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Mexico vows to keep looking for ‘lost’ island: a reminder why you want title insurance

June 26, 2009 by  
Filed under Quick

Island in Mexico

“Isla Bermeja” appears on maps from the 1700′s near the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. But nobody knows where it really is, if exists at all. The Mexican government want’s to use it to establish the border to Mexico, and take ownership of some oil rich deposits, that otherwise lie in international waters. Title to these deposits is in dispute, and oil puts a lot of money at stake.

A house is typically the largest purchase a person will make in a life time. It would be distressing to find out that someone else claims ownership of your house. Maybe the sellers thought they owned it, but some technicallity proves otherwise. More typically, a shed or a corner of the garage might cross into someone else’s land. In either case, your quiet enjoyment of your home is in jeopardy. When you buy a home with a mortgage, the bank has you pay for a title insurance policy that protects them from such title worries. But, this does not protect your equity, only the portion still owed to the bank. Your title company will have offered you an owners policy. Not everyone gets one, since it is not required. It is that policy which will come to your defense when your neighbor says your home is on their property. Maybe you will be fine, but that lost island is a reminder why you might want your own title insurance policy.

Read more about the lost island.

Photo credit, Wonderlane.

Verify the new FHA loan limits for the county you are home shopping in…

May 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Quick

US Capitol Building

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 established the current FHA loan limits. FHA loans are the most popular financing choice right now. You can buy a house with only 3.5% of the purchase price as a down payment. The seller can help with other closing costs. But you have to keep the loan value below the limit set for each county. Maryland has pretty high limits, so first time home buyers should be fine. Still it is good to know what the limits are:

County Single Family Loan Limit
ALLEGANY $271050
ANNE ARUNDEL $560000
BALTIMORE $560000
BALTIMORE CITY $560000
CALVERT $729750
CAROLINE $271050
CARROLL $560000
CECIL $420000
CHARLES $729750
DORCHESTER $271050
FREDERICK $729750
GARRETT $437500
HARFORD $560000
HOWARD $560000
KENT $343750
MONTGOMERY $729750
PRINCE GEORGE’S $729750
QUEEN ANNE’S $560000
SOMERSET $328750
ST. MARY’S $400000
TALBOT $443750
WASHINGTON $377500
WICOMICO $328750
WORCESTER $437500

Look up other states or multi-family home limits at the HUD FHA Mortage Limits page.

Photo credit, Rob Pongsajapan.