More on Title Insurance, Easements, and CCR’s

by | Jun 10, 2012 | Real Estate | 0 comments

Hey there and happy Sunday!
weekly home buyer education for 6/10/12
more on title insurance, ccr’s, and easements…

Well…the day started out pretty enough, but I have got some clouds over my house right now.  I think I prefer it when it starts off cloudy and clears up.  I am not a fan of when it goes the other way….and this is a great lead in to our topic this week!  😉

As you know I have to take classes yearly to keep up my education hours for my licensing renewal.  In case you didn’t know, yes, as a real estate agent, I am licensed with the state of Washington.  🙂  I have been taking a few classes on title insurance and clouds that can appear on the title of a home.  It is interesting because it started off clear enough, but lo and behold, I took another class this week that muddied up the waters…again… sigh… so yes, I am going to talk a bit more about title insurance today, and home owners insurance next week.

so…Title Insurance….
Title insurance is a one time fee that is paid as part of your closing costs.  Title insurance protects both the homeowner and the lender in case of a lien on title, or a ‘cloud’….something that breaks up the clarity of owner to owner.  The most common lien on a title is your mortgage.  Some other liens that can be on a title is mechanical liens, property tax liens, creditor liens.  A mechanical liens is from a contractor who did work on the home and who wasn’t paid for the work and took it to the court.  A property tax lien is for unpaid property taxes, and creditor liens is, just like it sounds, judgments from a creditor for payment.  There are more types of liens today, but how much time do you have for me today?  🙂

As part of their responsibilities the title company researches the deed of a home and makes sure all liens are taken care of at closing.  What happens if they miss one?  Or are unaware of a lien?  This is where title insurance comes in….it protects you in this event and we talked about the 3 types of homeowners insurance last week.

Yes, the homeowners policy is standard in Washington and there are some title companies that will just offer it….however, not all will on some properties.  In the case of a short sale, bank owned foreclosures, etc, many title companies will not provide a homeowner policy because of the lack of continuity in the title…they will only offer a standard title policy.  In the case of buying land, you will be most likely looking at an extended survey, with the extra cost for the surveyor.  The title company will decide upon which policy based on their level of risk. Yep…there is that word again….Risk.  Just like lenders when looking at you for a pre-approval and your level of risk, the title company is looking at the property for level of risk before deciding upon a title insurance policy.  Interesting….READ your title report!  Which type of title insurance are you getting?

all properties have CCR’s…no matter the age of the home or neighborhood.  You can get a copy of the CCR’s (covenants, codes, and restrictions) from the title company.  This is good reading….but boring.  Why is it important?  Because CCR’s are always enforceable, but there are loopholes.  If you buy a home in a HOA (homeowners association) the  CCR’s have a governing board of people who are enforcing those CCR’s, but what happens if you buy a home in a neighborhood with no HOA?  The CCR’s are still enforceable, but only if brought to court by a complaining neighbor.  The CCR in question can be set aside by a court of law if it can be proven that it has been ignored by the person, or persons (preferably by more than one home in the neighborhood) for a period of time with no complaint.  Whew!  This is good for me because my CCR’s say that I have to have a flowering plum tree in my front yard, and I never planted one….didn’t want it.  I have a maple and a curly willow instead….but if one of my neighbors complain, can they take me to court?  Yes.  It will most likely be thrown out though because I have lived here for 11 years without one, and there are about 4 of us in my neighborhood without one.  I can breathe again….  Now….the courts can throw out that ONE CCR, but the rest would still be enforceable.  More questions?  give me a call or drop me an email….

Other things that always stay on the property?  Easements…
by terminology an easement means that it is a privilege to use someone else’s property.  Easements always stay on the property and follow the property from homeowner to homeowner.  Every property has easements….some for travel to another property and some for utilities.  For example, on my home I have a 10 foot easement on the front of my property….for utilities.  Do I have stuff planted there?  Yes.  Can the city, or utility company come tomorrow and dig it all up to do what they need to?  Yes.  Will I be reimbursed for damage?  NO…it is an easement for that purpose.  I also have an easement in the back of my property as I am on a corner….I have a 3 foot rock retaining wall there filled with dirt and a 6 foot fence on top of that…..same situation applies though…  I can not create adverse possession for that land because I am using it….there is an easement there that I was aware of when I purchased my home.

So…got all that?  Yeah…me either!  LOL  Actually it is one of the reasons why I take these classes…to keep up with the changes in law to better protect my clients.  This is why you hire a buyers agent…to help you with your home purchase.

If you know anyone who is thinking about buying a home, our next class is Saturday, June 23, 2012, at the Vancouver YMCA located at 11324 NE 51st Circle from 10am-2pm!  With reservations, lunch is included….  🙂

Please let me know if you have any questions! And again as always, if you are looking for a buyer’s agent, please give me a call or drop me an email…I would love to help you with your home buying adventure!

Please call, email, text, or even facebook me (at Tracie DeMars Real Estate Q&A) anytime with any questions, or if there is anything I can do to assist you with your home buying adventure! As a buyers agent, I am, as always, here to help!! 😀

Thank you again for your business and for your referrals!

If there is anything you would like to see on here…please let me know and I will make it a weekly note!
…as always…if you have already purchased a home, or no longer would like to receive these emails from me, please let me know and I will be happy to remove you from receiving any more.

Thank you again for attending the home buyer education classes, and I hope that you will continue to refer the classes out to your friends, family, and co-workers. Upcoming class dates and times are located at  Just click on the link on the left hand side.  We appreciate your referrals and word of mouth!  Also, if you have somewhere that we can place the flyers at, please let me know….

Next Week: Homeowners Insurance (aka Hazard Insurance)
Last Week: Title Insurance…what is it?

Remember that you can always go to ‘Free Home Buyer Education’ on Facebook for all of my weekly blogsand upcoming class dates/times/locations. I post the weekly blogs on there as well.

Have a great day, and I will talk to you soon,

Tracie DeMars / Realtor

ReMax Equity Group
License# 81289
Vancouver, WA

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