Buying a house, need some advice

Broccoli Iglesias

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Talk to me about title insurance, both owners and lenders...I am looking at a new mortgage quote and have included both. Obviously a good idea but since it's insurance I assume some company needs to underwrite the policy, looking for some good ones and details of what I should make sure are included...And is title insurance in general a money grab or does it actually work in you need it...
I bought my house a little over a year ago. I never chose an insurance company, the lending company was just like: title insurance for this and for that .... $×××× do you want to pay it?

Of course, I paid it. It wasnt a lot and it was a one time fee all rolled into the costing costs.

I made sure I was covered.

After I got the house, the paperwork for the title insurance was mailed to me. I never really looked at it. I just opened the binder, checked a couple of things and it got burried with all the papers for the house.
 
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I bought my house a little over a year ago. I never chose an insurance company, the lending company was just like: title insurance for this and for that .... $×××× do you want to pay it?

Of course, I paid it. It wasnt a lot and it was a one time fee all rolled into the costing costs.

I made sure I was covered.

After I got the house, the paperwork for the title insurance was mailed to me. I never really looked at it. I just opened the binder, checked a couple of things and it got burried with all the papers for the house.
that's the problem, everything is thrown into the closing costs but i want to know what it is I'm shelling out $900 for..this home buying thing is such a money grab from so many people with their hands in the pot..
 

Broccoli Iglesias

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that's the problem, everything is thrown into the closing costs but i want to know what it is I'm shelling out $900 for..this home buying thing is such a money grab from so many people with their hands in the pot..
Ok, now I get it. I dont know enough about titles to give you a good explanation.

And yes, I agree about the money grab. Specially how the closing costs increase solely on sale price. Because it somehow is more work go close on 300K vs 200K.
 
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Bought my house about 3 years ago.

I used whatever my mortgage lady recommended. As she was the one that worked with me for a year getting my credit on track.

My closing was about 30 minutes. Sign sign sign.

But months before that. I ran into an issue with flood insurance. The back part of the property was in a flood plane. (7 acres) my mortgage lady found that. But she was able to get rid of the insurance because the house was not in the flood plane.

Home inspection went as I expected. House is 100 years old.


Refinancing this month with the same lady.
 

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Buyer's title insurance protects you against "hidden claims" that weren't found in the original title search (thus avoiding suing someone).

It also protects you against someone like Fauxahontus claiming that her Indian ancestors owned the land and it was stolen by the white man a couple of centuries ago and now she wants it back.

On a serious note, ~1954 my Folks bought a house on a double lot in Quincy. Not long afterwards my Mother reads in the paper that the town was going to take the second lot since the taxes weren't paid. Luckily she spotted the ad in the paper and they ended up paying the back taxes that the prior owner hadn't bothered to pay. Title insurance didn't exist back then.
 
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first time home buyer .
Working through the closing and some times in my checklist I’m sure someone here either does personally if knows someone .
I need a solid home inspector. My agent has a recommendation but would like someone independent.
A good lawyer to review the closing paperwork and contracts . Same thing, agent has a rec but wou’d rather someone of my choosing.

Oh ya, property is in Maynard.
Any other advice while I work through closing?
check your damn attic for animal activity if you have them you call me to fix it!
 
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Ok, now I get it. I dont know enough about titles to give you a good explanation.

And yes, I agree about the money grab. Specially how the closing costs increase solely on sale price. Because it somehow is more work go close on 300K vs 200K.
The funny part was two weeks ago talking to one company that pre-approved me for a mortgage. Me, "can you please tell me what this fee for $475 is for", Them, "not really, it's just one of the standard closing costs"... Me, "okay, I'll do my own research and find someone else to answer my questions"
This dummy couldn't even tell me what some basic fees were actually for that accounted for over $1K (and ended up getting an attitude with me because I kept asking questions).. Do most people just open up their checkbook for this without knowing what it is they are paying for?
 

Broccoli Iglesias

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The funny part was two weeks ago talking to one company that pre-approved me for a mortgage. Me, "can you please tell me what this fee for $475 is for", Them, "not really, it's just one of the standard closing costs"... Me, "okay, I'll do my own research and find someone else to answer my questions"
This dummy couldn't even tell me what some basic fees were actually for that accounted for over $1K (and ended up getting an attitude with me because I kept asking questions).. Do most people just open up their checkbook for this without knowing what it is they are paying for?
Yes.

