closing costs: How much $$$ do I need to close? There's an app for that - 05/21/13 01:32 AM
Have you ever been showing a house to a homebuyer and had them ask you what their total closing costs would be? Wouldn't it be great if you could answer that question right on the spot? 
Now there's an iPad app that produces a detailed picture of cash to close and monthly mortgage payments for homebuyers as well as cash in pocket for home sellers. It's available for free download in the App Store.
Download the app now >>
Close It is sort of like Turbo Tax for real estate agents. We've tested the results over and over, and they are … (0 comments)

closing costs: $5,000 DC Homebuyer Tax Credit off the table for now - 01/09/13 12:18 AM
Our marketing team has received word from the office of Congresswomen Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) that DC's popular $5,000 Homebuyer Tax Credit has not been renewed. We're told the Congresswoman is working on a plan to get the credit reinstated.
That means first-time homebuyers who may have otherwise qualified for the credit but bought their properties after Dec. 31, 2011 will not be able to claim the credit. The loss of this credit comes as no surprise to us since DC has one of the strongest housing markets in the nation.
In our office approximately 10% of DC closings took advantage … (2 comments)

closing costs: Why choosing a local title company is better - 10/24/12 01:01 AM
After 16 years of handling real estate closings, I could easily provide 100 examples of why a borrower, whether a homebuyer or a refinancing homeowner, should choose a local title company rather than allowing a national "out-of-town" title company to handle your real estate closing.  But allow me to just give you 3 simple and basic reasons.
1.    DUTY OF CARE   In reviewing title work over the years, I have witnessed countless cases of national title companies failing to release paid mortgages/liens from a homeowner’s title records, only to be cleaned up by our office – a local title company.  In addition, I … (2 comments)

closing costs: Absolute reissue rate saves on closing costs for refinances - 08/08/12 06:52 AM
If you are about to refinance your mortgage, your mortgage lender has or will soon provide you with a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) which will include, among other costs, a line item charge for title insurance.  
Although you are required to pay for it, this is "lender’s" title insurance as opposed to the "owner’s" title insurance, which you likely purchased at the time of your original closing.
The lender’s title insurance premium is often the single most costly line item for refinancing homeowners.   While it’s the borrower's right to choose a title company, unfortunately, thousands of borrowers are allowing their … (1 comments)

closing costs: Owner's title insurance: Is it worth the price? - 07/03/12 01:20 AM
While a homebuyer is required to pay for the lender’s title insurance premium, the owner’s title insurance is optional to the homebuyer, and sometimes homebuyers who are looking to shave dollars off their closing costs consider opting out of the owner's title insurance policy.

They may feel having an owner's title insurance policy is not worth the expense.
A lot of misinformation about owner’s title insurance permeates the blogosphere and, in fact, one Washington DC metropolitan area real estate broker regularly advises homebuyers NOT to spend the extra dollars to purchase owner’s title insurance coverage. 
Most of the blog entries … (2 comments)

closing costs: Say good-bye to the HUD-1 Settlement Statement - 06/29/12 01:01 AM
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), by mandate under Dodd-Frank, will soon change our world once again. 
Just barely two years since the title and mortgage industry was turned upside-down with regulatory changes to the Truth-in-Lending Act (TILA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedure Act (RESPA), the CFPB will be releasing its proposed forms and regulations next month to replace the HUD-1 Settlement Statement, Good Faith Estimate, and Truth-in-Lending Disclosure. 
These new forms will be known as the Loan Estimate and Settlement Disclosure Form.
On its snazzy website, CFPB states that the current 3-page HUD-1 settlement statement is replete with "... Technical and legal jargon ... that may … (108 comments)

closing costs: How to compare title insurance service providers - 06/13/12 04:24 AM
Pending home sales in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area are nearly as high as they were two years ago when the $8,000 federal first-time homebuyer tax credit was still in effect, another sign that the market is poised for a turn-around.
That's good news for sellers. More buyers hopefully means homes are spending less time on the market and fetching offers closing to the initial asking price. In fact, median home prices in Arlington County and the District of Columbia have returned to their peak levels of the pre-bubble era.  Meanwhile, Montgomery County has bounced by about 75 percent of the … (3 comments)

