Archive for the ‘Real Estate Closings’ Category

How Important is Owner’s Title Insurance?

THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE IS A REPRINT FROM OCTOBER 22, 2011 IN THE LOWELL SUN written by Attorney James Haroutunian (Billerica MA).  With the spring market already off and running and with so many foreclosures out there, this is a reminder to ALL buyers to consider purchasing owner’s title insurance as par t of the closing process on your new home. 


A new chapter unfolds in the foreclosure saga

This week, the commonwealth’s highest court substantiated the long-term negative effect of a defective foreclosure on subsequent owners.


Last year, the infamous Ibanez-case ruling identified why foreclosures can be defective if a lender forecloses without proper documentation proving its ownership at the time. This week, the Supreme Judicial Court applied that ruling against a subsequent buyer of a defectively foreclosed property. The ruling effectively stated the new owner’s title is null and void, despite his paying for and improving the property.


These are amazing times in property-law history. The Bevilacqua case sets a new precedent for owners seeking proper channels to prove their title through Massachusetts Land Court. Yes, there is a Land Court, which deals primarily with land legal issues.


One method the Land Court offers is a lawsuit to “try title.” This action is brought against known or unknown potential adversary parties who may claim to own your land.


The tool provides everyone in the world an opportunity to step forward and fight for a claim to your title. Most cases result in default plaintiff victories, when nobody appears to challenge ownership. However, plaintiffs must first prove they own the property.


In Bevilacqua, the court ruled the plaintiff had no standing to file the case (i.e., no ownership of the property he paid for), due to a defective foreclosure in its title history. This new case proves a practical effect to the Ibanez ruling. Other big cases are in the court’s pipeline, which will hopefully soon direct the method by which Bevilacqua can clear the title to his property.


In the meantime, remember to buy owner’s title insurance when you purchase (or maybe even when you refinance). Take advantage of the protection title insurance provides.



Having the right amount of home insurance

I would like to welcome our guest blogger – Tony Lucacio from Merrimack Valley Insurance in Billerica.   You will find Tony every 2nd Wednesday of the month, here on our blog.

Personally I have I always know I can reach out to him to answer any questions I may have regarding insurance for a home, condo, etc and to help a client who is purchasing a new home

Trying to save dollars on home insurance may not be the way to go.  Read Tony’s explanation of why:

Today’s home owner’s are rightfully looking for saving dollars where ever possible. However, cutting corners on your Massachusetts home insurance may have serious financial consequences at the time of a loss.

A common misconception among home owners is that because the value of their home has decreased over the past few years that they are now able to decrease the amount of coverage on their home. But, your home insurance property value is not based on the market price, but rather the cost of construction. It is entirely possible, and likely for many homes, that the cost to rebuild a home is greater than what any sale could bring on the open market.

The penalty for being underinsured at the time of the loss can be financially crippling. Your policy has a coinsurance clause that establishes the minimum amount of insurance you must purchase in order to be made whole at the time of a loss. A coinsurance amount of 80% requires you to carry insurance equal to 80% of the construction value. The following is an illustration of how your claim is calculated.:

(Insurance Purchased / Amount Required) X Loss Amount = Loss Payment

Consider a home with a replacement value of $250,000 and a 80% coinsurance requirment, or $200,000. The homeowner only purchased coverage of $150,000 believing that was sufficient to cover his mortgage or any damage. That same home now has a fire with damage totaling $50,000. The calculation would be as follows:

(150,000/200,000) X 50,000 = $37,500

You can see the claim payment of $37,500 would leave the home owner with a financial loss. And this would be before applying the deductible, usually $500 or $1000.

What should homeowners do to not be underinsured? Tony Lucacio at Merrimack Valley Insurance Agency suggests you speak with your agent and have them assist you with calculating your needs. They will have up to date information in order to assist with deciding how much coverage will cover your needs.

Possible to Close by Year End

Here are 2 listings that you could be moved into for the new year.

For those who like to live near the water – look out over the lake every morning – watch swimmers in the summer, boats in the spring, ice fishing in the winter, and just relaxing walks around the lake in the fall.  Great condo alternative.

Owner financing is an option

For those looking for a condo, near the highway but also near walking trails

Seller will contribute $2500 towards closing costs


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