Close It!™ House of the Week: Old charm with modern upgrades

For this installment of our House of the Week series, we’re falling in love with a gorgeous single family home in Brookland with a massive yard that has outdoor entertaining space and a garden, plus a large living room and dining space. It has 4 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms and is listed for $899,000.

Exposed brick, refinished wood floors throughout and mature landscaping lend an air of old charm to this oasis in the city while heated tiles, a chef’s kitchen and other modern touches are sure to appeal to the desires of today’s homebuyer. The wrap-around front porch and fenced in yard make this an ideal home for families with kids and pets.

Assuming a homebuyer puts down 20 percent on a conventional loan, her cash to close number will be approximately $206,339.07. Monthly payments will then be around $3,887.15. For a complete picture of the cash to close, including the seller’s side of a transaction like this, try the Web version of Close It™ or download the free Close It™ iOS app.

Close It!™ House of the Week: Get it before it's gone

For this installment of our House of the Week series, we’re checking out a great condo option for a first-time homebuyer. Just a stone’s throw from the Columbia Heights action on 14th Street and two blocks from Metro, it’s got incredible location. It’s listed for $349,000.

An open floor plan makes for a very versatile 590 square feet in this 1BR/1BA unit. The updated kitchen features granite counters and stainless steel appliances. The unit also has two large closets and comes with additional storage. The building features a roof deck that boasts beautiful city views.

Assuming a homebuyer puts down 20 percent on a conventional loan, her cash to close number will be approximately $79,664.77. Monthly payments will then be around $1,733.49 including the HOA. For a complete picture of the cash to close, including the seller’s side of a transaction like this, try the Web version of Close It™ or download the free Close It™ iOS app.

Clarifying a common misconception: title insurance premiums

We've said it before, and we want to make it absolutely clear because we continue to get questions about title insurance premiums. Title insurance premiums are NOT created equal.

While you no doubt have heard that title insurance underwriters are legally required to file their rates with the local insurance commission, underwriters do not file identical rate schedules.

It is true that title companies who are agents of the same underwriter must charge the same title insurance premium. But sometimes title companies become agents of multiple underwriters, using one title insurance underwriter for one jurisdiction and a second underwriter in another jurisdiction, etc.

Federal Title is a prime example of this. We use different underwriters depending on the jurisdiction, allowing us to pass extended savings on to our homebuyers.

We receive calls fairly regularly from confused agents, lenders and consumers who are wondering why our Quick Quote reflects a title insurance premium on a Maryland property that is hundreds of dollars less than the other quotes. It's not because our quote is incorrect, it's because our underwriter charges a lower premium.

That title insurance premiums are created equal is a common misconception we wish to clarify for our agents and lenders as well as consumers, because we believe they are our best ally when it comes to looking out for the best interest of our homebuyers.

Fewer hands in the pie means more pie to go around

Happy Pi Day! What better day than Pi Day to remind homebuyers about all the hands in their "pie" so to speak when it comes to real estate closings.

It's no surprise that everyone wants a piece of the proverbial pie, from the real estate agent's commission to the lender's fees to the government's taxes and, yes, even the title company's charges.

Having to share some of your pie is a fact of life. Having to give up all of your pie is a tragedy of life.

Just like homebuyers, we don't like having to give up our entire pie. That's why we have held firmly as an independent title company – we will not share our pie, or profits, with referral sources through Affiliated Business Arrangements or Marketing Service Agreements.

Not all title companies feel the way we do. They happily share their pie with their referral sources because they believe they can make it up by taking more pie from unassuming homebuyers. Unfortunately, they are often right.

Homebuyers who understand how much dough is at stake, however, are often surprised by the cost difference between one title company to the next. When made fully aware of these differences, most homebuyers choose to spend less.

With fewer hands in the pie, as our company founder Todd Ewing likes to say, there's more pie for everybody. In this case it means a cost savings of up to $750 for our clients.

The cost savings we extend to our homebuyers is part of our revolutionary REAL Credit™ program, which reflects costs passed through to consumers who close with other, affiliated title companies. To date, the cost savings hovers above $8 million.

That's a lot of pie.

Close It!™ House of the Week: Sophisticated urban living in LeDroit Park

We're swanking things up for this week's installment and checking out a luxurious Victorian semi-detached home that's achieved centenarian status in LeDroit Park. This home went on the market this week for $1.249 million.

This house offers two decks that overlook a private yard that is large enough for entertaining. In addition to 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms, this house also has an English basement that can be rented out to supplement the mortgage payment.

Assuming a homebuyer puts down 20 percent on a conventional loan, her cash to close number will be approximately $284,417.34. Monthly payments will then be around $5,461.90 per month. For a complete picture of the cash to close, including the seller's side of the transaction, try the Web version of Close It™ or download the free Close It™ iOS app.

  • 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

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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.