Questions? We have Answers.

Whether you’re a title law geek or just coloring in your first home-buying book, we’re here to help fill in the picture.

What is a title search?

A title search is the process of determining from the public record what the property rights are and who owns them. It also identifies who has the ability to sell the property. Finally, it notes if there are any clouds on the title.

Who selects the title company?
  • During a sale, the purchaser, or seller in some cases, chooses the settlement company.
  • During a refinance, the borrower or lender chooses the settlement company.
What happens at settlement?
During the settlement, you and an attorney will review a series of documents, which have been prepared (in advance) by your lender and provided to Prime Settlement, Inc. At the conclusion of settlement, funds held by us will be used to record documents in the land records, pay off existing debts and fees. In a purchase transaction, the remainder usually flows to the seller.
Are your offices metro-accessible and is parking available?
Our main office is located in Downtown DC near Farragut North station and McPherson Square station, and ample parking is available around the corner in the Atlantic Parking garage (right before the Westin hotel valet parking). The building is on the southwest corner of Thomas Circle, near the intersection of Thomas Circle and M Street NW (next to Wawa).
What is title insurance and why do I need it?
Title insurance is the safety net that protects you against loss due to unknown title defects on your property. It provides protection from latent risks that could threaten a title even after the most cautious title search. Potential risks include forged title documents; fraud, invalid wills, deeds from defunct corporations, and errors in offical records. There are two types of policies: one to protect the lender’s interest for the amount of loan, the other to protect the buyer.
What do I need to bring to closing?
  • Funds for closing. This should be in the form of a wire or a cashier’s check made payable to Prime Settlement, Inc.
  • Photo Identification. The identification must be a valid state driver’s license, a passport, or a valid state identification card.
  • Personal checkbook. This will be used in the event that additional funds are needed.
  • Any additional items required by your lender or realtor.
Do you contact the utility companies to tell them I am moving out/in?
We contact the water company to request a final water bill for DC and MD properties. It is the seller’s responsibility to contact the other utility companies and notify them that he/she is selling the poperty and a final readng of the utility meter (if applicable) is required. Condominiums are a bit different and typically handle the transfer of everything.

For VA properties, it is the seller’s responsibility to contact the utility companies and notify them that he/she is selling the property and a final reading of the utility meter (if applicable) is required.

What is the DC Homestead Deduction?

The Homestead Deduction subtracts $69,100.00 from the assessed value of your residential property before your real estate taxes are calculated. To be eligible, you must:

  • Own the property
  • Occupy the property as your principal residence (domicile)

Also, the property must be less than the highest amount eligible for the credit, which is determined each year by DC. We will let you know if you qualify.

What is a survey and why do I need one?
A survey is a measurement taken by a surveyor of a real property – delineating the boundaries of a parcel of land. There are two types:

  • House location drawings delineate the property’s approximate boundary.
  • Boundary surveys, which are considerably more expensive, delineate the exact location of all improvements, encroachments, easements, and other matters affecting the title to the property in question. Most lenders require a survey as a condition of the loan.

Any other questions? We’re here for you.