You can try to negotiate closing costs and shop around for places with low(er) closing costs.

Closing costs are a bunch of BS "paperwork" costs...AKA ... a fee to get more money from you.
 

Broccoli Iglesias

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A year ago, I used Mortgage Network after my banks appraisal came in way too low because they compared my places to a bunch of random places that didnt match on anything (different number of bedrooms, bathrooms...).

Mortgage Nerwork was great. They presented several options. 25%, 20%, 17%, 10% ...

I was going to put down 20% + closing costs. But for some weird reason, the 17% down monthly payments came in lower (same interest rate), So I went with 17% down and 30 years fixed.

I will PM you the guys contact info in case you are interested.

We did all the paperwork in 2.5 weeks. But I was all over everyone and had everything ready. They actually had to ask me to slow down submitting information. Lol.
 

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The funny part was two weeks ago talking to one company that pre-approved me for a mortgage. Me, "can you please tell me what this fee for $475 is for", Them, "not really, it's just one of the standard closing costs"... Me, "okay, I'll do my own research and find someone else to answer my questions"
This dummy couldn't even tell me what some basic fees were actually for that accounted for over $1K (and ended up getting an attitude with me because I kept asking questions).. Do most people just open up their checkbook for this without knowing what it is they are paying for?
Yes. 99% of people never look at or question their closing costs, title company costs, etc. My business partner and I do on every transaction. Some of the nickel and dime stuff is insane.
 

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Yes. 99% of people never look at or question their closing costs, title company costs, etc. My business partner and I do on every transaction. Some of the nickel and dime stuff is insane.
I'm pretty sure that I told you about the closing for my MA house, but for the benefit of others . . .

This was 45 yrs ago. The CU's attorney (and one of the founders of the CU) was my MIL's best friend . . . but she was a bitch to everyone else.

They put a (short by today's standards) stack of paper in front of me to sign here, here, and here. I start reading from page 1. The CU attorney (Lil) says to me "just sign it, if you're going to read it we'll be here all day". I looked at her and said "Lil, get a cup of coffee and have a seat, I'm not signing anything until I read it!"

So to those buying/selling . . . yes, they expect you to sign away your life without reading anything. Don't do it that way!!

My recent NH closing (no banks involved), I had some docs to review in advance. I found an error on the type of title insurance, flagged it and they did a pen & ink change. It definitely pays to read everything and understand what you are signing before you sign.
 

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Buyer's title insurance protects you against "hidden claims" that weren't found in the original title search (thus avoiding suing someone).

It also protects you against someone like Fauxahontus claiming that her Indian ancestors owned the land and it was stolen by the white man a couple of centuries ago and now she wants it back.

On a serious note, ~1954 my Folks bought a house on a double lot in Quincy. Not long afterwards my Mother reads in the paper that the town was going to take the second lot since the taxes weren't paid. Luckily she spotted the ad in the paper and they ended up paying the back taxes that the prior owner hadn't bothered to pay. Title insurance didn't exist back then.
There's more too instances, and Len know's how I feel about title companies.

Owner's title insurance (always ask for and get the enhanced policy, the basic does not cover everything) is a must. Here's a little story I learned about in a continuing ed title class that happened here in NH.

People own a home outright (no mortgage so no more lender title insurance, but they have homeowner policy). They are here in the summer and in FL for the winter. So fall rolls around, they winterize the house and head down to Florida.

Come spring they pack up and head back up to NH for the summer. Get to the house, try to put the key in the door and it won't work. Guy come's to the door and is like "what are you doing at my house?". Owner says "this is my house what are you doing in my house?"

Turns out that after they left for FL a scammer falsified a purchase of the property (no mortgage on the property being key here), falsified the sellers info and closing and everything. Guy basically breaks into the house, de-winterize's it, lists it for sale and sells it to these people. Title company involved and everything and since there was no mortgage there was no bank to discharge the loan. THIS WAS A MAJOR FAIL ON THE PART OF THE TITLE COMPANY THAT DID THE CLOSING. Either way closing goes through, scammer collects his check and buyers move into the property and start paying their mortgage.

