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  #1 (permalink)
: I'm buying a condo (in Oregon) from my mother-in-law. I trust her. She has two loans to pay off and she's done a title search to ensure there are no issues with the property. The escrow company wants $750 to process this transfer for us. They are also recommending Title Insurance. Total fees are estimated at nearly $2000 (for a condo worth $120 k). I realize there is some paperwork to fill out to transfer title and pay off the loans but I feel like we're paying a lot for something that's really not very complicated. What would you do?

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  #2 (permalink)
: You still need a lawyer to do it proper even if it were your own mother
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  #3 (permalink)
: I'd pay this amount. Peace of mind to have title insurance.
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  #4 (permalink)
: If your mother-in-law is not an abstractor, then you cannot be assured that she has completed a thorough title examination. If she missed anything, you could inherit a mess.

Title insurance is just that; insurance that they found everything and will indemnify you if they missed something.

Because it is a cash deal, you do not have to purchase title insurance. But this is a major investment and it would be a shame to lose it if a mistake was made. Or, perhaps you end up having to pay off a bunch of liens you did not know about that are clouding your title. $2k will seem like a bargain if it comes to any of that.

You should also not go on the cheap and avoid having inspections done. As much as you may like your mother-in-law, there may be problems she is not aware of and you may not want to buy in to. Pay the $400-ish fee for a good inspection so you know what you are buying.

Family deals are always problematic, because you have emotions to deal with and are lulled into a sense of security. She is probably on the up and up, but she might not know that her GFCIs are not working, or the water hearter is about to explode because the T&P valve is corroded, etc.
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  #5 (permalink)
: Call another title company & price with them. You should buy title insurance & it's pretty expensive. My title company would charge $720.00 (for $120,000.00 coverage) for title insurance & around $350.00 to close & do the deed. Another $100 or so to record the Deed - so it sounds like they are overcharging.
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