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Glossary of Title & Closing Terms

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A set of documents which record the ownership through time of a property. A brief history of the transfers of a piece of land, including all claims that could be made against it.

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A temporary insurance commitment covering a piece of real estate pending closing and the issuance of a permanent title policy. Document stating conditions of the title insurance - a commitment to insure.

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Chain of Title:

A history of the ownership of a particular piece of property. Click here to learn more about what is involved in a title search.

The final step in the sale, purchase or refinance of property where ownership of the property is transferred. Click here to learn more about the closing process.
Commitment to Insure:

Document stating conditions of the title insurance, also called a binder.

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A legal document conveying title to a property. An instrument whereby a seller transfers ownership rights of a property.

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Flood Insurance:

If flood determination obtained by your lender indicates that any portion of the property is located within a flood zone, a policy of flood insurance may be required by your lender. Click here for more information.

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Hazard Insurance (Homeowner's Insurance):

Policy insures property against fire and other casualties. Click here for more information.

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Judgment and Name Search:

Part of the title search. Determines if there are any unsatisfied judgments against the seller or previous owners which were in existence while they owned the title.

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Lender's Policy:

Protection for the mortgage holder, so that if there is a fault in title that results in a loss, the mortgage company will be paid back. Click here to learn more about the lender's policy in title insurance.

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Report on Possession:

Supplement information learned from the title search. Inspectors verify lot size, location of improvements, evidence verifying recorded easements.

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Septic Tank:

When public sewers are not available, a property is required to utilize a septic tank system. The system includes hooking up the property's sewage system to a tank that is buried deep in the ground away from the house. The solid organic sewage is collected in the tank where it is decomposed and purified by anaerobic bacteria. Click here to learn more.

Graphical drawing that locates improvements on the land in relation to the property lines, easements, etc. Click here to learn more.

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Tax Search:

Search to determine the present status of real estate taxes against the property.
Termite Letter:

Letter from licensed pest exterminating company stating that there is no active infestation of termites and that there is no damage from prior infestation. Click here to learn more.
Title Insurance:

Protects a lender or owner against loss in the event of a property ownership dispute. Click here to learn more.
Title Search:

The process of examining all relevant records to confirm that the seller is the legal owner of a property and that there are no liens or other claims outstanding. Click here to learn more.

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