Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Title Topics: How to transfer Real Estate

Transferring title in real estate can be a simple process. It is most commonly accomplished by the execution and recording of a deed. Depending on your situation, you need to decide on the deed that can be used to convey title.

Warranty or Quit Claim Deed?
Although each state has its differences, the deeds most commonly used are warranty and quit claim. A warranty deed is one where the grantor conveys good and clear title to the real property. A quit claim deed conveys whatever interest, if any, the grantor has in the property. For example, as part of an estate plan and in order to avoid probate, parents might use a quit claim deed to add their children to the title of their home. Always seek the advice of an experienced estate planning attorney before adding additional parties to title.

Can Title Insurance be transferred?
A title insurance owner’s policy is only valid as long the insured party owns the property, therefore, the policy cannot be transferred to a subsequent buyer or owner. If the property is sold or transferred, the new owner would need to purchase their own individual owner’s policy.

If you are thinking about transferring the title to your real estate, make sure to speak with a real estate attorney before making any decisions.

Any Questions or Comments? Please let us know!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Walk to End Alzheimer's Detroit

Be an all-star; help advance Alzheimer’s research, care, and support

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. There are over five million Americans suffering with Alzheimer’s disease and two-thirds of them are women. This annual event takes place in communities nationwide to spread awareness and to help raise funds to defend the disease.
This year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s Detroit takes place on August 23rd, 2014. The two mile walk will start in front of Ford Field and bring together many different groups of people such as friends, family, co-workers, teams, etc. They will walk together to help raise money and put an end to Alzheimer’s disease.

Interested? Registration is free! 

Thank you to the team members who are participating  to help Title Source reach its goal of 12,000 community involvement hours this year! 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Superheroes or Super Team Members?

Have no fear, T-Source Force is here! Do you or your team members need a pick-me-up every now and then? Well, that’s what Title Source T-Source Force is for. With active members in Detroit, California, Pennsylvania, and Texas, their job is to focus on fun and show appreciation for our team members and all the hard work they do. The glass-half-full team strives to spread their contagious attitude to everyone, including clients and vendors. So what kinds of things does the T-Source Force do to help create a happy distraction? President of the T-Source Force, Lisa Thomas,  gives us the scoop, “Once a month T-Source Force hosts contests to commemorate non-traditional holidays and help put a smile on team members faces.” Recently, they passed out friendship bracelets for Friendship Day and hosted a Socks and Sandals Day where team members wore wacky socks with funky sandals. So, what’s next for T-Source Force? They will be hosting a corn-hole tournament starting Tuesday, August 12th- Friday, August 15th.

Thanks T-Source Force for all that you do to keep us working hard and playing hard!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Title Topics: Title Insurance and Reverse Mortgages

What is a reverse mortgage?

The easiest way to understand the reverse mortgage is to immediately eliminate the concept that it is different than a traditional mortgage.
There are a few difference yes, but the same concepts remain true.
The homeowner is getting a loan, but they are only getting a loan on the equity available in the home. If there is equity in the home, the borrower will receive cash payouts. The borrower can pay down that loan if they choose, unlike a traditional mortgage where it’s a requirement. The homeowner must be over 62 years of age and must reside on the property as their primary residence to obtain a reverse mortgage.

Do I need title insurance for a reverse mortgage?

The Title Policy process is the same as with any traditional mortgage. The Owner’s Policy is valid during the entire time that the homeowner owns their property. However, the reverse mortgage lender will require a new Title Mortgage Policy during the loan transaction.

Any Questions or Comments?  Let us know!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Lost Opportunity? Find it in Detroit!

Being an intern with Title Source comes with many perks. Riding scooter’s down the hallways, slushies and snacks in the kitchen, and working with awesome team members are just to name a few. What some may not realize is the wealth of opportunity that surrounds us being in the heart of Detroit.

With six weeks of experience under my belt as a Title Source intern, I have already racked up 17 hours of community involvement volunteer time. I know that the company goal is to reach a total of 12,000 volunteer hours, and with 87 summer interns we can help put a dent in that number. Every volunteer event is unique, but there’s something more to it that’s hard to explain. I walk away knowing I helped Detroit take a small step towards reaching its full potential and becoming the vibrant city we all want it to become.

The first event I participated at was the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure walk in Detroit. Not only did I join thousands of other supporters by walking for the fight against breast cancer, but I got to spend time getting to know my team members outside of the office. Our very own Title Source team even won the “Rookie of the Year” award from the Tiger’s Wives Foundation!

On June 27th,  I experienced what it was like to be a sous-chef in a kitchen. We went to the Salvation Army to prepare lunch, dinner, and sandwiches for hungry stomachs in struggling areas in Detroit. The Bed and Bread Program delivers over 5,000 meals to people every day. It also provides 400 people with shelter for the day and a place to rest safely at night.

