Forms You May Be Asked to Sign That Have Nothing to Do With Your Offer

Jun 30, 2022

Let’s face it, there can be both excitement and anxiety when you’re making an offer on a new house. With all of that emotion, it’s so important to understand what…

Read Full Post
buyer's guide to savings og

Home Buyer’s Guide to Savings

Jun 15, 2022

THE ALT TITLE HOME BUYER’S GUIDE TO SAVINGS 5 Strategies for minimizing out-of-pocket closing costs in today’s market. ALT works with local lenders and real estate professionals to turn home…

Read Full Post

Avoid the One Stop Shop

Jun 1, 2022

The one stop shop approach may sound convenient, but let the buyer beware. All-under-one-roof is rarely a cost effective way to shop for anything, especially a house.

Read Full Post
Homeowners Title Insurance

Realtor Lender Page

Apr 4, 2022

Supporting Real Estate Professionals Since 2002 Technology, Service & Savings for Your Clients ALT Title is a full service title insurance and settlement service company conducting business throughout Pennsylvania from…

Read Full Post

Save Thousands of Dollars on Pennsylvania Real Estate Closing Costs with These 5 Tips

Jan 9, 2022

Buying a home? Refinancing a mortgage? Save thousands of dollars on Pennsylvania real estate closing costs – in any market – with these 5 tips.

Read Full Post
Owner's Title Insurance

Is owner’s title insurance really optional?

Jun 3, 2020

Owner’s title insurance is optional, there is no law that requires it. But when you understand the benefits, you’ll realize that peace of mind isn’t as expensive as you might think.

Read Full Post
Owner's Title Insurance - ALT Title PA

Shop around! Don’t pay too much for title insurance.

Jun 1, 2020

Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind as you shop around for title insurance: 1. Don’t waive your right to choose your own title company. Your real…

Read Full Post
Buying or Refinancing a Home? - ALT Title PA

ALT Video

Feb 12, 2018
Read Full Post
Homeowners Title Insurance

First Time Home Buyer’s Guide to Title Insurance & Final Settlement

Jan 29, 2018

First Time Home Buyer’s Guide to Title Insurance & Final Settlement You don’t need help answering fluffy questions like what kind of neighborhood do you want, or what’s the difference…

Read Full Post
What to Expect From Your Title Settlement Company? | ALT Title PA

What to Expect From a Full Service Settlement Company

Mar 30, 2017

When you finally find the perfect home for you and your family and the seller accepts your offer, you’re not quite across the finish line. There is still plenty of…

Read Full Post
Owner's Title Insurance PA

What is Owner’s Title Insurance? Do I Need It?

Mar 30, 2017

Owner’s title insurance offers essential protection against the unknown. Legally, it is not required, but let the buyer beware…

Read Full Post
Fees When Buying a House

What Happens at Settlement?

Mar 30, 2017

If you’re in the final stretch of buying a new house, it’s still not quite time to pat yourself on the back. You’ve made it this far and are inches…

Read Full Post
ALT Guide to TRID for real estate professionals

The Real Estate Professional’s Guide to the new TRID Rules

Oct 1, 2015

TRID rules go into effect Oct 3, 2015 and will change the consumer mortgage process. Understand the integrated forms, the new processes and timelines.

Read Full Post
Save Hundreds of Dollars - ALT Title Insurance PA

Buying or Selling a Home? This is where you’ll get ripped off.

Aug 25, 2015

The real estate industry is also famous for excessive junk fees and kickbacks on ancillary services. Negotiating for reduced or waived fees could save you thousands of dollars at the settlement table. Here are the fees to watch out for.

Read Full Post
The Consumers Guide to TRID by ALT

ALT’s Consumer’s Guide to TRID

Aug 12, 2015

TRID: Get an overview of the new regulations that will reform the consumer mortgage and settlement process starting in October 2015.

Read Full Post
Danger

The Current Real Estate Model Is In DANGER

Jul 20, 2015

There are already some big hints at the decline of the traditional real estate model in the consumer’s mind, as over 90% of consumers initiate their home search by looking at online listings. There’s no doubt that the reputation and the relevancy of the entire industry is at stake, and real estate agents and brokers are approaching the crossroads.

Read Full Post
Top 4 Keys to Selling Your House

There are 4 keys to selling your house. The rest is nonsense.

