By Lydia Blair
Special Contributor

Closing costs are expensive when selling a property. Fortunately, they are deducted from the seller’s proceeds at the time of the sale. So when the expenses are lumped into the pile of paperwork at the closing table, the cost of selling a home can be less evident.

How much are closing costs? That depends. How nice are you to the title company?

Just kidding. 

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By Lydia Blair
Special Contributor

In my book, money is good. Cash is great. And when it comes to getting a good deal on a home, or making the transaction quick and easy, it’s been said that cash is king. But did you know that buying a home with cash – actual cold, hard cash – is almost impossible in Texas?

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By Lydia Blair
Special Contributor

I’d like to say there is no party in a PIP. But that’s not exactly true. Let’s just say there usually isn’t a fun party in a PIP.

In real estate, a PIP refers to Parties in Possession. And we’re not talking about a holiday party or drug possession. These kinds of parties in possession can be more agonizing than a New Year’s hangover.

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By Lydia Blair
Special Contributor

The annual Texas Land and Title Institute has successfully plowed through the snowy Hyatt Hill Country Resort in San Antonio. Jam packed with attorneys and title professionals from across the state, this conference had an impressive Dallas contingency braving the cold.

I caught up with Chicago Title‘s Bill Woodall and Debby Moore, who are recently engaged and attended this event. These two make up the newest and best looking power couple in the title business. Bill runs two offices, serving residential and commercial closings in both Preston Center and on LBJ. Debby specializes in commercial closings. That’s a lot of title industry brain power under one roof.

We chatted about surveys, easements, encroachments, and boundary line issues. Not the typical lunch conversation for most couples. But survey techniques and standards have changed in recent years causing property line issues all over the state. And these pros deal with them daily.

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CandysDirt.com presents a new feature on everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the title business (and then some): deeds, the closing process, and the title company business. Why, when you buy a home in Texas, do you have to close at a title company? Can you close elsewhere? Can you shop around for title policy rates?  Who chooses the title company and why? How is the home closing business changing with the times? And what, ye gads, would happen if the title company did not pay off your mortgage as promised?  Our inquiring real estate minds have always wanted to know this stuff, so we reached out to former Realtor turned title company expert Lydia Player Blair, who will be reporting on the title business for us exclusively.

And it’s not nearly as scary as it sounds. Take it away, Lydia: (more…)