Now luckily it all kinda worked out in the end cause the owners (FL owners) were thinking about selling anyways so they got a nice settlement check from the title companies title insurance provider. This falls under title insurance due to the scammer and falsifying of documents.

I've heard some other crazy stories of title insurance issues with septic stuff, shared land and basic policies not covering things.

For the few extra bucks, get the enhanced policy. And ALWAYS get owners title insurance.
 

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I'm pretty sure that I told you about the closing for my MA house, but for the benefit of others . . .

This was 45 yrs ago. The CU's attorney (and one of the founders of the CU) was my MIL's best friend . . . but she was a bitch to everyone else.

They put a (short by today's standards) stack of paper in front of me to sign here, here, and here. I start reading from page 1. The CU attorney (Lil) says to me "just sign it, if you're going to read it we'll be here all day". I looked at her and said "Lil, get a cup of coffee and have a seat, I'm not signing anything until I read it!"

So to those buying/selling . . . yes, they expect you to sign away your life without reading anything. Don't do it that way!!

My recent NH closing (no banks involved), I had some docs to review in advance. I found an error on the type of title insurance, flagged it and they did a pen & ink change. It definitely pays to read everything and understand what you are signing before you sign.
And we had mentioned that type of title insurance to them prior to even getting to the table.

Len if you were at the closing we had this morning you would have been laughing or crying or both from the incompetence of the title company. We represented the seller, they made the check out to the wrong name. Was a discrepancy in the deed regarding the address and unit number (condo association) and we noticed the fee's they charged the buyer were astronomical compared to what they should be. Thing is we represented the seller so other than the incorrect check which we got fixed immediately the rest wasn't our problem. BUT the discrepancy in address/ unit number is an absolute ball dropping by the title company. Such an easy fix that they basically overlooked until we were at the table.
 
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that's the problem, everything is thrown into the closing costs but i want to know what it is I'm shelling out $900 for..this home buying thing is such a money grab from so many people with their hands in the pot..
Make them explain everything. I had a ton of questions for my lender, to the point where he started laughing and went "holy crap, in over 30 years of me doing this job no one has ever asked me some of these questions!" but he answered all of them and I was satisfied.
 
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Make them explain everything. I had a ton of questions for my lender, to the point where he started laughing and went "holy crap, in over 30 years of me doing this job no one has ever asked me some of these questions!" but he answered all of them and I was satisfied.
My new one is answering all of them. I even just sent an email saying I don’t think the prepaids make sense with the way the fees are listed (combining some of the same things in both prepaid and escrow?)
 
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Okay people, RADON...tests came back high.
Put in a system, ask them to put in a system, don't worry about it, walk away....
The people living in this house have been there for 60 years and are in their 90's...not sure how big of a deal radon is but I haven't researched it that much.
 

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Okay people, RADON...tests came back high.
Put in a system, ask them to put in a system, don't worry about it, walk away....
The people living in this house have been there for 60 years and are in their 90's...not sure how big of a deal radon is but I haven't researched it that much.
Does your P&S actually allow you to walk away without losing your deposit?

Either your offer has to decrease,
or the parties amend the P&S that
a radon mitigation system (of design <Design>?)
be installed by <Date> (which is before the (new) closing date of <Date>)
which decreases the radon reading to no more than <Measurement>,
as measured by (not sure best thing to put here).

Note how the P&S contingency contains quantitative objective terms.
 
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Does your P&S actually allow you to walk away without losing your deposit?

Either your offer has to decrease,
or the parties amend the P&S that
a radon mitigation system (of design <Design>?)
be installed by <Date> (which is before the (new) closing date of <Date>)
which decreases the radon reading to no more than <Measurement>,
as measured by (not sure best thing to put here).

Note how the P&S contingency contains quantitative objective terms.
final P&S is not had yet (sellers attorney is dragging their feet), only thing at risk for me would be the initial $1K I put down (and obviously the cost of the home inspection I already paid for..)
 
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You probably already know this but READ THE P&S BEFORE SIGNING! Read it carefully, ask your lawyer to clarify ANYTHING you don't fully understand. It blows my mind that people sign it without even skimming through it first, completely crazy.
 
