Welcome to American Title Guaranty!

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American Title Guaranty and their underwriters provide stability, integrity, experience and personal service that home buyers and sellers should insist on.

Protect yourself against the loss due to title defects. Insist on title insurance policies from American Title Guaranty, Inc.

Please let us know if there are other things you’d like to see on the website or there is anything else we can do to help you have peace of mind in your unique situation.

Feb. new-home sales soar to 7-year high

Doug Carroll, USA TODAY4:24 p.m. EDT March 24, 2015

3-26-15New-home sales soared almost 8% in February as a snowy winter month failed to deter buyers as expected.

Sales of single-family homes rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 539,000, up 7.8% from January, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That dwarfed economists’ median forecast for a 470,000 annual rate and a small monthly decline, according to Action Economics’ survey before the report.

Instead, January’s sales rate also was revised up to 500,000 from 481,000 previously reported.

February’s rate was the highest since February 2008. The last time new-home sales had back-to-back months with rates at or topping 500,000 was in April-May 2008, according to Census Bureau data from Haver Analytics.

Preliminary figures released Tuesday show February sales rates compared with January’s surged 152% in the Northeast, fell 13% in the Midwest, rose 10% in the South and fell 6% in the West. The South and West account for the bulk of the national total.

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Stay or go? The aging homeowner’s dilemma

By Dennis E. Noonan GLOBE CORRESPONDENT  

3-16-15We had a big decision to make. The shrubs in front had become overgrown and ratty-looking. Several trees were now too close to the house. We worried that they might fall on the roof in the next hurricane. Because of the shade, the backyard garden was getting less than three hours of sun on a good day. The arborist’s pricey estimate to fix these issues gave us reason to question whether we would be staying in this house long enough to justify the expense. This is a common dilemma for seniors who live in older homes.

Like many seniors, my wife, Judy, and I are constantly reviewing our options for the future: Should we stay here or sell the property and go to a smaller, newer place?

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Fannie Mae Releases February 2015 National Housing Survey

Author: Samantha Guzman in Daily Dose, Data, Featured March 9, 2015

3-10-15Consumers were more optimistic toward the economy than they’ve been at any point in the last five years, according to Fannie Mae’s February 2015 National Housing Survey released Monday.

The percentage of respondents who said they believe the economy is on the right track increased by 3 percentage points since January’s survey up to 47 percent, an all-time high since the survey began nearly five years ago. The rise in consumer optimism is largely attributed to recent employment gains, which totaled nearly 300,000 for February and averaged 266,000 per month in the last 12 months, according to themost recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In that same BLS report, the nation’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.5 percent, its lowest level in nearly seven years.

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Lenders begin easing requirements to get a mortgage

By KENNETH R. HARNEY

A closely watched index that tracks mortgage credit availability — lender requirements on credit scores, down payments and other key loan terms — has some good news for potential home buyers: Things are finally loosening up.

After years of progressively tighter rules on borrower eligibility in the wake of the housing bust, banks and mortgage companies have begun modestly easing their requirements and even expanding the types of mortgages they offer. The Mortgage Bankers Assn.’s latest credit availability index reported improvements in all four of its loan categories during January. The improvements mainly reflect positive lender responses to government efforts to ease regulations and improve affordability in the housing market — all of which means an improved environment for mortgage shoppers

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Low down payments make a comeback

CNNMoney (New York) February 17, 2015: 8:28 AM ET

“It’s one of the things that’s inhibiting first-time homebuyers,” said Rob Chrane, president of Down Payment Resource. “There are a lot more people who can qualify for a home that don’t realize that they can.”

FHA cuts insurance costs

The Federal Housing Administration has long backed loans for borrowers with lower credit scores and with down payments as low as 3.5%, but until this year it also required hefty insurance payments.

FHA monthly insurance premiums dropped dramatically at the beginning of 2015. The change, from 1.35% to only 0.85%, will make FHA loans a better choice for some borrowers after years of prohibitively high premiums, said Anthony Hsieh, chief executive officer of loanDepot, one of the largest FHA lenders in the country.

