If you can afford a house, you cannot not afford to get title insurance. Does that make any sense? What I’m trying to say is that no risk is acceptable if it is avoidable. Risk of financial devastation due to property disputes is avoidable with title insurance.
If there were a mud puddle, would you step in it? Well if you’re my son, Sterling, you’d not only step in it—you would dive in it! But I wouldn’t step in it, not with your good shoes! Homeowners avoid obvious ownership problems by getting a title search and a survey done before they buy, then they can deal with any questions of boundary lines and ownership entitlement ahead of time.
But some problems you can’t see coming. Some title issues hide in courthouse records, some linger in deeds that never got recorded, some wait with heirs who procrastinate in making their claim, and every now and then, you get a case of flat out fraud. You can’t see these kinds of things coming, but what you can do is minimize your financial exposure and risk to them with title insurance.
Why spend big money on a lawsuit when you could buy title insurance for a nominal one-time fee? Have you priced attorneys lately? You’re not likely to get a Groupon.
A lawsuit can range in the upwards tens of thousands of dollars…and keep in mind you could still lose your house after fighting for your ownership rights in court. Title insurance, on the other hand, generally costs a few hundred dollars, depending on the value of the property. That’s why I say if you can afford a house, you can’t not afford title insurance—it’s bad English to use a double negative, but it’s worse English if you spend all your money on your legal defense and lose anyway. That’s a double negative!
Like I said, for a few hundred dollars you can buy a title insurance policy that pays for the legal defense of your title, and will pay out the policy amount should that defense fail.
Obviously you don’t want to lose your house in a property title dispute, but you really don’t want to lose it if you’ve paid all your savings, your retirement, and your kids’ college fund on the legal defense—then you’ve lost your home and all your money. Cardboard boxes are cheap, but they lack ambiance.
Instead of the double negative, let’s rephrase this issue with a double positive: if you can afford a house, you can afford the title insurance to go with it, then you’re covered in court costs and policy amount of your house, should you need it. Get title insurance and avoid double negatives.