Jun 12, 2015

There are four main ingredients to be successful in selling your house. All of the other nonsense is just personal promotion to justify hefty commissions.

Read Full Post
Calculating Title Insurance Costs

Avoid the end of the month for your next real estate closing

Jun 4, 2015

Is it better to schedule your closing at the end of the month or the beginning? There’s no monetary advantage either way, but if you avoid the last few days of the month you’ll be much more likely to have a smooth closing.

Read Full Post
Real Estate Taxes

When are my real estate taxes officially due?

May 20, 2015

If you’re moving from Philadelphia to one of the outlying suburbs you’ll need to become familiar with the different real estate related taxes, when they’re due and who collects them.…

Read Full Post
ALT Title PA

Start talking money…because I’m not really listening!

Apr 30, 2015

Home buyers and sellers want transparency and information from their real estate agent, not a slick sales pitch. So get the price out of the way.

Read Full Post
ALT Title PA title Insurance Quote Settlement Services

Can’t swing a new house because of equity?

Apr 16, 2015

Can’t make a move because you have little or zero equity? You have 2 options to consider before giving up or depleting your savings to make it happen.

Read Full Post

What is an Affiliated Business Arrangement (ABA) and are they even legal?

Mar 19, 2015

An Affiliated Business Arrangement, a legal way to share profits in the real estate industry, limits consumer choice and drives up the cost of buying a house.

Read Full Post
Condominiums

The Battle Over Real Estate Commissions & Fees

Mar 5, 2015

When it comes to real estate and automobiles don’t try to distract me with percentages and monthly payment amounts. If you’re selling your $300,000 house, 6% doesn’t sound as expensive as $18,000. As a consumer I want to speak in actual dollars and I don’t want to pay you a penny more than I have to for your services.

Read Full Post
Excellent Reviews by Clients - Alt Title PA

The Importance of Your Credit Report

Feb 9, 2015

Your credit report plays a key role when you are trying to get a mortgage to buy or refinance a home. Whether your time frame is within the next six months or the next few years, it’s time to look at your credit report and address any issues.

Read Full Post
Buying a House - ALT Title PA

A Practical Approach for a Younger and Smarter Generation of Home Buyers

Jan 12, 2015

Buying a home is a major decision. Here are the questions you should be asking yourself before getting emotionally involved in the process of searching.

Read Full Post

Message for Wells Fargo Settlement Agents

Dec 12, 2014

Here is the complete communication that we received in an email from Wells Fargo dated December 10, 2014 for those of you who wish to read it in its entirety:…

Read Full Post
Kitchen Stocks

Get Your Home Ready for Halloween

Oct 28, 2014

With nearly 42 million potential trick-or-treaters this year, you’ll want to be sure that your home meets the fun and safety standards of today’s eager Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Monster High visitors.

Read Full Post
Blue House Icon

Smaller Real Estate Agencies Are Better

Oct 3, 2014

When the time comes to buy or sell a home, there are many advantages to enlisting the help of a realtor. They have the education and experience in your local…

Read Full Post
Home Buyers Bill of Rights Cover

Homebuyer’s Bill of Rights

Sep 18, 2014

Buying a home has changed dramatically over the last few years … or at least it should. Because of the emergence of websites and other Internet-based tools for homebuyers, the…

Read Full Post
ALT Title Blog

The Trouble With Simultaneous Closings

Sep 16, 2014

There is already a lot of stress associated with selling your home and buying a new one. However, if you decide to close on both properties in the same day,…

Read Full Post
real estate attorney PA

How to Make Your Offer Stand Out

Aug 25, 2014

When you fall in love with a home in your budget range, it can be magical. It might also be the start of a fierce competition; it’s very possible that…

Read Full Post
ALT Title Settlement Services PA

Should You Make Renovations Before Selling Your House?

Aug 20, 2014

Instead of looking for big projects you think your home needs before it hits the market, there are a lot of small and inexpensive things you can do that can make all the difference. Especially since expensive projects are rarely worth your time and money if your goal is simply to sell your house.

Read Full Post
Real Estate Attorney PA

Understanding the Financial Process When Buying a New House

Aug 1, 2014

If you’re a first time homebuyer, you’ve probably realized that the process isn’t an easy one. To ensure that everything goes well, it’s important to prepare as much as possible…

Read Full Post
What to Expect From Your Title Settlement Company? | ALT Title PA

The Times They Are a’Changin’: Will the Zillow-Trulia Merger Change the Way We Buy and Sell Real Estate In America?