closing costs: Why does Owner’s Title Insurance get a bad rap? - 06/01/12 02:08 AM
Google "owner’s title insurance," and you will find scores of blogs and other publications scorning this misunderstood insurance product.  Frequently, at the settlement table, we hear homebuyers opine that title insurance is a "rip-off" and not worth the cost.  
Most of these comments stem from a deep misunderstanding of the product and, too often, are merely a regurgitation of the opinions that predominant the conventional wisdom.
While owner’s title insurance is optional to a homebuyer, we rarely hear homebuyers bemoan the fact that they are required to obtain homeowner’s insurance.  The average owner’s title insurance premium paid by homebuyers to … (0 comments)

closing costs: Transfer taxes, real property taxes... Explained - 05/29/12 01:45 AM
"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes," Ben Franklin once famously said. Yet when it comes to taxes on real property – especially for first-time homebuyers – we find much uncertainty and confusion exists.
Homebuyers should expect to pay two main types of taxes on their homes, 1) transfer taxes are non-recurring and paid once at settlement and 2) real property taxes are recurring and paid semi-annually (when you pay depends on where you live).
Transfer Taxes Aside from the down payment, transfer taxes are often the single largest expense a homebuyer will pay at settlement. Transfer taxes … (2 comments)

closing costs: Standard v. Enhanced Title Insurance: Mechanic's Leins - 11/29/11 06:00 AM
As a homebuyer, you have the choice in the type of owner’s title insurance coverage. Throughout this series of comparing the two types of coverage (Standard Coverage vs. Enhanced Coverage) you have observed that the primary difference relates to matters affecting your title post-policy date and pre-policy date. That is, the standard owner’s title insurance coverage mostly covers only matters that occur prior to the date the policy was issued, whereas, the enhanced owner’s title insurance coverage protects you against matters arising prior to the date of the policy, as well as, matters arising after the date the policy has been … (0 comments)

closing costs: Standard v. Enhanced Title Insurance: Building Permits - 11/29/11 05:58 AM
So you’ve just completed the purchase and closing on your new “fixer-upper” home. Now it’s time to hire an architect and spend countless hours planning for a new addition to the family room. You submit an application for your building permit. After a few weeks, your permit is denied based on a prior violation of landscaping rules established by the homeowner’s association.
As it turns out, your seller had constructed the $50,000 Arcadia-style garden in your backyard, complete with granite cascade and espalier fruit trees – and in violation of your homeowner’s association rules.
You are now faced with the expensive prospect … (0 comments)

closing costs: Standard v. Enhanced Title Insurance: Real Estate Taxes - 11/29/11 05:57 AM
In my view, the most underrated insuring provision of the Enhanced Owner’s Title Insurance Policy relates to real estate tax assessments occurring after the transfer of ownership.
The Enhanced policy we offer through our underwriter First American states (as a covered risk): "A taxing authority assesses supplemental real estate taxes not previously assessed against the Land for any period before the Policy Date because of construction or a change of ownership or use that occurred before the Policy Date."
While the Standard (Limited) Owner’s Title Insurance Policy insures against a real property tax lien and/or assessment imposed by the taxing authority prior … (0 comments)

closing costs: Standard v. Enhanced Title Insurance: Land Survey Matters - 11/29/11 05:56 AM
As a homebuyer in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, you have a choice between two types of owner’s title insurance coverage — Standard (Limited) Coverage or Enhanced Coverage. When deciding on which coverage, you may consider the possibility of being forced to remove a structure because it extends onto adjoining land or easement.The Standard owner’s title insurance policy contains 4 basic insuring provisions including (1) title being vested other than as stated, (2) any defect in or lien or encumbrance on the title, (3) unmarketability of the title, (4) lack of a right of access to and from the … (0 comments)

closing costs: Reissue Rates... Explained - 06/17/11 04:56 AM
In the world of real estate closings and title insurance lurks an oft misunderstood concept we call the “Reissue Rate.” Simply put, a reissue rate is a homebuyer discount on the cost of an owner's title insurance policy. To obtain a reissue rate discount, the transaction must satisfy certain conditions from the title insurance underwriter. The following sets forth the requirements along with the most common questions we encounter from homebuyers. (Our title insurance underwriter is First American Title Insurance Company, so for this discussion we will focus on their reissue rate discount guidelines. The reissue rate guidelines of other national … (0 comments)

