Understanding Title Insurance

Understanding Title Insurance

Title to a property is a record detailing the owners of the property and rights associated with the ownership. Title typically shows a progression of ownership from the first owner to the current one. Title is a fairly simple concept, but when it goes wrong it is a nightmare. That is where title insurance comes in, and why it’s important to understanding title insurance.

Title Insurance

Title insurance guarantees that the title on a property is marketable when you purchase the home, condo, land, etc. You should always pay for title insurance. It typically costs a few hundred dollars and will save you a bundle if problems arise.

When you buy title insurance, a title insurance company researches the title for the property. The insurance company will look to see if the title is clear. Clear simply means that the seller is truly transferring title to you and no other person can claim ownership. While this sounds fairly simple, rest assured that title problems arise all of the time.

Title Problems

You might be wondering how you could possibly have title problems. Here are a few examples:

  1. Divorcing Couples Divorce is unpleasant and sometime very ugly. In particularly nasty situations, one spouse may attempt to sell a home without telling the other. To gain clear title, you need both spouses to sign off on the sale. If you dont, you are going to become a party of the divorce proceedings. Now, wouldnt that be fun?
  2. Estate Sales If you are purchasing a house as part of an estate sale, there can be real problems. The heirs may not be getting along and in an effort to get whats mine, may try to sell the residence without including all the heirs in the transaction. If you buy this home, you could end up involved in a lawsuit filed by an heir left out of the transaction.
  3. Ingress and Egress Issues Title to a property can have technical issues related to egress and ingress. Occasionally, one finds title to a property that is so messed up that the owner doesnt have the right to enter or leave the land because to do so would require crossing another persons property. In short, the property is landlocked and something must be worked out with the neighbors. Typically, a solution comes in the form of hard, cold cashlots of it.

These are just a few issues that can arise with title. With real estate, unique issues can arise all the time.

If you buy title insurance, you dont have to worry about problems with title. If a problem arises, you calmly pick up the phone and call the title insurance company. The insurance company will come up with a solution, even if it means paying you for bad title.

Putting your estate in order

Putting your estate in order

Estate planning for business owners.

For business owners, an effective estate plan addresses a number of concerns over and above the desire to care for surviving family members. Control over who will run the business, conservation of the owner’s assets in the face of legal expenses and taxes, and the liquidity to pay estate taxes due shortly after death are just some of the most pressing issues.

For the sake of their heirs, business owners should plan for the orderly transfer of their wealth including their business interests well in advance.

Prepare for Estate Taxes:

Depending on the value of business and personal assets at the time of death, the law may require that estate taxes be paid on the value of the business. If there is not enough cash on hand, heirs may have no choice but to sell the business prematurely or for less than the real value.

Some business owners use an irrevocable life insurance trust to purchase policies on their life, collect any death benefits, and distribute the money according to prearranged terms. The proceeds can be used to pay any estate taxes due, so heirs are not forced to sell a business, property, or other assets they would prefer to keep in the family. The use of these approaches can involve a complex web of tax rules and regulations. You should consider the counsel of an experienced estate planning professional before implementing such strategies.

Plan for Successful Succession:

A buy-sell agreement may be forged between the owners or shareholders of a business, outlining the terms for a buyout in the event of death or disability. It usually includes a pre-negotiated sale price, but can also explicitly request individuals to sell their interests to others or indicate who should manage the business operations.

Payments from a life insurance trust may also be used to buy assets from an estate, such as transferring ownership of a family business according to a pre-existing buy-sell agreement.

Your business is not just your livelihood. It’s likely to be the largest portion of your estate and thus the core of the legacy and security you intend to leave behind for your family. A solid estate plan can help keep your business intact through the most difficult transition of all.

Tips On Avoiding Home Safety Risks

Now that you’ve weathered the winter, the door is open for you to focus on the maintenance of your home not only the inside of your home but outside, too, making sure the house is safe and properly maintained. Doing this will help to prevent safety risks and costly repairs in the future. Therefore, here are some simple suggestions:

Inspect the deck: Wooden decks can become damaged and corroded from the harshness of winter. See if nails or screws are popping up. Clean the deck and seal it. 

Check electrical outlets and extension cords: Replace any loose-fitting plugs or frayed extension cords to prevent a fire hazard.

“Degrease” the garage: If the family car has been leaking oil or other fluids onto the garage floor all winter, now is a great time to clean it up. A greasy garage floor is slippery and potentially a fire hazard. Use nontoxic, nonflammable, biodegradable degreasers such as Simple Green. Pour the concentrate on liberally and scrub with a nylon brush. Cover the area with about an inch of kitty litter and let it sit for 24 hours. Sweep away the kitty litter for a clean floor at low cost.

Improve the yard with size in mind: Look to see how plants and trees have grown during the past year. They may be too large and could cause damage to the home’s structure. Leave enough space between the house and those baby shrubs you’re planting to allow 12″ between the plant and wall. This provides adequate ventilation and reduces the risk of future damage.

Clean the A/C: Use your garden hose to rinse off the evaporator coil fins on your A/C condenser unit. 

Check the garage door: The garage door can weigh up to 400 pounds. Springs and balancing mechanisms can fail over time, which can cause great damage to the door and harm to people around it. Now’s a good time to take a close look at the springs.

To avoid safety risks and expensive repairs down the road, it’s always a good idea to get a complete home inspection from a reputable and established company such as Pillar To Post. 

Inspect smoke, radon, and carbon monoxide detectors: Test them and change the battery every three months or as needed. Be certain there is a detector on each floor of the home.

Installment Sales Contracts

New Real Estate Act of 2018 involves Installment Sales Contracts related to Real Estate… It provides that a real estate installment contract for residential real estate is subject to the foreclosure provisions of the Code if the purchase price is to be paid in installments over a period in … Adds a corresponding change in the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. Effective January 1, 2018.

To learn more about this new act visit: http://bit.ly/2qfAZHw

Illinois ranks #4 in foreclosure rate

From an article written in Bankrate.com, foreclosure filings increased 5.3 percent nationally from April to May according to ATTOM Data Solutions, a firm that tracks foreclosures.

Illinois ranked #4 with foreclosure filings last month was 1 in every 1,057 housing units.

You can read more of the article and compare your state by clicking on the link below:

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/real-estate/foreclosures-by-state/default.aspx

Illinois Residential Real Property Disclose Act

The Illinois Residential Real Property Disclosure Act is an Illinois statute that was enacted in 1998 with the goal of guarding home buyers against dishonest sellers who falsely report the condition of their real estate property.  It is meant to provide Illinois real estate buyers with a reliable representation of the key conditions of a property.

It requires that sellers complete a form entirely, specifically answering numerous questions about a wide range of conditions of their property from foundation to plumbing and everywhere in between. Therefore, it’s always important to talk with an Illinois real estate lawyer.

To learn more about the Illinois Residential Real Property Disclosure Act: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2152&ChapterID=62