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Home Loan Programs Let Buyers Put Less Down

FEB. 6, 2015
By Tara Siegel Bernard

2-10-15One of the biggest hurdles to buying a home is accumulating the pile of cash for a down payment. By some estimates, it could take two decades to come up with a respectable 10 percent.With the introduction of several new programs, prospective home buyers with little money to put down now have more options to consider. But they will need to sort through the many rules and fine print to find the most cost-effective loan, and they may ultimately come to the realization that it actually pays to wait and save a bit more.
Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recently introduced similar programs aimed at middle-income borrowers that permit down payments as low as 3 percent. And the Federal Housing Administration, which insures loans and generally requires down payments of at least 3.5 percent, recently lowered one of its fees, making the program a bit more competitive with the two new options.

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Real estate is missing an opportunity to reach qualified buyers

by Rob Chrane
Feb 2

inmanAfter decades of operating on the day-to-day transactional side of this industry as an agent and lender, I now enjoy a unique vantage point where the housing industry intersects — real estate, mortgage lending, quasi-governmental housing agencies, policymakers and nonprofit organizations, and, of course, the homebuyer. My observations over the past five years have reinforced some of my long-held beliefs while challenging and even altering others.

First, what hasn’t changed is my respect for real estate professionals who make an honest living in this crazy business. What has changed is my appreciation of how difficult it is for many people and organizations to shake outdated perceptions when opportunity calls.

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3 Things Consumers Should Consider When Shopping for a Title Company

January 29, 2015

WASHINGTON — Purchasing a home is the single largest investment most consumers make in their lifetime. Soon the spring homebuying season will begin and the American Land Title Association (ALTA) reminds consumers of the three most important things to consider when shopping for a title company.

    1. The cost for title insurance varies across the United States and homebuyers need to make certain they have proper protection for their investment.

      To determine title insurance policy premium costs in your area consumers should talk to a local title company. When comparing fees, it’s important to get detailed information about what services are included in a fee to help ensure equal comparisons. In some states, the seller pays for the owner’s title insurance policy. Consumers should also consider and compare all of the associated costs. Some rates may or may not include other services provided by the title company such as conducting the closing, preparing and notarizing documents and other services. When comparing one rate to another, be sure to get detailed information on what is included in that rate, so you are comparing equally. For more information about title insurance, please visit www.homeclosing101.org.

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Title problems can snag your closing

By Joe Gentile January 26

1-28-15You put your house on the market and you find a buyer right away who offered you not only your asking price but also was willing to pay in cash with no contingencies. Everything is going perfectly! But then it all comes crashing down.

The title company calls to let you know the title is not clear because there is an unreleased lien from 1997. They ask you for proof of payoff and release. You panic. Who keeps paperwork from that long ago?  And what is an unreleased lien?

The unexpected unreleased mortgage lien rears its ugly head all too often, according to those of us charged with shepherding consumers through the last stages of home buying.

This situation usually occurs when homeowners paid off their mortgage and continued to live in their homes without obtaining proof that the loan was paid in full. It is not until they try to sell or refinance that they discover they have an unreleased mortgage lien. By then the bank that originated the loan most likely has been absorbed by several bigger banks. It’s still possible to release the mortgage lien but it’s going to take a lot of work. And if you are the heir of the homeowner, it is going to be even more of a hassle.

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Freddie Mac: Housing to get boost in 2015 but it won’t last

Trey Garrison
January 20, 2015 4:01PM

1-21-15Freddie Mac says it expects mortgage rates to hover around 4% through mid-2015, and while there are some of the positive tailwinds buoying the economy at the start of the year, some may not stick around for long.

Expect mortgage rates to remain around 4% for the first two quarters of the year as long as uncertainty in foreign markets continues to result in a flight to safety into U.S. Treasury long-term bonds, the GSE reports.

“On balance there are a lot of positive opportunities in the U.S. economy at the start of the year, and the real question is whether or not households and businesses will be able to seize these opportunities and make the most of them. The reprieve in interest rates and drop in gas prices should help to spur economic growth,” says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “Until rates start to rise later in the year, housing markets should respond positively and we anticipate increases in home sales and continued improvement in construction activity. With rates lower at the beginning of the year, we’ll see higher than expected refinance volumes as well.”

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