closing costs: Study: D.C. Metro homebuyers save big by shopping for title services - 02/17/11 06:12 AM
Washington, D.C. (17 February 2011) – SHOPPING FOR TITLE SERVICES in the District of Columbia could save homebuyers up to $1,180, according to a recent study, while shopping in Maryland or Virginia could mean a savings of over $900. "This serves as a reminder to homebuyers and their agents the importance of shopping for a title company," said Todd Ewing, president of Federal Title & Escrow Company.
The study, commissioned by Federal Title and conducted by Veris Consulting from February 1 through February 11 of this year, compared title charges among Washington Metro Area-based title companies, revealing stark differences in charges … (2 comments)

closing costs: Federal Title's closing costs below national average - 08/19/10 04:48 AM
A recent survey from Bankrate.com showed homebuyers in Maryland and the District of Columbia pay closings costs that are below the national average. That was good news on its own.
When I began digging through the details of the survey, I discovered this chart that breaks down closing costs for each state and separates origination fees from title & closing fees. That's when I learned (or confirmed, rather) homebuyers who select Federal Title for their closings pay well below average across the board.
For starters, closing costs across the nation averaged $3,741, according to Bankrate.com.
The research was based on a … (0 comments)

closing costs: Maryland, D.C. closing costs below national average - 08/19/10 04:45 AM
Average closing costs in Maryland and the District of Columbia are less than the national average, according to the results of an annual survey by Bankrate.com.
Closing costs averaged $3,741 nationally, according to the survey, which was based on a loan amount of $200,000 and included loan origination and title fees.
Here's a breakdown of states in the Washington Metro Area, where Federal Title primarily works:
Maryland - $3,402 - No. 38 District of Columbia - $3,685 - No. 22 Virginia - $3,883 - No. 19 … (0 comments)

closing costs: What homebuyers don't know: The cost of ignorance - 06/04/10 08:10 AM
Given that homebuyers are confronted with monumental tasks in the home-buying process, it should be expected that many of the finer details are entrusted to their real estate agent or mortgage lender. After a lengthy home search, contract offers and negotiation, gathering financial information for loan application, and making moving arrangements, the average homebuyer has had their fill. Unfortunately, the choice of a settlement or title company is not high on a homebuyer’s priority list, and the homebuyer often defers to their real estate agent or mortgage lender to make this choice for them. Deferring this choice to others, may be … (0 comments)

closing costs: Not all title companies hate technology - 06/04/10 07:53 AM
I came across an article in Forbes today entitled "Why Title Companies Hate Technology."
At Federal Title, we love technology! We worked pretty hard around here to develop our consumer-friendly automatic quote software and then dove head-first into the world of Web 2.0 when we re-launched the Federal Title website earlier this year, so seeing a headline like that was certainly alarming.
Author Lee Gomes asks if a homebuyer can immediately access his credit score online, then why isn't there an online database where he can access land records and research his own title? Well, Mr. Gomes, if I can access … (0 comments)

closing costs: Why Not Demand More From Title Companies? - 06/05/09 05:51 AM
On average, title charges (i.e., closing fee, title search, title insurance, binder fees, etc.) comprise 70% of the total variable closing costs*. Since title charges do vary significantly from title company-to-title company in DC, MD, VA, and FL, it is very important for a home buyer to comparison shop.Ever wonder why most title companies force you to make contact with them in order to get a quote for title charges? Seriously, with today's technology, why won't your title company allow you to anonymously get a customized quote for their services so you can do some comparison shopping? Why do you have … (0 comments)

 
Todd Ewing (Federal Title & Escrow Company)

Todd Ewing

Washington, DC

More about me…

Federal Title & Escrow Company

Address: 5335 Wisconsin Ave, NW , Suite 700, Washington, DC, 20015

Office: (202) 362-1500

Fax: (202) 362-5901

Email Me

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