Jul 30, 2014

Will the Zillow-Trulia merger streamline the currently disconnected home-buying/selling process and reduce the amount of money it costs to buy and sell real estate? The merger is a huge deal, and the impact of it will ripple across the entire real estate industry, affecting homebuyers and home sellers in a number of different ways. Finally.

Read Full Post

Is Shopping for a Title Insurance and Settlement Service Company a Waste of Time?

Jul 23, 2014

So, your realtor just referred you to a title insurance and settlement company. But that doesn’t mean that’s where you’ll get the best deal or the best service. “Homebuyers should…

Read Full Post
Settlement Checklist

Understanding a Homeowner’s Insurance Policy

Jul 21, 2014

A homeowner’s insurance policy is designed to protect you and your home from perils. Here is a look at the basics of what this type of insurance policy is, what you’ll be covered for, and anything else you may want to consider when taking out an insurance policy on your house.

Read Full Post

Why You Should Consider Investing In and Around College Campuses in Philly

Jul 18, 2014

Ever since the real estate bubble burst, many have shied away from investing in real estate. Now that the market is slowly on the mend, you may be toying with the idea of buying a rental property. One place you should definitely consider? College campuses in Philadelphia and the areas around them.

Read Full Post

Don’t Make These Mortgage Mistakes

Jul 15, 2014

Buying a house is often more complicated than most people expect; it’s not a matter of simply finding a house you like and giving the seller money for it. There…

Read Full Post
lawyer for buying new construction

Should I Have an Attorney Present When Buying New Construction?

Jul 10, 2014

For many, the idea of building or buying a brand new home is extremely enticing. Whether it’s because they can’t find “the right house” or they simply want something with…

Read Full Post

Secret Advice for Realtors

Jul 2, 2014

There’s more to being a real estate agent than simply having your real estate license, showing people houses, and filling out paperwork. What really makes you stand out from the rest of the realtor pool is the type of experience you create for your clients. How can you stand out? Check out these tips from the experts themselves.

Read Full Post

A Mortgage Prequalification Ain’t as Easy as it Used to Be

Jun 18, 2014

If you wanted to buy a house twenty-five years ago, you would have called your lender and asked for a prequalification letter. You would have told him/her your annual income…

Read Full Post

Must-Have Homebuyer Apps

Jun 13, 2014

Buying a house is an exciting time, but a stressful one as well. More often than not, homebuyers are burdened with self-doubt, confusion over paperwork and industry-related jargon, and the…

Read Full Post

Should You Take Out a Second Mortgage?

Jun 4, 2014

Years ago, second mortgages were all the rage; with the appeal of gaining access to extra cash, it’s obvious why that was the case. But then the recession hit, leaving…

Read Full Post
Fees When Buying a House

Yes, It’s True – Fees Are Negotiable When Buying a House

Jun 2, 2014

When you’re buying a new house, the actual house itself isn’t the only thing you’re paying for-there are a number of fees that are rolled into the final price in…

Read Full Post

Do I Really Need Owner’s Title Insurance?

May 28, 2014

Between fees and unexpected additional costs, buying a house can end up costing more than you anticipated. So it’s totally normal to question those extra items and whether or not…

Read Full Post

Taking Emotion Out of Buying a House

May 23, 2014

After months of house hunting, the Johnsons had grown weary. With their long list of items that the “perfect” house must have, they feared they wouldn’t ever find what they…

Read Full Post

Hot Backyard Design Trends for Summer

May 16, 2014

Years ago, the ideal backyard included a patio set, a pool, and maybe a cool water slide. Today, the backyard is prime real estate for an inviting outdoor living space.…

Read Full Post
Real Estate Agent Pointing While Showing the House to Couple

Why Hiring the Right Real Estate Agent Matters

Mar 3, 2014

Presently we’re involved in a commercial purchase transaction, with a purchase price of more than $3 million. Unfortunately the appraisal for the property came in $800,000 below the contract sale…

Read Full Post

Trying to Flip Houses with No Money Down? Good Luck.

Feb 26, 2014

Whenever I start hearing these radio commercials or see the so-called brand new investor on television proudly displaying his check for thousands of dollars in profits, I know it won’t…

Read Full Post

Haven’t Refinanced Yet? You’re Not Alone.

