Viewing posts categorised under: Residential
Understanding title insurance - blog post resize
13Jun
Understanding Title Insurance
Commercial

Understanding Title Insurance

 

Buying a home can be an emotional, exciting journey and probably the single largest investment you could make in your life. Understanding title insurance can help you protect your property’s title.

Do note that when buying a home, many hidden issues may spring up after you purchase it. This is why it is important to get an owner’s title insurance policy as it protects you from legal title discrepancies and other fraud issues. Here are other reasons why understanding title insurance is vital to protecting your home.

Everyone has a checklist of things they look for when buying a house. This could include a quiet tree-lined street, a neighbourhood with good schools and others. These are all important things to consider but what about the property’s history?

Did you know there could be issues like pre-existing liens, easements, zoning violations, outstanding work orders, forged identity and more? These issues could cause confusion over who has right to the property. And the last thing you want as a homeowner is a big confusion that puts your property in jeopardy.

Here is where title insurance comes in when you buy or refinance a home. Title insurance confirms there’s no dispute over who has rights to the property.

Peace of mind with a one-time fee!

Unlike homeowners’ insurance where you pay a monthly premium, title insurance only requires a  one-time fee to protect you and your property. Title insurance gives you and your client peace of mind that any disputes or restrictions that may arise are resolved or known.

Regular title insurance covers you against losses from unknown title defects that could impact your property ownership, title fraud, unforeseen mistakes in public records and surveys, issues regarding encroachment and more.

Title insurance from Chicago Title can provide peace of mind with the knowledge that your client’s interests are fully protected. To learn more get in touch with us at Chicago Title today.

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cottage season
17May
5 Things to Consider When Buying a Cottage + Bonus Tip
Industry News

5 Things to Consider When Buying a Cottage + Bonus Tip

 

Now that the weather is warming up, cottage season is upon us. Vacation properties have become a red hot market driven by the allure of short-term rental investment properties to those who are looking for a quiet place to relax outside of the city. Before dipping your toes into the market, or into the lake, there are 5 things you must consider to protect yourself, and your dream investment from becoming a nightmare:

  1. Property and Surroundings

Start the process by visual inspection of the property. Look for things like missing shingles, holes or damage on the roof, cracks in the foundation, and damage to porch screens, decks or chimneys. If the property is on a lake, don’t forget to check docks, lifts and boathouses.

  1. Water Supply

A reliable water supply is critical. Ensuring that the plumbing is in order and testing water potability, gives you the peace of mind that you will have a reliable and safe water supply for the cottage season.

  1. Septic System

Take note of potentially strong odours, water pools or damp spots around the septic tank. This also includes gurgling sounds in the plumbing system and slow draining bathtubs, showers and sinks. The last thing you want to be surprised with is water or sewage coming up your toilets, drains and sinks. Pay close attention and engage a professional if you see any red flags.

  1. Mold or Mildew

Check for mold and mildew around the sills. Remember that bathrooms are often a hot spot for growth as the conditions often provide the perfect environment for mold and mildew to flourish. If you find any mold or mildew be sure to never touch or disturb it, as even a small amount may be a health hazard.

  1. Ease of Access:

If you intend to make regular use of your vacation property, look for one with unencumbered access by road. Remember, Cottages that offer access by water only, may cost less, but you must also factor in the added expenses of operating, parking and protecting your boat. Being isolated by water also provides yet another opportunity for potential intruders to go unnoticed.

Bonus Tip

Lastly and most importantly, remember that title insurance coverage is one of the greatest tools you have to protect against potential losses arising from issues like encroachment, zoning violations, fraud and more.

That’s it. By exercising the precautions above and ensuring you have protected your investment with a title insurance policy you can ensure that your dream property does not become your worst nightmare. Click on the link to learn more about our seasonal property endorsement.

 

Chicago Title offers comprehensive coverage for your cottage.  Contact your lawyer for more information on our coverage today!

