“Title insurance. What’s that?”

Jun 17th, 2014 | By FCT

My name is Sharon Milne and I have been interning at FCT for the last four weeks. I went back to school this year as a mature student to study Corporate Communications at Sheridan College.  At the end of the program each student must complete a five week internship.  Anne Cesak in Employee Experience at FCT generously took me on as an intern.  I consider myself fortunate to learn about FCT from a different perspective.  Several years ago, I was on the client side.

In 1994 I bought my first home.  I was young and single and “brand spanking new” was important to me.  I wasn’t the least bit bothered by the prospect of purchasing a new house.  You know … things like:

• Living in a fishbowl until I could afford window coverings
• Having absolutely no furniture other than my bed
• Being surrounded by mud for a year (or in my case clay – I lived in Oakville)
• Realizing my new neighbourhood had absolutely no trees … anywhere
• Not having a paved driveway for 18 months and,
• Having no fence in my backyard because my neighbours decided it could wait … for two years.

In 2000, my husband and I bought another new build and went through all the rigmarole again. None of this mattered as I revelled in the fact that everything was going to be shiny and new.  Ten years ago, we purchased our third home.  I marvelled at how much I had changed.  “Brand new” didn’t appeal to me as much as a larger property with beautiful mature trees. I spent two years searching for the perfect property, cognisant that it would have to be a “fixer upper” in order to fall within our budget.

One day, our real estate agent found a property that seemed to have everything on our wish list … except for one thing. It was far too expensive.  She was convinced there was a mistake on the price. Frankly, I was put out that she was showing us the property because it was $250,000 out of our price range. My husband James and I have always been on the same page when it came to finances. We were both savers and not huge risk takers, so I knew he wouldn’t go for it. He viewed the property first while I waited in the car with our three very young children. I was pregnant with our fourth and didn’t have the energy to view a property that was so ridiculously out of our price range.

James came out of the house with a boyish grin on his face and a skip in his step.  He quickly opened my car door and with a huge smile said, “Start writing the check, baby!”  WHAT!  I was stunned.  It was so out of character. He wasn’t even working at the time and didn’t seem fazed by my concern.  He simply stated, “It’s a risk we can’t afford not to take.” Although my gut wasn’t telling me to take the leap, I trusted his, albeit; somewhat reluctantly.

We ended up buying the house. When we met with our lawyer to sign the documents, there was something about the transaction that we had not encountered before.  Our lawyer strongly encouraged us to purchase title insurance. “Title insurance?  What’s that?”  He assured us that he did not get a cut of the fee, but felt it was important to protect ourselves.  He made a compelling case.  For a reasonable one-time fee and peace of mind, it only made sense to take our lawyer’s advice.

I have learned so much more about the importance of title insurance while interning at FCT.  There is no way I will ever purchase another home in the future without it.

Tell us about your first home buying experience!
Were you educated about title insurance when you purchased your first home?

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