Title is a term that is thrown about frequently in real estate. It is something that can be explained in many different ways, and yet no matter how it is explained can still feel a bit confusing.

It goes back to the year 1087 and William the Conqueror

In history, when an area of land was conqueror, it belonged to the conqueror, which I suppose makes sense if you’re going to belong to a society where property rights exist. So what did these conqueror’s do with the land they now ruled? Well, they gave property rights to those with “Title”, i.e. Lords.

If you had title, you had property rights. And if you had a “legitimate” heir, that title was inherited so long as it could be probated, or proved, in the local courts. Now somewhere down the line, Vikings entered the pictured and they extended those rights to women, or at least that’s what I’ve been told.

So buy owning property, you gain “title” which kind of makes you a lord. Sounds cool to me.

Title is like an ancestry tree

Title is also likened to an ancestry tree, but instead of being for a person, it’s for land. It is a record of who owned it and what methods were used to transfer ownership over the years.

So what is Title Insurance?

Title insurance is protection for either the buyer or the lender, depending on the type of policy bought, that ensures some lord or lady from the past isn’t going to make a claim on your property like Jon Snow did in Game of Thrones. If only Daenerys would have bought an extended title insurance policy all those lives could have been spared.

How much does it cost?

Title companies must file there rate schedule with the Office of the Insurance Commission, but the rates can and do vary. Like Escrow fees, they amount is tied to the sale price of the home, the more expensive the home, the more title insurance will cost you.

Customarily, a home buyer pays for a title insurance premium that benefits the buyer’s lender and a seller pays for a title insurance premium that benefits the buyer.