Buying a House in Kansas City
Title Insurance is usually obtained when a Kansas City real estate property is purchased. The policy of title insurance insures the owner and/or the lender of ownership of the property. There are various coverages afforded, but a basic policy insures that the buyer is the owner and any lender shown on the policy is an “insured” lender. Many different types of extended coverages are available; for example, an ALTA policy is quite often required by institutional lenders to afford them additional protection under the title insurance policy. The title policy is written after an extensive examination of the public record is made and the recording of the required documents as called for in the escrow.
The title insurance policy fee is a one-time fee, paid at the close of escrow. In almost every case, the question of who pays closing costs is a matter of agreement between the parties. Usually this agreement is based on the customary practice in your county or area. In the case of some FHA or VA transactions, the escrow officer must follow the guidelines as required by the lender and/or government.
What About Property Taxes?
The terms of your transaction and the resultant escrow instructions determine how the property taxes will be handled. If there is no mention of the proration of taxes, your escrow officer or real estate attorney will not deal with any credits or charges for prorated taxes. However, if your closing papers call for a proration of taxes, there will be an item in your closing statement that will reflect either a credit or charge to your account. If the taxes are not paid (even though there has been a credit or charge against your account), the buyer is obligated to obtain a tax bill and pay the taxes. If the buyer does not have a tax bill with which to pay the taxes, you can request a bill from the Tax Collector; send a photocopy of the deed.
Supplemental Property Taxes are another concern for the buyer. Upon transfer of real property, a supplemental tax bill is generated. This is accomplished in cooperation with the County Assessor and the County Tax Collector.
Shortly after the close of an escrow involving the conveyance of real property, the County Assessor will request information about the property from the buyer. This information assists the Assessor in determining the value of the property for taxation purposes. The escrow holder may have previously supplied some of the information at the time of the closing of the escrow, via a Preliminary Change of Ownership form that should accompany each deed when it is recorded.