What Investors Should Know About Title Commitments

What is a Title Commitment and Why Do Investors Need One?

The title commitment for insurance is the insurers promise to issue title insurance after closing and should be carefully reviewed and understood. It is essentially a disclosure document that outlines any issues/requirements that need to be addressed prior to closing as well as any liens, obligations, and defects affecting a property. This is a snapshot in time looking backwards. Your title commitment will not ensure any title issues that arise after this date (ex. liens put on the property after the commitment is issued, etc.) and expires six months from the effective date seen on Schedule A of the commitment. After closing, your title company will issue your official Title Insurance Policy using the commitment previously provided. This document is important as it protects you should any disputes arise regarding ownership and provides coverage against losses due to title defects.

Loan Policy and Owner’s Policy

There are two types of title policy’s: the loan policy and owner’s policy. The loan policy is usually a requirement of any lender and will protect their interest in the property they are loaning money on. This policy is usually written at the loan amount. It does NOT insure the owner should any title issues arise. A separate owner’s policy can be purchased that will insure you for the full amount of the property purchase price (not just the loan amount) and will remain in place as long as you have an interest in the property.

Title Commitment Sections

Each title commitment is made up of three parts: Schedule A which covers the basics of the transaction, Schedule B Section I which lists all requirements that must be addressed prior to closing, and Schedule B Section II which addresses exceptions to coverage.

How to Read a Title Commitment

Schedule A

This part of the Title Commitment covers the basics of your transaction. It is imperative that all information here is correct. You will want to check your effective date, the name of the person who currently holds title (verify that this is your seller), the legal description (title companies do not insure addresses only legal descriptions and it must be correct), the proposed buyer and sales price (coverage amount for the owners policy), and the name of the lender and loan amount (coverage amount for the loan policy). You will also want to check that the commitment is countersigned by the insurance company.

Schedule B Section I – Requirements

This section outlines requirements to be addressed prior to closing in order to obtain coverage. You can expect to find information regarding paying off the sellers existing mortgage/lien, obtaining release of liens on the title, recording new loan documents, Taxes and HOA dues past due and current, and correcting errors in title. Fulfilling these requirements are sometimes as simple as providing documentation to the title company.

Schedule B Section II – Exceptions

This section lists things that will not be covered under your policy such as HOA restrictions, mineral and water rights, utility and access easements, encroachments, plat restrictions, liens not found in public record, etc. Most things you will find here are pretty standard however, you must review this section carefully as it may impact the way you use your property and ownership.

Investing in real estate is an important decision. When choosing a lender, be sure to select an experienced one that will walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have. Investor Loan Source is happy to assist you along the the way.

ARV, LTV and LTC: What Does it All Mean?

Lenders often use these acronyms to define their loan products. Understanding these terms will help you to choose the right lender for your project.

ARV: After Repair Value

This term is used by appraisers to tell the value of a structure once all items on the scope of work (SOW) have been completed. Most lenders will loan a percentage of this valuation to a borrower and then hold the repair funds in escrow.

LTV: Loan to Value

This term is used to define the amount a lender will loan on a particular property in reference to the valuation. For instance, if you are looking to buy an investment property that has an appraisal of 100,000 and your lender loans 70% LTV, then you can expect a loan on this property for 70K. If your contract for purchase is for 80,000, then you must bring at least 10,000 to closing. If it is under, you may be able to cash out.

LTC: Loan to Cost

Some lenders use this to tell us the percentage of funding one can expect on a purchase. Sometimes this is regulated by the state. For instance, if a lender tells you that they loan 90% LTC, you can expect to receive a loan of 90,000 when your purchase price is 100,000. This means you will have to bring the difference to closing.

How They Work Together

Let’s imagine that Sam has a rehab property under contract for 60,000. He needs to invest 20,000 into this property for repairs, bringing his total loan amount to 80,000. His ARV appraisal states that after his work is done on the property it will be worth 100,000. However, Sam’s lender only loans 70% ARV and 90% LTC. Since the property is under contract for 60,000 the lender will only loan 90% of that amount which is 54,000. In this scenario the lender agrees to loan 100% of the repairs (which will be held in escrow) up to the after repair value of 70% which is 70,000. Since the contract is for 60,000 and the loan amount on the contract will be 54,000 there is 16,000 left to use towards repairs, meeting the 70% ARV or 70,000. Remember that Sam needs 80,000 total and that is what the appraisal was based on. Therefore, Sam must bring the difference to closing which is 10,000.

Let’s look at another example. Imagine that Mary has a rental property she is looking to refinance. The appraisal comes in “AS IS” at 80,000. Mary still owes 30,000 on her lien leaving her with 50,000 in equity. Her lender agrees to loan 70% of the LTV an 100% of the LTC. In this case she would get a loan for 56,000. Of that 30,000 would pay off her prior lien leaving her with 26,000 to cash out on. In this scenario Mary is only paying her closing costs. Please note that in some cases lenders will allow you to roll in closing cost fees.

Find a Lender You Can Trust

Finding a lender you can trust is essential in this business. Understanding their loan thresholds can help you to evaluate deals before you invest a significant amount of time into a project that may ultimately not work for your circumstance. Be sure to choose your lender that will explain the loan terms and any items that you don’t fully understand.

Hard Money Loans Made Easy

There are many financing options for real estate investors available today. One of the most popular options has become the hard money loan. A hard money loan is a loan collateralized by a hard asset (in most cases this would be real estate). One of the biggest differences between a hard money loan and a conventional loan is that hard money lenders use the value of the property versus the borrower’s creditworthiness to determine the loan.

Hard money loans tend to have terms of 12 months, but some can be extended to as long as two to five years. This works in favor of investors who plan to purchase a home in need of repairs, rehab it and sell it quickly for a profit

Advantages of Hard Money Loans

One of the biggest advantages is that there are less restrictions with hard money loans when comparing them to traditional loans. Lenders rely less on a borrower’s credit score and more on the value of the property itself. This allows borrowers with a less then perfect credit score to obtain a loan.

Another key benefit of hard money loans is that they can be acquired quickly. Loans from banks and traditional lenders often take up to 60 days to issue, while hard money loans can often fund in a week. This is especially important if investors hope to acquire properties with competing bids. Time is money in real estate and time is on your side with hard money.

Hard money loans also provide tremendous leverage for fix and flip and buy and hold investors. The investor can enter a project without putting their own money at risk and remaining liquidity. This is a huge reason real estate investors seek out hard money lenders in Florida.

An Easy Decision for Investors

Although many investors with imperfect credit scores find hard money loans easier to qualify for, because of the higher risk involved these loans often come with higher interest rates. Despite this, they are an integral part of the the real estate investing process and can be utilized when a traditional loan doesn’t make sense or is too difficult to get.

Hard money loans aren’t just for flippers. At Investor Loan Source, we offer loans for rental properties, as well as commercial investment projects. Be sure to ask one of our loan specialists about our exclusive wrapable loans, commercial and one-time close fix and rent options. We make hard money easy – the application process is fast and simple. Contact us at 833-457-2274, email us or apply online today.