What is a Title Search in Florida?

A title search in Florida is an examination of information about a property to assess its legal ownership. A title search also identifies potential issues that will affect the transfer of title or sale of the title. It’s a good idea to get a title search when preparing a property for sale or when buying a home yourself. This is because a title search reveals key information about previous ownership. If there is an issue with the property title then this will stall or possibly prevent the sale of the home.

The title represents the legal ownership of a property. Whether you’re buying or selling a home, it’s important to ensure that it’s rightfully owned. Our team at Galaxy Title & Escrow can assist in real estate transactions and help you transfer titles properly.

Should I Get a Title Search When Buying a Home?

It’s highly recommended that you get a title search whether you’re buying or selling a property. Here’s why getting a title search in Florida is important:

A title search will identify any potential issues with the sale, including:

  • Break in Chain of Title: This means that someone who did not have legal ownership possessed the property for a time which could result in a lack of clear title for the current owner.
  • Liens: Identifying tax liens, mechanic’s liens, or liens from creditors that encumber the property and need to be addressed before a sale can take place.
  • Bankruptcy: If the current owner has filed for bankruptcy it could create uncertainties about ownership and complicate the transfer of the property.
  • Occupancy Issues: The property may be occupied by someone other than the owner, and if the owner were to pass away, the occupant may try to claim ownership during probate proceedings.
  • Zoning Restrictions: This highlights town zoning ordinances that restrict or prohibit desired uses of the property, such as operating a home business or owning farm animals.
  • Multiple Mortgages: Multiple mortgages on the property prevent a home from being sold until these mortgages are settled.
  • Boundary Disputes: Neighbors may claim ownership over a portion of the property, which then requires a survey.
  • Foreclosure: Pending foreclosure proceedings could impact the transfer of ownership.
  • Divorce Proceedings: Divorce proceedings may make it possible for a spouse to contest the transfer of the property during their settlement.

Without the title search the buyer may become financially responsible for any debts associated with the property. Issues with the title can also create obstacles during the transaction that lead to financial losses for both the seller and buyer.

It’s a great idea to get a title search before putting a home on the market because then the seller can resolve issues and enable a smooth transaction with potential buyers. As a buyer, it’s useful to get a title search so you’re aware of any problems that may occur when buying a property and obtaining the title. A title search defines ownership and if a property is legally owned then the transaction process will be simpler.

How To Get a Title Search in Florida

There are three common methods to conduct a title search on a Florida property:

  1. Hire a lawyer: A lawyer can handle the title search and provide guidance on the process and any legal implications.
  2. Use a title company: Title companies offer title search services and often sell title insurance policies.
  3. Conduct a public records search: Although not recommended for a comprehensive title search, individuals can search public records themselves. However, this method may not provide all the necessary information.

What is Included in a Title Search?

A Florida Title Search report typically consists of the following sections:

  • Ownership of Title: This section identifies the current owner of the property and their right to ownership. It provides the name of the person from whom you’re purchasing the property.
  • Description of Property: This section includes the legal description of the property’s location and its recorded information in official records. It also specifies where you can find this information in the county’s public records.
  • Evidence of Title: This section shows the documented history of ownership changes for the property according to public records. It may reveal past litigations or disputes that could impact the property’s transfer in ownership.
  • Mortgages, Assignments, and Modifications: This section provides information about mortgages on the property, including details about the lender, original amount, and public records.
  • Other Property Liens and Encumbrances: This section identifies any additional liens or claims on the property, excluding mortgages. It includes financial and non-financial claims, such as liens related to unpaid debts or agreements with gated communities.
  • Restrictions/Easements: This section highlights any limitations or rights of third-party access to the property. It covers easements, which grant someone the legal right to use another person’s land for a specific purpose.
  • Tax Information: This section includes details about the property’s tax status for the specified year, including payment status and amounts owed.

When our team at Galaxy conducts a title search, our real estate attorney can explain the findings and what each of these factors means for a new owner.

What Doesn’t Come Up in a Title Search?

It’s important to note that a title search only includes matters recorded in the official records. The search may not uncover issues such as encroachments, municipal liens, or condo or HOA reports. Additional searches, such as a land survey or a federal tax lien search, may be necessary to uncover other potential issues.

How Much Does a Title Search Cost?

The cost of a title search in Florida typically ranges from $150.00 to $500.00. Cost can depend on who performs the search, the property type, and the process. Usually, the search will only take five business days, but it may take longer if additional document copies are requested.

Need a Title Search in Florida? Galaxy Title & Escrow Can Help!

florida title search


Our team wants to make buying and selling a home easier. We recommend title searches before closing on a home but we also offer title insurance to protect your claim of ownership.

When you’re preparing for a real estate transaction, consider opening an escrow account with us to secure any funds you may be using in the process, including money for a title search. If you have any questions about property titles or closing on a home, call us, our team is happy to put any concerns to rest.

Mitchell IssaWhat is a Title Search in Florida?
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Title Insurance vs Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners insurance is insurance that covers a homeowner in the event of damage to their property. Title insurance is insurance that protects the lender or buyer in the event that the title to the property is not valid. Homeowners insurance does not cover the title to the property, and title insurance does not cover damage to the home.