CTIC.ca

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correct insurance policy
04May
Avoid Nasty Surprises: Buy the correct insurance policy
Claims

Avoid Nasty Surprises: Buy the correct insurance policy

 

Sylvia and Jay received an inheritance that finally allowed them to get into the Ontario housing market.  They purchased a legal duplex with the intention of renting out the second unit, to assist with cash flow.

Jay and Sylvia’s law firm overlooked the multi-unit property type on the agreement of purchase/sale and failed to complete the requisite off-title searches.  Three months after their closing, the new homeowners received a notice from the city. An outstanding municipal work order stated that the electrical work in the secondary unit was in violation of municipal building and electrical codes. The city issued an order to comply.

The Insureds submitted a claim to Chicago Title but unfortunately, it was denied. Their single-family dwelling policy did not afford coverage for outstanding works on a multi-unit property.

This nasty surprise could have been avoided had the law firm recognized the property type and conducted the required off title searches. An abatement in price or some sort of corrective action might have been negotiated before the sale was finalized.

Make certain you understand your clients’ future use of the property they are buying so there are no nasty surprises.  Off title searches are required when ordering a multi-unit policy. See Chicago Title’s Resource Library for Search Guidelines.  Off title searches add extra cost to the closing and give the purchaser a chance to take corrective action before it’s too late.

ORDER THE CORRECT TITLE INSURANCE POLICY FOR YOUR PROPERTY TYPE

When placing an order for a title insurance policy, it is important to select the correct property type in your conveyancing platform so that the Insured gets the correct coverage.

One of the most common errors that we see is a single-family dwelling policy ordered for a property with a basement apartment or multi-unit residence. Avoid nasty surprises and make sure to select the correct property type.

For more information on ordering the right policy for a property containing more than one unit, please refer to our information sheet.

 

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Get Maximum Coverage with Title Insurance
10Dec
Get Maximum Coverage with a Title Insurance Policy
Residential

Get Maximum Coverage with a Title Insurance Policy

 

The insureds bought a home in Calgary, and their closing date was July 5. The insureds had maximum coverage with a title insurance policy.

The deed got sent immediately to be registered. Due to delays at the land registry office, the deed got officially registered on July 19. However, between July 5 and July 19, a judgment creditor of the seller registered a Writ of Enforcement against the Property. Which effectively constituted a lien on the title that took priority over the insured owners and their lender.

Maximum Coverage with the Chicago Title Solution

Since the insured had maximum coverage with a full title insurance policy, Chicago Title paid the amount of the judgment against the seller. And they obtained a discharge of the writ from the title for $26,643.75. With a title insurance policy, your clients are covered from such title defects, but a GAP-only policy does not cover title defects.

Watch the video to learn more about the differences between Title insurance and Gap-only coverage[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Mortgage Fraud: Fake Power of Attorney_CTIC
17May
Mortgage Fraud: Fake Power of Attorney
Claims

Mortgage Fraud: Fake Power of Attorney

Fake Powers of Attorney (POA) have been linked to many fraud claims. Be on guard if your client asks you to close using a Power of Attorney.  Here is the story of Julian, a private lender, who was a victim of a similar fraud.

Susan* made her husband, Robert*, a Donor in a Power of Attorney (POA) when they decided to purchase a house. A few years later, the relationship ended and Robert moved out. He used the old Power of Attorney which was expired and altered it to make it appear valid in order to get a mortgage on his wife’s house. Robert approached Julian*, a private lender, to get the mortgage with this fake Power of Attorney and didn’t disclose the fact that he was not living with his wife anymore. Julian believed him and issued the mortgage without consulting with Susan. When he learned that the mortgage was issued without Susan’s knowledge or consent, he knew he had been a victim of fraud, so he contacted Chicago Title. While the case is still under litigation, Julian is happy he has a Lender’s policy with Chicago Title to cover his losses.

At Chicago Title we understand that your house is not just a house; it is your most important asset; it is where you build your dreams and create priceless memories, and it needs to be protected. For a competitive, one-time premium, an owner’s title insurance policy protects the purchaser or the existing owner from fraud and title defects.