Most recently I volunteered at Gleaners Community Food Bank. We were split up into teams, but all had the same goal- to put together as many pallets of food items and sundries as we could manage. Getting to meet new people and working as a team was an exciting and different experience that I was happy to be a part of. The team I was on proudly compiled an entire seven pallets of items weighing more than a couple thousand pounds!

The time I have spent volunteering in Detroit reminds me that the inches we need are everywhere around us. Every potato I chopped, box of food I packed, and step I walked will only help bring life back into the city. According to Robert F. Kennedy, “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events.” Where will you volunteer to help make change happen?

By Paula Guzik, C.R.E.W. Intern

Paula is a Title Source intern and communication and media studies graduate of Eastern Michigan University. This is her second internship; her previous experience was at the American Red Cross.

For more information about Gleaners Food Bank, click here.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

First-time Buyers Re-emerge in Markets with Strongest Labor Gains

There's been a lot of talk through the first two quarters of 2014 about the relative absence of the first-time homebuyer. With sales activity down from a year ago and standards for mortgage credit approval still tight, concerns about sustaining momentum with a new wave of demand are legitimate.

A lot of the blame is placed on student loan debt, which undoubtedly hamstrings many would-be home shoppers who simply can't be approved because of unattractive DTI ratios. But labor growth has, is and probably always will be one of the primary determinants of consumer capabilities, and it's been modest, at best, so far this year. It should come as no surprise then, that recent upticks in demand from first-timers have been largely confined to metro areas where job growth has been strongest. Before displaying improved confidence, consumers need reassurance regarding not only their own finances but the state of the economy as a whole - both of which are gained when opportunities open up and wages rise.

A recent report from The Wall Street Journal noted the first-time-buyer resurgence in select markets, including Dallas, Denver and Orlando, Florida. Each of those cities has experienced job growth at a pace exceeding the national average, particularly over the past three months, and construction firm KB Home has reported a subsequent surge in inquiries from prospective homeowners.

Jeffrey Mezger, chief executive for KB Home, told The Journal that the increased demand will be evidenced by sales in the coming months, though he wouldn't attempt to quantify the impact.

"It is in those markets with their more traditional recovery where we are starting to see the re-emergence of the first-time buyer, a critical segment necessary to ensure a broad-based housing recovery," Mezger said.

A sign of things to come? 
Mezger did note that there's also been some easing in terms of mortgage qualification standards over the past few months, but the overriding theme in the aforementioned markets is renewed consumer confidence. That sort of "traditional recovery" has largely been lacking this year, which has seen an extended winter and a general dearth of investor purchases expose some of the market's previously masked weaknesses.

Without foreclosures and short sales boosting transaction rates, the all-cash buyers who supported the market and supported price appreciation are mostly gone, leaving a void that must be filled by way of more organic supply and demand. That's where the first-timers come in, and perhaps with more labor expansion, their collective absence will prove only temporary. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Title Topics: What are Mortgage Backed Securities?

The housing crisis left many families facing great financial losses and financial institutions facing extreme losses. It can be accredited in large part to mortgage backed securities (MBS), which are shares of a home loan that are sold to investors. But to really understand an MBS, you need to know how they originate.

How a mortgage backed security is created
Jim wants to buy a home and is approved for a mortgage from the bank. The bank will give Jim the money to purchase his home if he agrees to pay them back on a regular basis.

Now the bank has two options. They can either:
  1. Collect the money that Jim’s repaying on his loan, plus interest over the next several years
  2. Or sell the loan to Company X, providing the bank with more cash to make more loans, and they can collect a fee before they pass the rest of Jim’s monthly payment to Company X

The bank chose the latter option. Conveniently, Company X purchased 999 other loans from different banks that have similar interest rates and terms to Jim’s loan, so they add his to the pool. The pool is now called a mortgage backed security. Company X then sells parts of the pool to investors, so they have new funds to purchase more mortgages, create more MBSs and sell parts of them off to investors.

To recap, when Jim makes his monthly mortgage payment to the bank, they keep a fee and send the rest of the money to Company X. Company X then collects a fee and passes what’s left of the mortgage to the investors who purchased the MBS. By the time the housing crisis of 2008 hit, home loans became so divided and spread around that it was possible a homeowner could unknowingly own shares in their own mortgage.

Where it failed
MBSs used to yield a high return, because they were based on quality mortgages made to a limited amount of dependable borrowers. To increase profits, banks lowered their standards and granted loans to subprime borrowers who had low credit ratings and a high risk of defaulting on their loan. That didn’t matter, because the bank no longer takes on the risk of a loan default with a MBS, they simply issue it to the borrower and quickly sell it to another company that will have to take on the risks. Standards were lowered so much that people who may have been unemployed as far as the lender knew received loans for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

When subprime borrowers stopped making payments on their mortgages, because they couldn’t afford the monthly payments, the nation saw a significant increase in home loan defaults. The ceased payments left MBS investments completely worthless or at best performing badly, exacerbating the financial devastation faced during the housing crisis.

Any Questions or Comments?  Please let us know!