How to Assess Title Insurance Rates and Fees for your Colorado Springs Home

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In our last blog post we talked about the necessity of buying title insurance for your home purchase. Now, we want to discuss the cost of title insurance, how it is calculated and how a little legwork on your part can save you money.

The title insurance industry is unique in that regulation by the state serves as a natural check on profits. Rates by title companies are ultimately set in response to competition in the marketplace. However, if the competition does not lead to fair rates, the state steps in stating that rates cannot be “excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory”.

There are a number of things you can do to monitor the cost of your title insurance. Below are five steps you can take.

  1. Do your research. Title insurance is a two-part transaction. The first part covers the property’s history to determine if there are any unpaid loans or liens. The second part insures you against future discoveries or problems with the property. Insurance companies are allowed to set their own rates, so it pays to spend some time comparing policies to make sure you get the best possible deal. Visit Home Closing 101 to find title insurance companies in Colorado Springs who are members of the American Land Title Association.

  2. Ask about add-on fees. These may include mail and courier charges, copy fees and fees for searches and certificates. You have the right to ask a company to reduce or drop these fees.

  3. Ask about a “re issue rate.” If your home has been refinanced or sold within the last 5 years, you may qualify for discounts up to 50%.

  4. Ask about Endorsements. An endorsement is a rider attached to a Mortgage or an Owner policy to expand or limit the policy coverage. Attaching an endorsement to the policy adapts the coverage to meet the needs of the insured. Examples of common endorsements are: Condominium Endorsement, Mineral Endorsement, Encroachments on Easements, just to mention a few. By issuing an endorsement, the insurer may take on additional risk normally not covered under the policy. A premium is usually charged for issuing any endorsement.

  5. Don’t rely on a single recommendation from your real estate agent. Ask for two or three companies that he or she recommends.

For a list of title insurance companies in Colorado and their fee schedules visit DORA or Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies or Network Closing.

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Colorado Springs Sales Volume vs. Average Sales Price

We are in the process fo putting together our Q3 newsletter. When we do this, we take a comprehensive look at the Colorado Springs Real Estate market. This means comparing and contrasting a multitude of statistics, some of the outcomes make it into the report others do not. I am currently working on what I think is an interesting comparison, Number of Sales vs. Average Sales Price.

Not surprisingly, lower priced areas tended to have a higher volume of sales but as you might expect, buyers were a little discerning. In other words they looked at things like neighborhood quality, amenities, quality of schools and all of the other perameters you might expect when they chose where to buy. The table and charts below show just how and where Colorado Springs Homes Buyers decided to live:

Colorado Springs Real Estate Market Statistics
Number of Sales vs. Average Sales Price
January 1, 2014 Thru September 30, 2014 (Q1-Q3)

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Area Number of Sales Average Sales Price
Fountain Valley 954 $177,024
Powers 893 $207,070
Northeast 801 $219,517
East 638 $171,812
Briargate 567 $288,275
Central 552 $188,665
Southeast 544 $132,878
Southwest 532 $310,355
Tri-Lakes 437 $376,404
Northwest 395 $293,638
Falcon North 271 $260,009
Northgate 219 $353,542
Old Colorado City 201 $180,604
West 191 $270,385
Black Forest 149 $423,762
Mark Sheffel 102 $215,074
Falcon 92 $197,275
Manitou Springs 60 $314,325
Ute Pass 36 $233,561

 

I think the chart that accompanies this data is even more interesting as it does a better job of illustrating the gaps in certain areas.

 

Colorado Springs Real Estate Statistics

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Do I Need an Appraisal to Sell My House?

Sellers often ask me if they should get their home appraised before putting it on the market.  Here is my answer to that:

An appraisal is an expert estimation of the quality and price of the property. It is more detailed than the market analysis, which your Realtor will do. Typically, appraisals cost around $400.  They are a good idea if you live in an unusual market, one where home values fluctuate a lot.  Let's say you live in a neighborhood where homes range from $200,000 to $650,000.  Then an up-front appraisal is a good idea.  It will help Buyers to see the value in your home without questioning the overall market in your area. 

On the other hand, if you live in a neighborhood where most of the homes are alike, similar in age and size, then an appraisal might not be necessary for you to have done up-front.   Here, it's pretty safe to conclude that your home's value will be consistent with those around you.

Either way, once you have a contract on your home your Buyer will most likely be getting an appraisal done for the purpose of satisfying his loan.  His mortgage lender will order an appraisal prior to closing, to make sure the contract price and condition are satisfactory for the new mortgage.

Ask your Realtor what they think you should do.  A good agent will shoot straight with you and not spend your money unnecessarily!

 

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How did the Town of Monument get its name?

Monument, Colorado is a small town located in the Tri-Lakes Region of northern part of El Paso County, approximately 15 miles north of Colorado Springs and 50 miles south of Denver.

The area was first settled in the 1860s. Its settlers came primarily from Iowa and Germany. Monument first became a town in 1870 when Henry Limbach purchased 160 acres and registered as a town with the Colorado land office of the department of the interior.

In the early days monument was actually called Henry's station after Henry Limbach. When the Rio Grande railroad was built in 1871, the name was changed by Limbach and the railroad to Monument. This name was chosen because of the large monument rock situated at the base of Mount Herman. This rock can clearly be seen from the town.

monument rock

The town of Monument has not forgotten its founder Henry Limbach, there is a park at the center of town bearing his name, Limbach Park.

limbach park

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212 S. Garo Ave.

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Check out my new listing!  This all brick rancher is located in an established neighborhood and features 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and over 1,800 finished square feet!  Includes front and rear yard landscaping, auto sprinkler, oversized concrete patio, formal living room with wood fireplace insert and brick hearth, formal dining room, original wood floors underneath carpet, finished basement with huge family room and separate bedroom with private bath!  Great location...walk to nearby shopping!  This home is obviously in need of some updating, but it has great bones!

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