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FAQs | Total Title Solutions - Closings Made Simple | Clearwater, Florida
Email Us Today 727-796-7600 Hours: 9am - 5pm

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

The following are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about purchasing a home and the closing process. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at anytime via email or on 727-796-7600.

What if I am unable to attend the closing?

Closing documents can be pre-signed, mailed, faxed or e-mailed to you prior to closing.

I am married. Will my spouse have to attend the closing?

Florida is a Homestead state. This means that unless you are purchasing investment property your spouse will need to attend the closing, provide proper identification and be prepared to execute documents. If you are obtaining a mortgage and your spouse is not on the loan they will still need to attend the closing, provide proper identification and be prepared to execute documents.

Why do I need homeowners insurance?

If you are getting a mortgage on the property it is a requirement of the lender that you have insurance on the property. Insurance will need to be obtained as soon as possible. Paid receipts are to be faxed to our office. If you are purchasing a condo, townhouse or villa please check with your Homeowners or Condo Association to see if insurance is included with the dues.

Do I need flood insurance?

Many properties are located in a flood zone. If you are getting a mortgage and your property is in a flood zone, you must have flood insurance. Through the survey company, we will provide your insurance agent an elevation certificate which is necessary to determine your flood insurance premium.

What is a survey and why do I need one?

A survey is the measurement by a surveyor of real property which delineates the boundaries of a parcel of land. A survey additionally delineates the exact location of all improvements, encroachments, easements and other matters affecting the title to the property in question. Most lenders require a survey as a condition of the loan.

How are title insurance costs calculated?

Title insurance rates are regulated by the State of Florida as follows: $5.75 per thousand dollars of the sales price up to $100,000, and $5.00 per thousand dollars of the sales price from $100,001 to $1,000,000.

What is a prior policy and what is its purpose?

The purpose of a prior policy is to obtain a reissue credit. This grants the holder of the policy a discounted title insurance rate if the following requirements are met:

  • The Owner’s policy of title insurance is NOT more than three (3) years old if the holder is selling the property. This time limit does not apply if the holder is refinancing the property.
  • The insured named on the prior policy must be the same as those involved in the current transaction.
  • The prior policy must be delivered to the title company at the same time the order is place.
  • The prior policy does not need to be issued by the same company that is issuing the new policy.
  • Only an Owner’s Title Policy may be used for a prior policy. Commitments and Loan Policies do not qualify.
What do I need to bring to closing?

You will need to bring:

  • Funds for closing in the form of a cashier check payable to Total Title Solutions.
  • Photo identification: valid state issued driver’s license, passport or state issued identification card.
  • If you are married you will need to bring your spouse.
  • If you are moving into a condo or planned unit development that requires an approval you will need to bring an original approval to the closing if one has not been provided to us prior to the closing date.
Can I wire my funds for closing to Total Title Solutions?

Funds for closing may be wired to our escrow account. Contact our office for wiring instructions.

If my lender gets title insurance for its mortgage, why do I need a separate policy for myself?

The lender’s policy covers only the amount of its loan, which is usually not the full property value. In the event of an adverse claim, the lender would ordinarily not be concerned unless its loan became non-performing and the claim threatened the lender’s ability to foreclose and recover its principal and interest. And, in the event of a claim there is no provision for payment of legal expenses for an uninsured party. The expense of both an owner’s policy and a lender’s policy is a small increase compared to the expense of a single loan policy.

What are endorsements?

An endorsement is an addition to or modification of a title insurance policy that expands or changes the coverage of the policy, fulfilling specific requirements of the insured. Most lenders require endorsements as a condition of the loan to further protect their interest.

How will I understand the documents I am signing at closing?

Your closing agent will provide a brief explanation of each of the closing documents you are required to sign at closing. If you would prefer to personally read through all of the documents before signing, please contact us at least one week prior to closing and we will be happy to prepare a copy of your documents for review ahead of time.

What types of claims, or risks are generally covered by title insurance?
  • Forgery and impersonation.
  • Lack of competency, capacity or legal authority of a party.
  • Deed not joined in by a necessary party (co-owner, heir, spouse, corporate officer, or business partner); Undisclosed (but recorded) prior mortgage or lien.
  • Undisclosed (but recorded) easement or use restriction.
  • Erroneous or inadequate legal descriptions.
  • Lack of a right of access.
  • Deed not properly recorded.
What is a homestead exemption?

Every person who has legal or equitable title to real property in the State of Florida and who resides on the property on January 1 and in good faith makes it his or her permanent home is eligible for a homestead exemption. A homestead exemption allows up to $50,000 to be deducted from the assessed value of a primary residence when calculating real estate property tax.

How do I file for homestead exemption?

Initial application for homestead exemption must be made between January 1 and March 1 of the year for which the exemption is sought. Initial application can be made in person at the property appraiser’s office or on-line (in most counties).If filing for the first time, be prepared to answer these questions:

  • In whose name or names was the title to the dwelling recorded as of January 1?
  • What is the street address of the property?
  • How long have you been a legal resident of the State of Florida? (A Declaration of Domicile or Voter’s Registration will be proof of date before January 1.)
  • Do you have a Florida license plate on your car and a Florida driver’s license?
  • Were you living in the dwelling on January I?

For additional information on homestead exemption and a list of the property appraisers in the state of Florida please visit Property Appraisers in Florida.

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