Headlines: First-time DC homebuyers flourish. And there's an app for that.

Fall predictions: Watch the inventory

The prospects for the region’s housing market for the rest of 2014 and into 2015 will be determined by the inventory trends over the next few months. If the ratio of inventory to sales continues to increase, sales price growth will remain modest at best. However, if the pace of sales picks up or inventory begins to diminish, prices should recover. — DC Urban Turf

MLS arming agents with app that calculates buyer and seller closing costs

The app, MRIS Close It!, allows agents to calculate cash-to-close and net proceeds for real estate transactions. Users can instantly create, edit and share nonbinding HUD-1 Settlement Statements and net sales sheets for their buyer and seller clients. — Inman News

DC area housing costs are highest in America

But in aggregate, Washingtonian (and nearby suburbanite) households spent an average of $17,603 on housing costs in 2012, beating out (or losing to, really) every other metropolitan area that the BLS looked at. D.C.-area expenses were nearly twice those in Cleveland, which sits at the bottom of the list. — Washington City Paper

Why DC is the No. 1 market in the country for first-time homebuyers

DC's real estate market has some serious advantages when it comes to national rankings. In addition to a metropolitan area with a lot of inventory that keeps moving and local closing costs that are some of the lowest in the country, the District's nature as a city with high-paying jobs tends to attract a lot of first-time homebuyers. — In the Capital

MRIS teams with Federal Title on closing apps

Through the partnership, MRIS, which facilitates nearly $125 million a day in real estate transactions, now offers a custom, specially licensed version of Close It! to calculate total cash-to-close and net proceeds for real estate transactions. — Geek Estate

The cost of title insurance does vary. Homebuyers should shop.

Too often, I hear real estate professionals telling homebuyers or borrowers that "title insurance is all the same – no reason to shop." This frequently shared conventional wisdom is only partly true.

While the terms of coverage are virtually the same, the cost of the title insurance premium does vary. Since choosing a settlement company is the right of the homebuyer, the homebuyer/borrower should take time to shop for the best title insurance rates.

Many state insurance commissions, including the District of Columbia and Maryland, require title insurance underwriters to file their respective rates. As a result, the filed title insurance rate premiums do vary among the several underwriters.

Depending on the settlement company’s underwriter, a particular settlement company, for the exact same coverage, may offer lower title insurance premiums than their competitors.

Take, for example, Federal Title’s title insurance premium of $1,588.00 on a Maryland purchase with a $450,000.00 coverage amount.  

Nearly every competing settlement company quotes and charges a premium of approximately $1,838.00 – or, approximately $250.00 more than Federal Title for the exact same terms/amount of coverage.

The bottom line is that consumers (i.e., homebuyers and refinancing homeowners) should exercise their right to choose their own settlement company and in so doing, take a few minutes to shop both the settlement charges and the cost of title insurance.

MRIS to offer custom, specially licensed version of Close It! to members through partnership with Federal Title

MRIS, the industry-leading Mid-Atlantic Multiple Listing Service (MLS), and Federal Title & Escrow Co. today announced they have launched MRIS Close It!, a desktop and mobile app that provides quick and concise closing cost estimates.

"MRIS Close It! accurately answers questions real estate agents commonly hear such as 'how much cash do I need to close?' and 'how much can I expect to net from the sale of my home'," said Andrew Strauch, Vice President of Product Innovation at MRIS. "Through this new core product, our customers now have the ability to quickly and easily answer these questions for homebuyers and sellers on the fly."

Through the partnership, MRIS, which facilitates nearly $125 million a day in real estate transactions, now offers a custom, specially licensed version of Close It! to calculate total cash-to-close and net proceeds for real estate transactions. MRIS Close It! allows users to instantly create, edit and share HUD-1 Settlement Statements and net sales sheets.

"I am going on 37 years in this business and MRIS Close It! is as easy as it gets to calculating closing costs for buyers and sellers," said Scott Miller, MRIS customer and Associate Broker at RE/MAX 100. "My clients and I can rely on MRIS Close It! for quick and helpful closing cost estimates."

Federal Title, a technology pioneer in the title industry, initially launched the consumer-facing Close It! app in May 2013 to simplify homebuying costs. The app, along with the MRIS version, can compare costs in different jurisdictions and show the difference in closing on the first of the month compared to at the end of the month. Many features are customizable including the mortgage rate and down payment amount and allow the user to differentiate between FHA, VA loans and cash purchases.

