Tag Archive for: Access Title Agency

Buying New or a Resale?

by Lynn M. Bower, PA
John R. Wood Properties


Lynn M. BowerBuying Real Estate – Old versus New

Our team has been helping customers buy and sell homes since 2004. We have gone through the good times starting in 2004 through 2007, and then we all saw the nationwide devastating period after the real estate boom. Those days are in the past and today we have over 50 new communities currently under construction in the Naples area. So when we work with buyers the question always arises “should I buy new or a resale”? This is a good problem to have but there are a few viewpoints we would like to share.

Buying in a new community:

·  New homes afford you fewer worries for a number of years in terms of appliance breakdowns and roofing issues. Most developers offer a one year warranty on their work and more on items like roofs and etc.

·  New will usually offer lower HOA fees until the community takes it over from the developer then they almost always rise.

·  New will enable you to take advantage of developer’s current incentives. NOTE: there are more during the summer slow months than in the peak of buying in the season/winter. Please note, if you are not working with a Realtor when it comes time to sign the contracts – you should. There are nuances in the contract that a seasoned agent know or will pick up and in the end help you the consumer. Also know that if you stop into a new community without a Realtor they ALWAYS have the visitor sign in. If you do so without your agent with you then you will not have any representation unless you hire an attorney before signing a contract.

·  If you have to sell before the developer finishes the project then you are in direct competition as a seller competing with the developer whose incentives could lessen your pool of buyers.

Buying a resale property

Naples was built from the beach eastward. Most of the buildings closer to the beach are older, however, in real estate it is always about location, location, location. With a resale you will have an established community most often closer to shopping, mature landscaping and almost always larger lots. The price developers are paying for land today coupled with labor costs drives them to build as many homes on a parcel as the county will allow them.

We have buyers who want the least expensive resale home in the nicest neighborhoods so they can remodel to their tastes. We also have buyers that want the home that has been remodeled so they don’t have to go through the mess. As far as condos go they are usually closer to the beach as well but again, older. There are some new condos being built for the first time in 8 years near the beach. Those prices start in the million dollar range.

When purchasing a resale the title search is imperative.  We have found so many mistakes in titling and building code infractions, all of which can undermine a closing. Needless to say Access Title Agency is one of our favorite go to companies for the last 4 years.

So, as they say “different strokes for different folks”. Until you work with a full time Realtor to discuss your wants and needs it can be a very daunting task finding that perfect home in Southwest Florida.

If you would like to see the quarterly statistics on Naples, FL resales you may go to www.TheBowerTeam.com  and then scroll down under Market News. The statistics represent a number of years in the past as well as most current.


Lynn M. Bower, PA
The Bower Team
Local Realtor. Global Reach.
Direct: (239)438-6784
www.TheBowerTeam.com for direct MLS access

John R. Wood Circle of Excellence 2012, 2013, 2014
Women’s Council of Realtors Past President

John R Wood logo


John R. Wood Properties
3255 Tamiami Trail N.
Naples, FL 34103



Title Insurance Listed as “Optional”

title Insurance folderThe new closing disclosure in October refers to the Owner’s Title Insurance as optional.  It will be important to be prepared to answer any questions that your customer may have and how the insurance protects them and their investment.  In addition, if the Buyer elects to “opt out” of the coverage will you be responsible should something arise down the road for having not advised them?  If the consumer declines coverage after seeing the closing disclosure, the rate structure may change and pose an issue of re-disclosure resulting in potential closing delays.

At Access Title Agency, we have a handout available for you to share with your customers so that they are informed and ready prior to signing the contract.  If they have questions, we are always happy to speak with them on this important issue.

If they elect to decline coverage after reviewing, we will have a disclosure signed by the Buyer that they elected to not afford themselves with this important insurance to protect them and their interest!

Click here for what is title insurance.

Encrypted email is important!

