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Watch out for changing title insurance rates

By - Last modified: May 15, 2012 at 9:09 AM

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For those of you who are happy shoppers of real estate in Central Pennsylvania, be aware that a change is coming July 1 that will affect your closing costs.

One thing that never varies much in a real estate transaction (residential or commercial) is title insurance. That’s the insurance policy buyers are required to take out at closing to protect them against claims on their ownership of the property. The rate structure for this “closing cost” has been set at the state level.

On the other hand, title insurance can be a little confusing. There are different rates that can be offered, for example, depending on how long property sellers held their own policy. According to Brian Zulli of Guardian Transfer, a title company based in Lancaster, “The Pennsylvania Department of Insurance has approved the Title Insurance Rating Bureau of Pennsylvania’s request for a new title insurance rate structure. The purpose of the new rate structure is to simplify calculation of title insurance rates in PA as well as provide an increase of title insurance rates.”

Well, you had to expect the rate increase part, at least.

So what does this mean for property buyers?

If you are planning to close at the end of June, you need to be aware that if your closing is delayed, you’ll be subject to the higher rates; there is no “grandfather” clause. Said Zulli, “All Good Faith Estimate quotes generated by or for lenders for transactions intended to close on or after July 1, 2012, should reflect the new rates.”

Even things that never change in real estate will, in fact, change if you wait long enough. You can read more about the rate changes and increase at Brian Zulli’s title blog.

Jeff Geoghan is vice president of marketing and communications for Coldwell Banker Select Professionals and Select Services, based in Lancaster City, with 10 offices in eight Central Pennsylvania counties. Jeff lives in East Petersburg where he also serves as mayor. Jeff has been actively involved in local government and business and has been used as a source by local, regional and national publications.

Write to the Editorial Department at editorial@cpbj.com

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