Feb 17, 2014

According to Steve Deggendorf, a director in Fannie Mae’s economic and strategic research, between 40%-50% of Americans with a mortgage have never refinanced and have an average mortgage rate around…

Read Full Post

Placing our client’s best interests above all else

Feb 7, 2014

As professionals working within the real estate industry, we are and should be held to the highest standards under the law when it comes to protecting the interests of our…

Read Full Post

Why choosing the right settlement company matters

Jan 29, 2014

I received a call last week from a mortgage broker with a question about a possible title insurance claim. He was contacted by a client who has a friend that…

Read Full Post

Turning your “For Sale” sign to SOLD

Jan 16, 2014

During the course of my daily travels, I pass this house three or four times a week, that has been listed for sale with a real estate agent for almost…

Read Full Post

Need a copy of the deed to your property? Don’t fall for this scam.

Dec 5, 2013

We’re hearing from more and more people who are receiving letters in the mail from third-party companies that are offering to provide you with a certified copy of the deed…

Read Full Post

You know a good deal when you see one…or do you?

Nov 19, 2013

Last week I came across a post on a social media site from a real estate agent in PA who was teaming up with their in-house mortgage company and a…

Read Full Post

Affordable Care Act: Well intended but seriously flawed.

Nov 8, 2013

If you follow my posts on social media, you know I am not a supporter of many of the provisions in the “Affordable Care Act.” Especially the mandates driving healthcare…

Read Full Post

Do you know where your property begins and ends?

Oct 25, 2013

Unless you’re purchasing new construction, you’re most likely taking someone else’s word for it when they tell you that the property line “goes all the way back to the tree…

Read Full Post

You never know what you’ll read next on social media.

Oct 17, 2013

I stumbled upon this Facebook post today from a local real estate broker. The names have been changed to protect the greedy. “What a great office/business meeting today. We had…

Read Full Post

Settlement Nightmares…Tales of trouble around the closing table that could have been avoided.

Oct 10, 2013

Our goal at ALT has always been to offer you no-nonsense advice, and help you avoid unnecessary pitfalls during the process of buying or refinancing real estate.  In the spirit…

Read Full Post
title company for buying new construction

Buying new construction? You’d better hire the right title company.

Oct 1, 2013

I’ve always said that an educated home buyer should start the process by finding the title/settlement company they would like to use before they get emotionally involved in negotiating for…

Read Full Post

Philly’s Economic Future Starts & Ends with Education

Sep 10, 2013

The political tug of war between city and state officials and organized labor about how to fund and educate children in the city of Philadelphia is nearing the point of…

Read Full Post

Rates still historically low, but how much you pay for the house still matters.

Aug 23, 2013

While none of us have a crystal ball, the smart money says that interest rates that have been rising over the last few months will continue to go higher and…

Read Full Post

Our service doesn’t end at settlement.

Aug 8, 2013

I recently received a phone call at 9:42 am on a Sunday morning from a very nervous couple, clients of ours who had just settled on their new home the…

Read Full Post

Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs), They’re Not All Bad

Jul 17, 2013

As mortgage interest rates begin to rise, some homebuyers will be looking for an alternative to the thirty year fixed rate mortgage. The truth of the matter is… if used…

Read Full Post
ALT Title PA

Top 3 Reasons to Give Up Your Right to Choose

Jul 12, 2013

We’ve designed our website www.ALTtitle.com to be a resource for anyone who’s considering buying or refinancing real estate. From the more than one thousand people who visit our site every…

Read Full Post

ALT’s 11th Anniversary

Jul 10, 2013

Associates Land Transfer Company recently celebrated its eleventh anniversary in business. I’m proud to say that the principles on which we founded the company eleven years ago continue to be…

Read Full Post

Why is my real estate agent so persistent about using her title company?

Jun 27, 2013

I just had a first time home buyer ask me the following question: We would all like to assume that it’s because her title company delivers great service at a…

Read Full Post

TD Bank Strikes Again

Jun 5, 2013

It isn’t all that uncommon for a purchase closing to be delayed due to an issue with the buyer’s mortgage company. Problems with the appraisal, an insurance issue or a…

Read Full Post

Thinking Outside the Box

Apr 22, 2013

I love hearing stories like this one and enjoy working with real estate professionals who can think outside the box.  It’s pretty common knowledge that real estate sales commissions are…

Read Full Post

Should I Pay a Broker’s Service Fee?