The American Land Title Association best practices recommend that Title Agents adopt and maintain a written privacy and information security program to protect Non-public Personal Information (NPI) as required by local, state and federal laws. Email Encryption is highly recommended because Title professionals are third-party vendors to Lenders and the requirements placed on Lenders by Gramm-Leach-Bliley and similar laws flow through to title and settlement providers.Encrypted email

As a Realtor, you should also demand that your title provider have email encryption to protect your Buyers and Sellers. Title Agents and Attorneys obtain social security numbers for payoffs, tax returns, wire instructions for sending proceeds and other sensitive information. You want to ensure that a breach does not occur with a company you recommended! What a great marketing tool for you to promote to your clients…that you have researched and are looking out for their security and protection to the best of your ability!

Our encryption service at Access Title Agency is smooth, without passwords or links to deal with. In fact 90% of our email recipients will not even notice.

Peace of mind for your and your clients!

How Savvy are you in Real Estate?


If you said “C” 7 years, you are correct!

Adverse Possession

The law of adverse possession says when an individual publicly moves into an otherwise neglected property and improves this property, they can be granted title to it after a period of time. Florida adverse possession laws require claimants to occupy a given property for at least 7 years and either under “color of title” or payment of property taxes for seven years.

See more here:http://leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm

Delayed Implementation of Changes – Know Before You Owe

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a proposed amendment to the Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule, which proposes to move the rule’s effective date to October 3, 2015. The rule, also called the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule, requires easier-to-use mortgage disclosure forms that clearly lay out the terms of a mortgage for a homebuyer. The Bureau is issuing the proposal to correct an administrative error that would have delayed the effective date of the rule by at least two weeks, until August 15 at the earliest.


The CFPB is proposing a new effective date of Saturday, October 3. The Bureau believes that moving the effective date may benefit both industry and consumers with a smoother transition to the new rules. The Bureau further believes that scheduling the effective date on a Saturday may facilitate implementation by giving industry time over the weekend to launch new systems configurations and to test systems. A Saturday launch is also consistent with existing industry plans tied to the original effective date of Saturday, August 1.

The proposal will be open for public comment until July 7.


Access Title Has Encryption Email

Encrypted EmailIn keeping up with changing regulations, Access Title Agency, LLC now has an encryption email service!

Peace of mind to all when we are dealing with sensitive id information.

How will your clients feel if there is a breach at a settlement provider that you directed them to?

Make sure your title provider is compliant with Title Best Practices to protect yourself and your clients.

Vetted, Secure and Approved Title Agency!

SSI Vetted Agent Seal only- VCP (final)

Access Title Agency has been vetted and is now an approved settlement provider!

Secure Settlements Inc. (SSI) has launched its “Know Your Agent” program which enhances the company’s closing agent vetting and risk management service for lenders. Under this program, SSI has been issuing full color ID cards to vetted closing professionals.

The ID cards, which are intended to be worn as identification at mortgage closings nationwide, will fulfill several important fraud deterrent goals.

  1. The first is to clearly identify to all parties at the closing table, particularly consumers, the identity of the agent handling the mortgage proceeds and documents.
  2. The second is to confirm the agent’s independently vetted risk status.

The cards feature a full color photo, the agent’s name, company name, SSI registration number and vetted agent status expiration date. Each ID card is electronically imbedded with the agent’s name and registration number. This feature will allow the card to be used with SSI’s proprietary, at-closing Best Practices and Fraud Control Application for droid, iPad and iPhone technology.

“This is another step forward towards enhancing the integrity of mortgage originations with a focus on verifying best practices applicable at the closing table, a part of the process often overlooked when consumer protections are considered,” said E. Robert Levy Esq., former deputy commissioner of Banking in New Jersey, and an SSI Advisory Board member.

“Our ‘Know Your Agent’ proprietary risk management and fraud deterrent tool is part of the continued effort of SSI to develop new programs and tools to help lenders fight closing table fraud while also protecting consumers,” said SSI President Andrew Liput. “We are excited about this new program and the response it has already received in the industry.

Together with the SSI vetted professional seal, the agent ID card allows vetted agents to demonstrate their commitment to independent risk evaluation to their industry partners and clients, including consumers. The SSI app technology in development provides real time verification of best practice and quality control expectations, meeting regulatory concerns as well as industry needs for better management of standards and practices across the very diverse disciplines that comprise the closing profession.

