CLOSE IT! House of the Week: A High-Rise Available in Chinatown

Looking for a high-rise pad to make into a man or woman cave in the District? Well look no further because we have found the perfect condo at The Lafayette at Penn Quarter which lists for $465,000. This one-bedroom, one-bathroom spans over 700 square feet with granite kitchen counter tops and panoramic views from your bedroom balcony. You're also super close to the National Mall should you want to go for a jog or a bike ride while the sun is rising or setting overlooking historic views. Don’t forget, as of October 1, 2017, you could qualify for the DC First-Time Homebuyer Recordation Tax Reduction and Federal Title & Escrow Company will help you submit your application!   

Assuming a homebuyer puts down 20 percent, their cash-to-close would be $106,695 and monthly mortgage payments would be approximately $1,358. However, for a complete picture of what your cash-to-close figures would be, including seller’s net proceeds from the sale and such, view the Close It! Web version or download the free Close It! iOS app

Feel free to tell your real estate agent that you want to use Federal Title & Escrow Company for settlement and save up to $750 on closing costs by ordering services online. Always remember, it’s your choice in selecting a settlement company when it’s time to close. 

CLOSE IT! House of the Week: A family home located in the residences at Adam's Row

View this stunning townhome in Northeast, D.C., which lists for $575,000. The detached townhome has four bedrooms and three in a half bathrooms perfect for a family of four or five. It spans over 1,786 square feet and has four levels of living space to include a large master suite with a balcony, three additional spacious bedrooms perfect for children, modernized bathrooms, and a beautiful kitchen to enjoy Sunday family dinners. Plus a basement!

Assuming a homebuyer puts down five percent, their cash- to-close would be $45,148.02 and monthly mortgage payments would be approximately $2,348.95. However, for a complete picture of what your cash-to-close figures would be, including seller’s net proceeds from the sale and such, view the Close It! Web version or download the free Close It! iOS app

Feel free to tell your real estate agent that you want to use Federal Title & Escrow Company for settlement and save up to $750 on closing costs by ordering services online. Always remember, it’s your choice in selecting a settlement company when it’s time to close. 

Close It! House of the Week: A home to love in Chevy Chase

Close It! House of the Week: A home to love in Chevy Chase

We’ve made our way to the D.C. side of Chevy Chase to see about a wonderful home filled with lots of light, charm and character. It’s listed for $935,000.

Featuring 3 BR / 1.5 BA and a bonus room, this detached single family home also offers lots of room to grow: walk-up attic, unfinished basement and studio in the back yard. A lovely sunroom overlooks a terraced garden and deck for cookouts and entertaining.

Assuming a homebuyer puts down 20 percent on a conventional loan, her cash to close number will be approximately $213,782.36. Monthly payments will then be around $4,432.84. For a complete picture of cash-to-close, including the seller’s net proceeds from this home-sale scenario, check out the Close It! Web version or download the free Close It! iOS app.

CLOSE IT! House of the Week: A town home in Bloomingdale

CLOSE IT! House of the Week: A town home in Bloomingdale

A beautiful Victorian style townhouse located in LeDroit Park has an open floor plan with a modernized gourmet kitchen, perfect for hosting and entertaining. The unit includes 3 bedrooms and 3 spa like bathrooms with a bonus outdoor patio area on the property. The town home spans over 1,800 square feet and could be yours just in time for a Labor Day weekend celebration for only $869,000.

Other features:

  • Recess lighting throughout the home
  • Driveway and street parking
  • Off bedroom balcony
  • Pets allowed
  • Walk Score® – 95 Walkers Paradise
  • Transit Sore – 78 Excellent Transit
  • Bike Score – 84 Very Bikeable

Assuming the home buyer puts down 5 percent on a conventional loan, their cash to close would be $67,012 and monthly payments would be approximately $3,572. For a more accurate picture of what the cash-to-close figures would be for you, including the seller’s net proceeds and such, visit the CLOSE IT! web version calculator here or download the CLOSE IT! iOS app to your smart phone or tablet.

Feel free to tell your real estate agent that you want to use Federal Title & Escrow Company for settlement and save up to $750 on closing cost by ordering online. Always remember, it’s your choice in selecting a settlement company when it’s time to close. 

How to change your chosen title company after you have a ratified sales contract

Most homebuyers know by now that it’s their legal right to choose their own title company and that shopping for title services is one of the most effective ways to reduce costs at the closing table.

(For those who haven’t heard this, read our content on Marketing Service Agreements and Affiliated Business Arrangements and see for yourself how these common deals jack up closing costs for consumers.)

But what happens if a homebuyer doesn’t learn about this important right until after her sales contract has been drafted, accepted and signed by all parties? And is it possible to change title companies once a title company has been designated in the contract and an earnest money deposit has been delivered to that designated title company?

The short answer is you can change your mind with the consent of the seller, through a simple addendum to the sales contract. View our a settlement agent-change sample addendum.

Once the addendum is completed and signed by all parties, the homebuyer can then use the new title company listed on the addendum.

Even if the earnest money deposit was already delivered, with the addendum in place, the new title company would simply reach out to the old title company holding the funds and arrange for a wire transfer. That’s it!

How might a homebuyer find herself in a situation where she wishes to change her company after all parties have signed a sales contract with a designated and undesired title company?

First and foremost, we encourage every homebuyer to get closing cost quotes from several local title companies and compare costs and online reputations to avoid this situation. We also remind homebuyers that title companies don’t necessarily include all the same services in their settlement fee. Sometimes additional services, i.e., document fees, processing fees, amount to hidden costs, so it’s important to ask what services are included and what extra costs may be charged.

And while it’s technically illegal for real estate agents to fill in the name of a preferred title company if their brokerage has a professional affiliation with that title company, the practice persists. In these cases, homebuyers may not realize until after they have a ratified sales contract that they could have chosen their own title company.

It’s important to ask your agent if his company has a professional affiliation with the title company he’s listed in your sales contract and what benefits or incentives the real estate agent or brokerage may be receiving by recommending that title company. Sometimes the answer is there is no affiliation; the agent is familiar with a certain company and recommends that company from the perspective of good service and pricing.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with an agent directing their client to use their favorite title company, except that it may lead a homebuyer to falsely believe she does not have a choice, or once a title company’s name is written into the contract and that contract is ratified, the decision is set in stone and the title company can’t be changed.

A homebuyer maintains a right to choose her own title company and also has the right to change her mind and choose a different title company.

This isn’t an invitation to change title companies several times prior to closing or to change for no good reason. Keep in mind any addendum to a ratified sales contract must be signed by all parties, including the sellers. You may risk delaying closing, annoying your sellers or even causing your deal to fall through by abusing your right to change title companies after you have a ratified sales contract.

We put this post together specifically to help those who learned after the fact they could have chosen their own title company and would like to exercise that right. Two primary reasons a homebuyer may choose to change title companies might be she’s found a title company that charges lower prices and/or provides better customer service than the company initially listed on the sales contract.

  • Ways to save at closing

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

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  • What are closing costs?

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

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  • What's title insurance?

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

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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.