JEANNE REARDON - Attorney at Law
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Why a Home Buyer Needs Title Insurance
Joint Ownership of Real Property in New York
Home Mortgage Refinance
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Real Estate Law Blog

Title Insurance

Why a Home Buyer Needs Title Insurance

Title insurance is crucial for a home buyer because it protects you and the lender from the possibility that your seller doesn't -- or previous sellers didn't -- have free and clear ownership of the house and property and, therefore, can't rightfully transfer full ownership to you. Problems with the title can limit your use and enjoyment of the property, as well as cause you financial loss.  This is why you need title insurance.  

Your real estate attorney will arrange the process of getting you title insurance soon after your Contract of Sale is signed.

Zoning Limitations: The Need for a Zoning Variance

Zoning  is a device of land use planning used by local governments. Zoning may be use-based (regulating the uses to which land may be put), or it may regulate building height, lot coverage, and similar characteristics, or some combination of these.

The primary purpose of zoning is to segregate land uses that are thought to be incompatible. In practice, zoning is used to prevent new development from interfering with existing residents or businesses and to preserve the "character" of a community or neighborhood.

Co-op Buyers Should Consider Purchasing Title Insurance

It is a commonly accepted practice for home buyers to purchase title insurance.  Title insurance provides buyers, and their lenders with coverage up to the full purchase price of a home in the event a valid title claim is instituted against the property.  Buyers of co-ops, however, rarely purchase title insurance.

Since co-op buyers are not purchasing real estate, but rather shares in a corporation – accompanied by a proprietary lease that gives the buyer the right to live in the co-op, traditional title insurance would not cover the buyer's ownership interest in the shares.

Why You Need Title Insurance

Buying a house may be the most significant and expensive purchase you will make.  When you make such a significant investment in the purchase of a home, how can you be sure that there are no problems with the home's title?  Problems with the title can limit your use and enjoyment of the property, as well as cause you financial loss.  This is why you need title insurance.   

Title insurance will pay for defending you against any lawsuit attacking your title, and will either eliminate title defects or pay your financial losses, up to the amount of the policy.