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National Homeownership Month! According to the American Land Title Association (ALTA), June is National Homeownership Month, so it is the perfect time to reiterate the benefits of purchasing an owner’s policy of title insurance. Although an owner’s policy has many benefits, below are several reasons why it is so beneficial to a new homeowner.
- Protects Property Rights. A home is the single largest investment many people will make in their lifetime. Getting owner’s title insurance ensures your family’s property rights are protected and remain protected for as long as you or your heirs own the property.
- Reduces Risk and provides Peace of Mind. Obtaining an owner’s policy of title insurance reduces the risk of dealing with unforeseen recorded interests/issues that affect the property, including but not limited to recorded liens, judgments, mortgages, or someone claiming an ownership interest in the property. Owner’s title insurance lets you rest assured and have peace of mind once you close on the home.
- One-time premium. While other types of insurance require a monthly, quarterly or annual premium, an owner’s policy of title insurance is a one-time premium that is paid when the owner purchases the property and the premium is low compared to the amount of coverage and value it provides.
Brexit. As you know, Britain voted to leave the European Union (“EU”), shocking much of the world and leaving many wondering about the effects of such. Britain’s exit will affect not only the British economy, but the US economy as well. Global financial markets plunged following the announcement as results from a referendum showed a 52-48 percent victory for the campaign to leave the EU. The US is the largest single investor in Britain and many firms consider it the gateway to free trade with the nations that make up the EU. The Brexit may jeopardize access to those markets, possibly forcing relocation of the firms. Brexit could have a positive impact on mortgage rates, however, and if you plan to “holiday” over in England, the exchange rate has continued to improve as the Brexit decision drew closer.
Multi-generational homes. According to Zillow, more than a fifth of millennials are still living under their parents’ roof. The report estimated that nearly 21.4% of the 10 million Americans between the ages of 24 and 34 still lived with their parents in 2014, up from 13.1% in 2005. In addition, about 14.1 percent of these Millennials living at home were unemployed in 2014, and the majority of those who haven’t moved out yet (about 55%) were male. Good news: they are not anticipated to live there forever. According to the Census Bureau, in 2015, the median age of American men to marry for the first time is around 29 years old and for women around 27.
Housing Prices continue to increase. Home prices continued to increase in April, just 2.9% below their peak in 2006, according to a recent Black Knight Financial Services report. The median home price showed an increase of 5.4% from last year and 1% from last month, rising to $260,000.00.
Legal News and Case Law:
Flat Recording Fee and Condominium Legislation:
Great news! The Governor signed the flat recording fee package (SB 599-604, SB 737 and HB 5164-5165) and the condominium act amendment legislation (SB 610) into law. The recording package laws become effective 10-1-2016 and the condo legislation on 9-21-16. These were top legislative priorities for the MLTA and their passage will mean more certainty for consumers, lenders & title companies relative to recording fees and for developers and condo owners on the condo legislation.
As a reminder, the Flat Recording Fee package essentially does the following:
- Requires a fee of $30 to be paid to the register of deeds for recording a document, regardless of the number of pages.
- Requires a fee of $5 to be paid to certify a recorded document.
It’s important to note that this legislation doesn’t impact a charter county’s ability to impose a fee schedule by ordinance or resolution with different amounts than the flat fee. However, just as is in law today, a charter county cannot impose a fee that is greater than the cost of the service for which the fee is charged. There are two charter counties in Michigan, Wayne County and Macomb County, that could deviate from the $30.00 flat fee. If these counties should decide to not implement the flat fee, CSS will be sure to share that information with you.
As you know, Section 67 of the Michigan Condominium Act requires that if a developer doesn’t complete the construction of discretionary condo improvements within 10 years, then the right to construct those improvements ceases and the land is automatically reverted to the general common elements. SB 610, which Sen. O’Brien sponsored, would make the reversion language optional, not automatic, based upon a two-thirds vote of the affected association.
Corporate Settlement Solutions has many Michigan branch offices to serve you—Traverse City, Suttons Bay, Elk Rapids, Charlevoix, Bellaire, and Mt. Pleasant in addition to providing services throughout the eastern United States.
Maura A. Snabes, Esq., CES®, CLTP – Sr. Underwriting & Compliance Counsel
Phone: (231) 547-5220×102/802 Bridge St., Charlevoix, MI 49720
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