What is an Abstract?

An abstract is the legal history of a property. This includes all recorded deeds, mortgages, leases and other instruments affecting the title to a piece of land.

What does an Abstracter search for?

An abstracter will search public records for recorded documents that are related to the property including current legal owner of the property, encumbrances, conveyances, wills, liens, grants, court judgements, delinquent taxes, divorce decrees and any records that will affect the title. The abstracter summarizes the various instruments affecting the property and arranges them in the chronological order of recording starting with the original grant of title.

Why do I need a Title Opinion in Iowa?

The abstract of title is a condensed history that merely discloses those items about the property that are of public record. A licensed Iowa attorney reviews the abstract and issues a written title opinion that summarizes the status of the title and identifies the current owner and any title issues that should be resolved prior to closing.

What are the recording fees in Iowa?

To record a deed, change of title, or contract, the fee is $12 for the first page. Each additional page is $5. For deeds, there is also a $5 transfer fee for each separate parcel of real estate involved. A mortgage, assignment of mortgage or release is $7 for the first page, and $5 for each additional page. To record Plats/Surveys is $7 for the first page and $5 for each additional.

What is Iowa Title Guaranty Certificate?

Iowa Title Guaranty offers Commitments, Certificates and Endorsements that provide low cost title protection for real estate located in Iowa. Iowa Title Guaranty issues coverage based on an abstract and attorney title opinion.

What is Title Insurance?

Title insurance provides coverage for undisclosed title defects that might later result in a claim to the property. There are two types of title insurance policies. The owner’s policy protects the homebuyer. A loan policy protects the lender.

Most lenders usually require a loan policy when they issue you a loan. The loan policy is based usually on the dollar amount of your loan. It only protects the lender’s interests in the property should a problem with the title arise. The policy amount decreases each year and eventually disappears as the loan is paid off.

For a one-time fee paid at closing, an owner’s policy, usually issued in the amount of the real estate purchase, provides protection for as long as you or your heirs have an interest in the property. In addition to protecting your investment, an owner’s policy also covers the legal fees and the cost of defending your property rights.

What are some of the unknown issues that could impact title?

A clean or clear title is important because the title is what gives you ownership of a property. While title defects are not common, they do occur. Some of the more frequent claims are unpaid back taxes, unpaid or unreleased liens and mortgages, fraud or forgery, documents signed by minors or someone incompetent, errors in searching public records, Divorce and Child support judgements, unrecorded legal documents, missed easements or rights of way that could limit your use of the property.

What should I bring to Closing?

A Government issued photo id such as a valid state issued driver’s license or non-driver I.D. card or government passport. Expired ID’s are not acceptable. A second form of identification with full name printed on it such as membership card, work ID, debit or credit cvard are all acceptable.

What are acceptable payment sources for funds due at closing?

A cashier’s check for the amount due from borrower or funds can usually be wired directly to the closing company’s escrow account. Personal Checks are generally not acceptable. If wiring funds, take extra precautions and call the closing title company directly by phone using a known number before transferring funds. Do not use phone numbers or links in an email or respond to any email requesting changes to wiring instructions.

What to expect at Closing?

The day of closing a real estate transaction deeds, mortgages, leases and other required instruments are signed to transfer ownership of the property. The money is disbursed, the papers are recorded, and all other details such as payment of outstanding liens, realtor fees, and bills associated with the transaction are paid.

Who Should attend Closing?

All persons that will hold title to the property should be at closing. This includes non-borrowing spouses and non-occupant co-borrowers.

What is a deed?

A legal document by which title to real estate is conveyed from one party to another.

Why is Earnest Money required when making an offer on a property?

Earnest money is usually required in a real estate transaction at the time an offer on the property is made to show that the buyer is serious about the property and are making an offer in good faith.

Section: About