurance. This policy protects you rather than the lender. The insurance company becomes obligated to make you “whole” if anyone comes forward to challenge your ownership in the future. If you don’t have a lender or a mortgage, you should not have to pay for lender’s insurance. In that case, you may not be required to take out an owner’s policy. However, considering the relatively low one-time cost, risk, and your peace of mind, it’s a no-brainer that you want this protection for yourself.

Selecting Title Insurance

You should have the option to shop around for your title insurance provider. You can expect a substantial discount when you purchase both the lender and owner policies as a package. For the most part, there are about four major national providers and you might find a few local providers. If you do shop around, be sure you are comparing apples-to-apples regarding the quality of the title search and the quality of the title insurance. One place you might find a difference in the price is by asking about associated fees such as any wire charges or courier fees. You may also want to include an inflation rider to compensate for the increase in the value of your property over time.

A tip about picking title insurance is not using the same company as the previous homeowner. As long as you’re paying for this, you should have a fresh set of eyes do the search rather than rely on old documents the previous insurer might have on file.

If you need more information or have questions, reach us by sending an email or calling us at (678) 570-8123. We'll be glad to help you!

April 10, 2019

PRICE REDUCED! Gorgeous Ranch Home for Sale in Hurt Park, Smyrna GA

56 Pineland Drive SE,

Smyrna, GA 30082

PRICE REDUCED TO $250,000

 

Fantastic ranch home with finished basement. Great floor plan with tons of space. Three spacious bedrooms and three full baths. Has a great deck overlooking backyard. Basement has large finished space and a great area for storage, and workshop. Owners are installing granite counters with tile backsplash in kitchen with new sink and faucet.
This home is a short drive to all major places in Smyrna and close to 285 and 75. The house is bigger than listed - The square footage does not reflect the finished basement space.

Features

  • 3bd / 2ba
  • 10 minutes from Atlanta Battery 
  • Separate dining room 
  • Master on Main 

 

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