Maryland’s Recapture Tax Means Estates May Owe Back a Portion of the Homestead Tax Credit

June 21, 2022

Many counties in Maryland recently changed their treatment of the Homestead Tax Credit when an estate is the seller. This new Recapture Tax comes as an unwelcome surprise to listing agents and personal representatives because it can drastically reduce seller net proceeds.

First, let’s talk about the Homestead Tax Credit (HTC). The HTC shields homeowners from drastic tax increases. The credit is reserved only for a principal residence. A homeowner is eligible to apply after they lived in the property for one year. Read more

Team Member Spotlight: Title Review Specialist Jackie Jackson-Hahn

June 21, 2022

As a little girl, Jackie Hahn-Jackson dreamed of driving big rigs up and down the interstates. We have no doubts that she would have made an outstanding trucker, but we are selfishly glad that she instead built a career in the title industry.

Her tenacity and attention to detail make her a perfect fit as a Title Review Specialist. It’s not a position that every title company has, but we’ve learned very quickly that it’s a valuable one. Jackie is in her element when she is diving deep into title research and delivering a clean title that’s ready for settlement.

Read more

Team Member Spotlight: Business Development & Marketing Manager Kiona Moore

May 16, 2022

We are so excited to announce Kiona Moore as our new Business Development and Marketing Manager. Kiona was Assurance’s very first hire as a post closer. She worked her way up to management and now brings her leadership and customer service skills to the marketing team at Assurance Title.

If you haven’t had the chance to work with Kiona yet, you’re in for a treat. In the meantime, check out this quick Q&A to get to know her.

Read more

Understanding Guardianship and Property-Related Decisions

May 11, 2022

If you’ve been a Realtor for any length of time, you know that people will come to you for advice on all things related to real estate.

At some point in your career, you’re bound to encounter a question about how to handle a situation where the owner of a property, likely a loved one, is no longer mentally and physically able to care for the property and make the necessary decisions about how to handle the property — including when it’s time to sell. Read more

Money Laundering, FinCEN and What It Now Means for You

May 9, 2022

Unfortunately, money laundering occurs in real life — and not just by Jason Bateman in “Ozark.”

Traditional hotspots have been California, Miami, New York, Chicago. But guess who just made the list!

The US Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a new Geographic Targeting Order with reporting requirements that affect real estate transactions in Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, Maryland and especially Baltimore! Read more

How title companies compete in Pennsylvania

February 14, 2022

In Pennsylvania, Title Companies Compete on Service. That’s Our Specialty.

Did you know Advantage Title is licensed in Pennsylvania? And did you know that Pennsylvania is an “All-Inclusive” Rate state?  Read more

Why are settlements backward in Virginia?

February 10, 2022

Don’t Worry, Virginia. We Won’t Make You Wait.

Did you know that Assurance Title is licensed in Virginia? And did you know that in Virginia a title company is required to record the deed and mortgage BEFORE they are authorized to deliver Seller Proceeds and Realtor Commission? Read more

5 Tips to Winning Repeat Clients and Referrals

January 18, 2022

No matter how amazing you are at your job, sometimes the most difficult part is finding new business.

Whether you’re a real estate agent or a lender, you’re going to have plenty of competition out there. Buyers and sellers have options, and it’s an uphill battle to get their attention. Read more

Legislative Revision Makes It Easier to Buy and Sell Homes with Ground Rent

January 5, 2022

The concept of ground rent in Baltimore and surrounding counties may be traced back to colonial times, when investors bought tracts of land from the newly sovereign colonial governments and allowed tenants who otherwise could not purchase land for themselves to make small, incremental rent payments as a less-expensive alternative to land ownership.

This practice may be out of date in today’s market yet most leases renew in perpetuity. Some ground rent holders are registered with the State Department of Assessment & Taxation, many leases holders are unknown.

In the past If the owner of the ground leases couldn’t be identified, we’d have to hold from the seller 3 years’ worth of estimated ground rent payments, plus attorney’s fees, in the event that the ground rent holder suddenly appeared and made a claim.

That typically meant that we’d collect an average of about $700 from the seller to hold in escrow for three years.

Now the state of Maryland has changed its statute and noted that if the ground rent owner has not registered the ground rent with the state, past due amounts may not be demanded.

That means we no longer have to hold estimated ground rent payments or attorney fees, and your sellers’ net proceeds just increased by $700!

Contact us for more information on identifying registered ground rents and how to extinguish an existing ground rent.