* Names and identifying details have been changed to protect the identity of the involved parties

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Proud to title insure six out of top 10 CRE transactions
06Apr
Chicago Title insured six out of the top ten CRE transactions
Commercial

Chicago Title insured six out of the top ten CRE transactions

In 2020, there were 1,439* commercial real estate transactions valued at $6.12 billion in Montreal. Out of these, a few retail and office transactions emerged as the top ten commercial real estate transactions. Chicago Title insured six out of these ten transactions.

We are the exclusive underwriter of commercial title insurance for thousands of notaries and lawyers across the country. The following are just a few reasons why they trust us with their commercial deals:

  • Local knowledge and expertise allows us to effectively underwrite regional specific commercial title matters;
  • Experience which allows us to understand and underwrite the most complex commercial title matters in a creative and solutions-oriented manner with a proven ability to work with our clients to build transaction specific policies using our extensive endorsement library;
  • Service focused team underwrites and processes orders in a timely and responsive manner, allowing our clients to meet their customers’ expectations; and
  • Competitive pricing.

Commercial title insurance protects the owners and lenders from losses arising from fraud and title defects. Due to the pandemic, commercial property owners and lenders have faced a lot of uncertainty and challenges. During these tough times, one thing that has remained unchanged for them is the protection provided by title insurance.

Learn more about commercial title insurance and contact our business development team to understand how it can add value to your clients’ real estate transactions.

 

*Source: https://renx.ca/montreals-top-10-cre-transactions-of-2020/

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Brandon Spalvieri
05Apr
Welcome Brandon Spalvieri
Residential

Welcome Brandon Spalvieri

We are excited to welcome Brandon Spalvieri to our team!

Brandon will be working as a Legal Counsel, Residential Underwriting. In this role, he will be able to build upon his past employment experience and delve deeply into the field of title insurance with Chicago Title.

Before commencing with Chicago Title, Brandon had worked as a real estate lawyer since being call to the Bar of Ontario in 2017. Brandon gained experience as a real estate lawyer working with one of the largest real estate law firms in Ontario, as measured by the volume of real estate closings within the firm.  While there, Brandon closed a wide variety of real estate transactions involving different property types, such as industrial units, commercial retail units, multi-family residential buildings, mixed use properties, mobile homes, cottage properties, commercial and residential condominium units, vacant land, and residential subdivision homes throughout Ontario.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, Brandon began his career employed with a major Canadian mortgage company, in a client-facing role.  During law school, Brandon remained committed to helping people navigate the complexities of the real estate landscape, often appearing before the Landlord and Tenant Board for clients of the Lakehead University Community Legal Services Clinic.

Brandon is eager to leverage his network in order to connect with law firm clients and to ensure that they receive the most optimal title insurance coverage, so that they may protect their clients, themselves, and their firm, for all of their real estate closings.

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Sarah Sahrane
05Apr
Welcome Sarah Sahrane
Residential

Welcome Sarah Sahrane

We are excited to welcome Sarah Sahrane to our team!

Sarah will be working as a Commercial Underwriter. Given her experience in real estate law, she will bring immense value to her new role.

Sarah completed her law degree at Université du Québec à Montréal and her master’s degree in notarial law at Université de Montréal. Her keen interest in real estate law has allowed her to receive multiple distinctions in that field.

Before joining our team, Sarah practiced real estate law in a major Montreal notarial law firm where she acquired a broad experience in residential and commercial financing and transactions and co-ownership law. She has been involved in major real estate projects.

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Avoiding Fraud During the Pandemic
10Jun
Avoiding Fraud During the Pandemic
Residential

Avoiding Fraud During the Pandemic

In times of uncertainty, we know from experience that fraudsters ramp up their activities. In these uncertain times of COVID-19, we need to increase our vigilance.

Some firms use the driver’s license validation service offered by the Ministry of Transportation. We need to be careful not to take too much confidence in the outcome. The MTO search lets you know that you have a valid driver’s license number. It does not tell you who that person is.

