We have a confession to make! Aside from being huge fans of all things real estate, we absolutely love being REALTORS® and all that comes with it.

Seeing the joy on buyer’s faces when you give them the news their offer was accepted never gets old. Unfortunately though, not every real estate transaction goes smoothly.

A recent case of an Ontario couple who lost their home after falling victim to title fraud reminds us of that. It also gives us an opportunity to talk about title insurance and how it could have prevented this unfortunate situation from happening.

Like home inspections, title insurance is another of the many line items to consider when purchasing a home but is all too often an afterthought.

In short, title insurance protects buyers of residential and commercial property in Ontario and their lenders against losses related to the property’s title or ownership. While not mandatory in Ontario, title insurance protects you from:

– ownership disputes
– title fraud
– existing liens resulting from unpaid utilities, property taxes or condo fees
– encroachments
– zoning issues
– errors in surveys and public records

It does not cover:

– known title defects prior to your purchase
– native land claims
– environmental hazards
– unrecorded liens and encroachments or other matters not listed in public records
– zoning bylaws

Title insurance protects you as long as you own your property but it is important to remember it is not a home warranty.

The cost of title insurance varies greatly depending on the property’s location, type and value of the transaction. First Canadian Title (Canada’s top provider of title insurance) has created a Residential Title Insurance Quote Calculator at: https://goo.gl/TGmkkF

Make it a point to discuss title insurance with your lawyer prior to closing. They can help you navigate the benefits and give you a full understanding of what title insurance covers and what it does not.

For more information, read Understanding Title insurance by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario at: https://goo.gl/6bz9sf

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