"We created the most accurate app on the market that simplifies the closing process," said Federal Title founder Todd Ewing. "It removes the guesswork from the equation and is the ultimate closing costs calculator."

The app is a new core product for MRIS customers and is included in their MRIS subscription at no additional charge. To learn more about MRIS Close It! and to download the app for iPhone/iPad, please visit http://www.mris.com/CloseIt.

ABOUT MRIS 

MRIS is Real Estate in Real Time™. We’re a leading provider of real estate information technology and services, and are frequently ranked among the most productive Multiple Listing Services (MLS) in the nation, facilitating over $45 billion in system wide sales in 2013. In its core market, MRIS supports over 45,000 real estate professionals spanning the Mid-Atlantic region, including Maryland, Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C. and parts of Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia. MRIS provides a portfolio of technology solutions and proprietary databases for real estate professionals, as well as broker and agent software products and an industry-leading consumer portal, MRIShomes.com (formerly HomesDatabase). In addition, the CURE Solutions Group, a subsidiary of MRIS, provides proprietary back-end technology to other MLS systems, serving nearly 180,000 customers each day. Visit MRIS at MRIS.com and our web based TV station, mrisTV.com. “Like” us on Facebook/MRISonFB, follow us on Twitter, @MRIS_REal_News and be sure to visit MRISblog.com for real-time news and company updates.

About Federal Title & Escrow Company 

Federal Title & Escrow Company is the largest independently owned title company in Washington, D.C. – innovators within the title industry, trend setters who leverage technology to streamline the closing process, pioneers of a business model that has saved homebuyers more than $8 million in closing costs. Their innovative app Close It!, has over 10,000 downloads to date. It was nominated for a Tabby Award in October 2013 and has been featured in the Washington Post, Title Report and Washington and Baltimore business journals. To find out how this unique company is changing the way homebuyers and sellers think about title companies, visit federaltitle.com.

Close It™ House of the Week: A Cape Cod near the Crescent Trail

This week we take a look at a Cape Cod style home with four bedrooms and four bathrooms in over 2,700 feet of living space located just across the DC border in Bethesda, Maryland.

This house has a fireplace in the large living room plus a dining room that opens into a kitchen with stainless steel appliances. The house was built in 1951 and renovated in 2006. It recently dropped in price. 

Assuming a homebuyer puts down 20 percent on a conventional loan, her cash to close number will be approximately $212,329.64. The monthly payments would then be around $4,535.03 per month. For a complete picture of the cash to close, or for a run-down of the seller's side of the deal, plug the numbers into the Web version of Close It™ or download the free iOS app.

Headlines: The future of real estate in the Internet Age

Here's a look at what's happening in real estate around the District of Columbia.

Online listings breathe new life into open houses

The popularity of online home search sites over the past few years is positively impacting the effectiveness of open houses. With homes now listed online, buyers can learn everything about a house before they even step foot in it. — Washington Post

How to effortlessly use online reviews to grow your real estate business

Whether you’re new to the online review game, already have a few reviews or are dominating your niche with online testimonials, here are some tips to help you build your review portfolio and generate leads from the work you've already done. — Inman News

What Google searches reveal about the housing market

A Google survey showed 18–34-year-olds were twice as likely as 35–54-year-olds to say they were planning to buy a home in the next year, and real estate web usage by millennials grew by 30 percent between May 2013 and July 2014, according to ComScore. — DC Urban Turf

Gentrification on The Waterfront

Will the luxury mega-development on the Southwest waterfront unmoor the low-key way of life on DC's houseboats? These photos offer a look inside one of the largest "live-aboard" communities on the Eastern seaboard, just as the cranes rise. — Washingtonian

Eight Victorian pads for sale in DC

DC's got a slew of late 19th-to-early-20th-century properties on the market, so we've rounded up some of these turreted, bow-fronted gems. Too bad their asking prices aren't what they would've been 100 years ago. — Curbed DC

  • Ways to save at closing

    Title charges are the largest chunk of closing costs and can vary by hundreds of dollars.

    Learn more

  • What are closing costs?

    The real estate closing process involves loan steps, legal steps and title steps.

    Learn more

  • What's title insurance?

    Insure your legal ownership just like you'd insure the building, but for lots cheaper.

    Learn more

Connect with us


Our blog contains general information only, not intended to be relied upon as, nor a substitute for, specific professional advice. Rate tables and figures that appear on our blog are deemed reliable but not guaranteed. For current rates & policies, refer to our Quick Quote and Consumer Guide. We accept no responsibility for loss occasioned to any purpose acting on or refraining from action as a result of any material on our blog.