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You probably already know this but READ THE P&S BEFORE SIGNING! Read it carefully, ask your lawyer to clarify ANYTHING you don't fully understand. It blows my mind that people sign it without even skimming through it first, completely crazy.
P&S won't be signed until I go through it with my attorney...Don't want to be out a deposit (5% of purchase price) if something falls through. That would be....well....$hitty.
 

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They put a (short by today's standards) stack of paper in front of me to sign here, here, and here. I start reading from page 1. The CU attorney (Lil) says to me "just sign it, if you're going to read it we'll be here all day". I looked at her and said "Lil, get a cup of coffee and have a seat, I'm not signing anything until I read it!"
I would have responded "Can we add a handwritten note on the contract stating that you advised me of such, and have you sign an acknowledgement?".
 
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No matter how justified you are in getting a deposit refund, the real estate agent generally will not return it unless the seller agrees or you get a court order at your own expense. No amount of showing the agent how you are contractually entitled to the deposit will get it released without one of those two things.
 

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Okay people, RADON...tests came back high.
Put in a system, ask them to put in a system, don't worry about it, walk away....
The people living in this house have been there for 60 years and are in their 90's...not sure how big of a deal radon is but I haven't researched it that much.
Ask them to put in a system, general cost (at least in NH) is around $1500. I say this not because I'm personally worried about radon air (do some google fu and you'll find alot of conflicting info and no conclusive links), but because when you turn around to sell the house the buyers are gonna do a radon test and ask you to put one in.

I have a friend that bought a house with 4 or 5 radon mitigation systems in place. Their first test came back over 100 pCi/L, they put in one system and retested and it was still over 100 pCi/L. That's one case where I say it's worth it.
 

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No matter how justified you are in getting a deposit refund, the real estate agent generally will not return it unless the seller agrees or you get a court order at your own expense. No amount of showing the agent how you are contractually entitled to the deposit will get it released without one of those two things.
In NH we cannot return it unless the seller signs the release of escrow form, no matter what. Generally that will go to interpleader and cost come's out of the deposit.
 

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In NH we cannot return it unless the seller signs the release of escrow form, no matter what. Generally that will go to interpleader and cost come's out of the deposit.
How does it work if the seller claims (s)he is entitled to the deposit because a buyer backed out? Will you release it or wait for a court order?
 

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How does it work if the seller claims (s)he is entitled to the deposit because a buyer backed out? Will you release it or wait for a court order?
Basically the escrow agent (generally the listing broker) has sole discretion to send the escrow money to the court and go to interpleader. They cannot release the escrow to anyone without both parties signing the release form, so once they come to in impasse broker will remove themselves and liability (cause why wouldn't they) and send the money to the court.

Happens in something like 5% of the transactions.
 
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Regarding radon - reference EPA site

Health Risk of Radon | US EPA

Radon is abundant in my area of Massachusetts. It's just something you have to deal with here. I've seen a bunch of different methods of handling radon in RE transactions. It just comes down to the tested levels and whether or not you care enough. My finished basement currently tests at 2 pCi/L and I'm 50/50 on whether or not to install a mitigation system. I'll probably eventually get one but haven't been motivated enough. Every time I feel like blowing $1500 a new shiny gun somehow ends up in my safe.
 
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No matter how justified you are in getting a deposit refund, the real estate agent generally will not return it unless the seller agrees or you get a court order at your own expense. No amount of showing the agent how you are contractually entitled to the deposit will get it released without one of those two things.
That’s why I’ve been very hesitant to hand over the larger 5% piece. My agent kept saying , “I won’t actually do anything until the contracts are in place “...well, her motivations are different then mine (close=commission) and ramming paperwork through is not something I want...first rodeo and I’d prefer to take it slow. Far too much money on the line and I’m prepared to walk away if I feel a strong hand pushing me towards signing and moving on
 

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I backed out of a house in CT (~1972) after signing the P&S. The sellers started to play around and change the terms in the P&S. They didn't want to give back the deposit, so I called my agent and told her to tell the seller that unless they released it, my attorney would be filing suit on Monday morning. They released it post haste. Both agents violated a number of rules/regs and I could have had their licenses, but we just celebrated losing that house instead.

In contrast our MA house was a FSBO and we got along great with the sellers. 45 yrs later we still exchange holiday cards and we have both visited each other a few times over the years (they're in SW CT).
 
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