We refuse to stand still, but rather we are constantly working on program and technology enhancements to remain the industry leader in closing agent risk management.”

“The ‘Know Your Agent’ ID program is just another reason why our mortgage company uses SSI for its third-party closing agent risk management platform,” said Tom Marinaro, president of Residential Home Funding. “Consumers need to know who is handling the critical functions at the closing table, and now they can be assured about the person’s identity and risk status. I think it’s fabulous and I am amazed no one thought of it before!”

Same Sex Marriage and Title Insurance

Are you prepared to discuss real estate and vesting on deeds with your clients since Florida is issuing same-sex marriage licenses?

Read on for one Underwriters perspective.

Old Republic continues to monitor the law regarding same sex marriage, but currently it is still unsettled. Until there is a definitive ruling, our position is as follows:

When both spouses are going into title, you should put their marital status on the deed as instructed. Same sex marriageThey should tell you how they want to take title (i.e., a married couple, married to each other, husband and husband, wife and wife, etc.).

If they do not tell you, you should ask them if they want title vested “as joint tenants with rights of survivorship” or “as tenants in common.” If they do not know, advise them to consult with their attorney to discuss which method adequately meets their estate planning goals for the future. Right now, it is not clear if Florida will be recognizing a tenancy by the entirety (which is automatic when someone takes title as “husband and wife”).

At this point, since we don’t know yet if Florida will be recognizing tenancy by the entireties, judgments against one spouse should be cleared, and a probate will be required if one spouse dies and the grantees did not take title as joint tenants with right of survivorship. If only one spouse is on title, you will need joinder of the other spouse on a mortgage or deed for homestead rights. Commitments should include this in the requirements section if the owner tells you he/she has been legally married in a same-sex ceremony (just like we do now with heterosexual marriages).





We are here to help if you have any questions.


Note: No legal advice or suggestions are being given.
If you feel you do not receive value in our tips, please feel free to unsubscribe at: info/[email protected]

Geographical Competency and the Real Estate Appraiser

Real Estate ContractI often hear from real estate professionals that a sale has fallen through because the lender-ordered appraisal did not support the contract price.  In many cases, the appraiser assigned to the file has traveled from outside our market area and may not meet the requirements of “geographical competency” as required by the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) and Fannie Mae.  Lack of competence in any market typically leads to erroneous and unreliable value estimates.

The Competency Rule of USPAP is very clear on this issue:

Prior to accepting an assignment or entering into an agreement to perform any assignment, an appraiser must properly identify the problem to be addressed and have the knowledge and experience to complete the assignment competently; or alternatively, must:

1. disclose the lack of knowledge and/or experience to the client before accepting the assignment;

2. take all steps necessary or appropriate to complete the assignment competently; and

3. describe the lack of knowledge and/or experience and the steps taken to complete the assignment competently in the report.

Fannie Mae guidelines state that Lenders must use appraisers that:

Have the requisite knowledge required to perform a professional quality appraisal for the specific geographic location and particular property type; and have the requisite knowledge about, and access to, the necessary and appropriate data sources for the area in which the appraisal assignment is located.

Appraisers that are not familiar with specific real estate markets may not have adequate information available to perform a reliable appraisal.  Although the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) allows an appraiser that does not have the appropriate knowledge and experience to accept an appraisal assignment by providing procedures with which the appraiser can complete the assignment, Fannie Mae does not allow the USPAP flexibility.

To insure the lender receives an appraisal report that complies with USPAP and Fannie Mae guidelines, I suggest that when a real estate professional is contacted by an appraiser to schedule an inspection of the property, first determine that the appraiser has local knowledge and experience and has access to the MLS data systems for the market area in which the subject property is located.   If the answers to these questions are unsatisfactory, do not schedule the inspection, have the buyer instruct their lender to send a “geographically competent” appraiser.  Better perhaps to “nip it in the bud” rather than find yourself appealing the appraisal results at the eleventh hour.

Cindy Carroll, SRA
State-Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser RD615
[email protected]

Carroll & Carroll logo




2805 Horseshoe Drive S., Ste 1
Naples, FL  34104-6161
Phone: 239.775.1147
Fax: 239.775.2154