When falsifying a driver’s license, fraudsters may redress just the front of the driver’s license and leave the back of the license unchanged. Compare information on both sides of the driver’s license. Make sure the information on the back of the license matches the front. In Ontario, for example, a unique identifier number is printed on the front, and that same number is on the back of the driver’s license.

With many law firms overseeing the signing of documents through virtual means, these transactions are deemed to be high risk. Governing bodies tell us to take extra steps but may fall short of telling us what those steps would be. One option available to you is Chicago Title’s ID verification service.

ID Verification Service will check the identity of the client (purchaser, borrower) against a variety of data sources to help validate the identity of the person. The knowledge-based authentication process uses information that should only be known by the client.

Let’s work together to reduce identity fraud and add an additional level of security to your real estate transactions.

Contact your Regional Manager for more information.

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Insured house in thunder
12Mar
Peace of mind with a suitable Title Insurance Policy
Residential

Peace of mind with a suitable Title Insurance Policy

Title insurance is the cheapest and best insurance you will ever buy. Period. Seriously. Okay, I know that I am biased given I work for Chicago Title Insurance Company Canada, but a big part of why I work here is that I believe in the product. I know all of the arguments about insurance and how expensive it is and when one tries to make a claim, there are issues. I get it. The industry doesn’t have the best reputation – although, on that front I have to tell you the last two times I dealt with other insurance companies (Car accident and Life insurance policy – not mine thankfully), the service and speed was stellar. In any event, Title insurance is different. Title insurance is the cheapest insurance you will ever buy because it is a 1 TIME PREMIUM. That’s right. You pay the premium, which across Canada the average premium is $400 for a homeowner (GTA is higher because values are much higher). One only pays that premium once to cover the entire life of a mortgage (which includes any assignments to another lender) or the length of time one owns the property. So, if one buys a house today and owns it for 50 years, the coverage will still apply. Luckily for title insurance companies, Canadians on average own their homes around 5 years, so we actually get to insure properties more than once.

So, what is title insurance and what does it cover? Title insurance covers a homeowner for a myraid of issues relating to a property that home insurance can’t cover for and that a lawyer/clerk/notary can’t protect a homeowner from. It covers matters such as fraud and forgery, survey issues, zoning, work orders and permit issues where the municipality forces a homeowner to fix such problems. It covers the policyholder if there are any actual challenges to the “title” or ownership of your property (or the validity of a mortgage on the property in case of a lender policy) but it goes well beyond that to cover many other issues. So, what happens if a client buys a house and their neighbor subsequently complains that the client’s garage is 3 feet on to her property? Well, title insurance looks at the issue, tries to get the neighbor to be reasonable and settle but if she refuses and wants to be “that” nasty neighbor we always hear about, the title insurer will pay to have the garage moved or the offending portion moved off of the neighbor’s property. Title insurers see all sorts of claims around building permits, unpaid taxes, construction liens, and sadly and rapidly increasing fraud and forgery where someone fraudulently discharges and/or places a new mortgage on title to a property they don’t own. This causes a total mess for the homeowners and the lenders involved and sorting out the mess can be very costly. The beauty of title insurance, in this scenario, is that the title insurer pays the legal fees to sort it out and if the lender ultimately loses priority or the validity of its mortgage or property, title insurer pays the homeowner or the lender the loss without deducting the legal fees incurred to remedy the situation.

While no one loves insurance, as one pays for it and usually don’t need it, its value is often appreciated when there is possibility of a material loss, but the homeowner doesn’t have the right insurance in place. Title insurance is such a simple, inexpensive and invaluable insurance to have that any mortgage professional can categorically and without hesitation recommend it to a homeowner for protection against perils described above and for peace of mind.

Written by John Rider, Senior Vice President, Retail and Commercial Title Insurance, Chicago Title Insurance Company Canada

Published by Private Matters Today. Click here to read the published article on Private Matters.

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