What is Not Covered by Title Insurance or Homeowners Insurance?

If your home were to sustain major damage, you would not be able to file a claim with your title insurer. It’s important to be familiar with what each type of policy covers so that you can purchase the appropriate coverage for your needs.

There are a few things that are generally not covered by either title insurance or homeowners insurance. Examples include:

  • Flood damage
  • Sewer backup
  • Termite damage
  • Foundation problems

When Are Homeowners Insurance and Title Insurance Both Needed?

Homeowners insurance is required when you have a mortgage. A title insurance policy is not required, but it is recommended. You need both types of insurance to be fully protected.

Costs of Homeowners and Title Insurance

What Are the Costs Typically Associated With Homeowners and Title Insurance?

The costs typically associated with homeowner’s insurance are premiums, deductibles, and co-insurance. The costs typically associated with title insurance are the premium and policy limit.

Homeowners Insurance

The average homeowners insurance cost in the United States in 2022 is $1,383 per year for a policy with $250,000 in dwelling coverage.

The average cost of homeowners insurance in Florida is $1,648 per year for a $250,000 dwelling coverage policy. This is about 19% higher than the national average premium of $1,383 per year for the same amount of coverage.

On average, the most expensive states for homeowners insurance in 2022 are Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Kansas, while the least expensive states are Hawaii, Utah, and Vermont.

Title Insurance

The price varies from $500-$1,500, depending on several factors. Besides the premium thresholds set by the Florida State Government, some factors determine the cost of your title insurance. For instance, if your property costs $100,000, your title insurance policy will be $575.

The latest promulgated rates:

  • $5.75 for every $1,000 of liability not more than $100,000
  • Extra $5.00 for every $1,000 of liability from $100,000-$1,000,000
  • Extra $2.50 for every $1,000 of liability from $1,000,000-$5,000,000
  • Extra $2.25 for every $1,000 of liability from $5,000,000-$10,000,000
  • Extra $2.00 for every $1,000 of liability exceeding $10,000,000

Some closing costs that may add up to your title cost include:

  • Title Search Costs – Your insurer may charge $100 for the search.
  • Simultaneous Issue Costs – If you take a lender’s and owner’s insurance policy simultaneously, simultaneous issue charges may apply. The rates are $5.75 for every $1,000 up to $100,000 and $5.000 for every $1,000 up to a maximum of $1,000,000.
  • Reissue Rate – Reissue rates might apply if the previous property owner had a title policy. The minimum issuance cost is $100.

Key takeaways:

  • The cost of homeowner’s insurance can vary depending on the coverage you choose, but it typically includes the above-mentioned.
  • The cost of title insurance is usually just the premium and policy limit.
  • Homeowner’s insurance is generally more expensive than title insurance.

What to Do if You Can’t Afford Both?

When it comes to protecting your home, there are two main types of insurance to consider: homeowner’s insurance and title insurance. Homeowner’s insurance protects your home from damage or destruction, while title insurance policy protects your ownership rights to the property. So, which one do you need?

If you can’t afford both homeowner’s insurance and title insurance, prioritize based on what provides the most protection for your situation. If you own your home outright and don’t have a mortgage, title insurance may not be necessary.

However, if you have a mortgage, your lender will likely require title insurance. In this case, you may need to choose between title insurance and homeowners insurance depending on which one provides the most coverage for your needs.

Why People Often Confuse Them

People often confuse homeowners insurance and title insurance because they both protect against potential loss. However, the coverage they provide is quite different.

Homeowner’s insurance covers your home and personal belongings in the event of:

  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Vandalism, or other disasters
  • Liability coverage if someone is injured on your property

Title insurance, on the other hand, protects you from financial losses if there are any problems with the title to your property. This includes things like:

  • Unpaid mortgages
  • Zoning issues
  • Hidden liens

Deals for Homeowners Insurance and Title Insurance in Florida

There might be room to negotiate deals for homeowners insurance and title insurance in Florida, depending on the provider. For example, some title companies will give a discount if you also purchase homeowners insurance from them. It’s always worth checking to see if there are any discounts or deals available.

Additionally, your mortgage lender may require you to have both homeowners insurance and title insurance. If this is the case, they will usually arrange for the title insurance policy and add the cost to your closing costs. You can then shop around for the best deal on homeowners insurance.

So, while you may not technically need both types of insurance, it’s likely that you’ll end up with both if you’re buying a home in Florida.

You’re in Great Hands with Galaxy Title & Escrow

When you purchase a home, you want to be sure that you are getting title insurance. Title insurance protects you in the event that someone else claims ownership of your home. Homeowners’ insurance does not provide this protection.

A title insurance policy will also pay for any legal fees that you incur if someone challenges your ownership of the home. Galaxy Title & Escrow is the best place to get title insurance in Fort Lauderdale because we have a team of experienced title professionals who will work with you to ensure that you are getting the best possible coverage. Contact us today to learn more about our title insurance services.

Mitchell IssaTitle Insurance vs Homeowners Insurance
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