What is a Title Binder and What’s In It?

What is a Title Binder and What's In It?A title binder, or title insurance binder, is also called a title commitment.  It is a document created by a title insurer that binds the insurer to issue a title insurance policy if certain conditions are met.  It is a commitment to issue the policy.  A title insurance policy protects the owner of real estate from certain threats to their legal ownership.

Before a title binder is issued, the title insurance company does a thorough title search of documents recorded at the courthouse and referencing the legal address of the property.  The goal is to locate any liens, encumbrances, encroachments, and other claims to the ownership or use of the property.  These will all be outlined in the title binder as attachments or exhibits.  The purpose is to find everything already affecting the property so that most new or previously undiscovered claims can be insured.  In other words, if it’s already recorded, it can’t be insured so that it will be excepted from coverage.

Exceptions:  This is one part of the title binder.  All known risks or recorded items will be excepted from coverage, as they already exist and can rarely be deleted or changed.  The buyer must understand what they are so that they can object to going forward with the transaction if there is a problem they can’t resolve that warrants backing out of the deal.

That is rare, but things like subdivision covenants and restrictions are “of record,” and they can’t be covered.  So, if the homeowners’ association says that you can’t put any permanent fixtures within ## feet of the property line, then you can’t.  Or, if you can’t have a boat in the yard, you may have a problem with your beloved 20-foot fishing trawler on the trailer.  You can’t make a claim against your title insurance for items excepted from coverage.

Another item that may pop up in exceptions is something turned up in the survey.  This happens more often in rural home or land deals.  An example would be an old falling down fence on the back side of the acreage that is on the land, inside the boundary of the survey.  Even though it is old and on the ground, if the surveyor notes it on the survey, it will be excepted, as sometime in the past there may have been a neighbor who thought they had a claim to part of the property.

Requirements:  This section of the title insurance binder specifies things required to be done for the policy to be issued.  Things like paying off the current owner’s mortgage or other liens would be in this section.  The title company wants things that can be corrected or satisfied to be handled before closing, so they aren’t a claim later.  Another example would be a quitclaim deed from a former spouse when there was a divorce in the past when both were on a deed to the property or otherwise could make a claim.

Property Information:  Going backward, as this is the first item on the binder, the legal description and other information about the current owners and location of the property will be in this area.  Careful checking of the legal description is important to assure it’s describing the property properly.

The most important takeaway from this article for a buyer is that the title binder has very important information about the property.  The buyer(s) should read it carefully, making sure that there isn’t something there that changes their minds about buying the property or their offer price.

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Beautiful Townhome in Hunters Green $349,900 Pending

17543 Fairmeadow Drive Tampa, Florida

2 Beds 2 Baths 1,747 SqFt 0.090 Acres

This delightful 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath Townhome in the well-manicured community of Copperfield Townhomes boasts numerous updates and a spacious open feel with vaulted ceilings and additional natural lighting and views exclusive to the end units. The kitchen features all new appliances, solid oak cabinets, beautiful quartz countertops, an elevated countertop with additional storage on the back side, and a convenient pantry closet. Beyond the kitchen is the finished lanai, with AC and a large storage room, or step out to the screened-in porch where you can enjoy a relaxing cup of coffee and early morning breezes. The half bath, an interior laundry nook with New full-sized washer and dryer, and the spandrel under-stair storage closet complete the downstairs. Upstairs you’ll find a split bedroom layout with the master bedroom and second bedroom being separated by a bonus space which is perfect for a home office or game room. Both bathrooms upstairs feature new shaker-style vanities with beautiful quartz countertops. The second bathroom offers a walk-in shower with new contemporary tile, while the master provides a tub/shower combination. The spacious master bedroom suite boasts a walk-in closet as well as a wall closet, a linen closet, and two nice-sized windows. Other notable features include a newer water heater (2020), new A/C unit, updated electric, new water softener system,gorgeous wood-look laminate flooring throughout, stylish baseboards, chair rails, full-sized washer and dryer, ceiling fans, and ample closets & storage. The well-manicured Copperfield Townhome community is pet friendly (with restrictions) and offers a sparkling community pool, sidewalks, and maintenance-free Florida living. Take advantage of plenty of parking with one assigned space at your front door and guest parking nearby. Centrally located with easy access to the Veterans Expressway, shopping, restaurants, Tampa International Airport, and beaches, this charming home offers both comfort and convenience.  Don’t miss out. Schedule your private tour today! $299,900 Active

7524 Hollowell Drive Tampa, Florida

2 Beds 3 Baths 1,396 SqFt 0.020 Acres

Look no further! This stunning block home is the epitome of what you've been searching for. Meticulously maintained, it boasts 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, plus bonus add-on rooms. With granite countertops in the kitchen, ceramic tile throughout, and a 2023 roof and A/C, this home offers both style and substance. Freshly painted inside and out, it exudes charm with beautiful stone detailing on the exterior. Enjoy the convenience of no CDD or HOA fees, and relish its prime location just minutes from the highway for an easy commute, close to Tampa International Airport, fine dining, and fabulous parks. Don't miss out on the opportunity to make this income-producing property yours! $379,000 Active

2405 Durham Street Tampa, Florida

2 Beds 2 Baths 1,488 SqFt 0.110 Acres

Welcome home to this lovely open concept townhome in North Tampa. As you walk in, you'll be greeted by an updated open style kitchen, which is not typical for this community. Washer and dryer are located inside the townhome for convenience. Upstairs you'll find two spacious bedrooms each with their own bathroom. Flooring has been updated throughout the home. Lighting has been updated as well with LED lighting in some areas. Another rarity, is a wood burning fireplace which is located on the living room. This townhome offers a rare backyard space which is chic and spacious. It's a perfect place to hangout and grill. The backyard is also fully fenced in and has a storage closet. The community offers a pool and tennis courts as well as ample parking for both residents and guests. The HOA takes care of all exterior and community maintenance. This unit has a newer roof and siding! The location is ideal with easy access to I-275. $260,000 Active

13813 Stone Mill Way Tampa, Florida

2 Beds 3 Baths 1,261 SqFt 0.040 Acres