Apr 3, 2013

If you’ve sold or purchased a house in the last ten years or so, you most likely paid your real estate broker/agent a conveyancing fee or flat fee commission.  This…

Read Full Post

Apparently customers aren’t "part of the family"

Mar 29, 2013

I couldn’t help but have one of those feel good moments after our company helped this young couple save so much money at closing. This story is not exceptional; the…

Read Full Post

The truth about real estate’s Controlled Business Relationships

Mar 7, 2013

We recently received an email from a potential customer who was trying to be an informed consumer and get a fair deal on a mortgage. Here’s the opening line: “I’m…

Read Full Post

TD Bank Responds

Mar 1, 2013

A quick update to last week’s TD Bank story.  TD saw our post about a client’s very frustrating experience when refinancing with their bank.  Within an hour or two of…

Read Full Post

TD Bank…America’s Most Frustrating Bank

Feb 26, 2013

If you need to know the time and temperature while you’re watching Jimmy Kimmel, cashing a check or depositing a jar of coins on a Sunday morning, TD Bank might…

Read Full Post

Did they really get a good deal on title insurance?

Feb 22, 2013

A Philadelphia real estate broker recently referred a couple to us for title insurance; she had listed their Center City home for sale.  The couple wanted to move closer to…

Read Full Post

The Value of Having Your Own “Wrecking Crew”

Feb 20, 2013

Twenty five years ago when Ronald Reagan was finishing up his second term in office, I passed the real estate exam in Pennsylvania. I still remember the first house that…

Read Full Post
title agent for buying new construction

Consider all of your options before signing a contract to use your builder’s title company

Feb 8, 2013

If you plan on purchasing new construction, do a little homework and weigh all of your options before using the builder’s title company, no matter how hard their sales associates…

Read Full Post

Moral of the story: make sure you deal with a reputable title company.

Feb 4, 2013

During the course of a recent refinance for “Ms. Smith, we performed the title search and uncovered a $300,000 IRS lien against the previous owner.  Ms. Smith recalls the title…

Read Full Post

Qualified Mortgage Rule is Common Sense

Jan 30, 2013

I invite you to read this recent article by real estate columnist Alan J. Heavens regarding new mortgage rules. Agency’s New Definition May Calm Mortgage Fears, January 27, Philly.com The…

Read Full Post

For Sale by Owner Guide to Selling

Jan 25, 2013

4 Essential Steps to Selling Your Home Like a Pro, from Staging to Closing the Deal Selling your own home requires know-how and commitment.  With a For Sale by Owner,…

Read Full Post

Highlights of CFPB Proposal

Oct 2, 2012

CFPB’s MORTGAGE DISCLOSURE REFORM The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has proposed changes to the mortgage disclosure process, which would have a major impact on settlement procedures for most consumer…

Read Full Post

Refinancing and need to keep your second mortgage?

Sep 19, 2012

Often times, smaller can mean more personal service, better interest rates and faster loan approvals.  But avoid a bank that is too small and looking for more ways to increase…

Read Full Post

It’s still a good time to refinance

Sep 11, 2012

For those who may be thinking about refinancing an existing mortgage, we’d like to share an email we sent out to our clients at the start of summer.  In case you thought…

Read Full Post

ALT is here to help!

Sep 5, 2012

When we say “ALT is here to help you” we really mean it! We recently did a closing for a nice couple in Bucks County.  They bought a new home,…

Read Full Post

The Facts on Title Insurance

Aug 15, 2012

What is title insurance? Title insurance protects the home owner and mortgage lender against ownership disputes relating to your property. Title Insurance is a specific type of insurance, paid in…

Read Full Post

How much does title insurance cost?

Aug 15, 2012

The cost of title insurance for a sale is determined by the purchase price for the property and for a refinance, the loan amount determines the price.  Title insurance premiums,…

Read Full Post

Call for Mortgage Disclosure Regulation

Aug 14, 2012

Have you ever purchased or refinanced real estate and had to deal with the stress of getting your final closing costs last-minute, because you were at the mercy of your…

Read Full Post

Money Saving Tips for the Summer

Aug 14, 2012

As homeowners, we all like to reduce the household expenses whenever we can. Given the high temperatures in our region these last few weeks, here are a few money-saving tips for keeping…

Read Full Post