6 min read Apr 12, 2024

How Much Is Title Insurance Going to Cost You in California in 2024?

Title insurance costs in California range from 0.5% to 1% of your home sale price. While it may seem huge, it’s a small price to pay compared to the $106,000 that buyers lost on average in title fraud in 2023.

However, Y-O-Y, there’s been a 20% drop in fraud, as many home buyers are opting for title insurance. Your new home in the Golden State is a major financial investment; protect it with a title insurance policy to ensure you don’t lose thousands of dollars.

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What Is Title Insurance in Real Estate?

Title insurance is a policy that protects the interests of both the buyer and the mortgage lender from issues related to a defective property title. Some of these issue include:

  • Property border disputes
  • Encroachments
  • Easements
  • Forged documents
  • Third-party claims
  • Errors in recorded documents
  • Incorrect property deed

Title Insurance Cost in California

Title policies in California usually cost about 0.5% to 1.0% of the home’s sale price same as title insurance costs in the USA. It is usually included in the closing costs. You will either get a cumulative quote or an itemized breakdown of the policy.

It is not mandatory to have owner’s title insurance, but it is highly recommended to secure your property.

Housing PriceTitle Insurance Cost (Per thousand)
$0 – $10,000,000$0.75 
$10,000,000 – $20,000,000$0.65
$20,000,000 – $50,000,000$0.60
Above $50,000,000$0.55
*The estimates are based on the average price of multiple title companies.

What Does Title Insurance Cover in California?

A typical policy quote in California will include the following title fees:

CoverageMeaningFees
Title SearchConfirms details about the property’s legal ownership.$150 to $250
Title SettlementHelps in the transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer.0.32% of the selling price
Deed PreparationHelps draft deeds and legal documents for the transaction. $250 to $550
Land SurveyDetermines the land boundaries and draws legal property lines. $200 to $800
Real Estate AttorneysHelps with legal documentation and advises on real estate transactions.$150 to $500 per hour
EscrowA neutral third party that holds and disburses all funds and documents in a deal.0.20% or $2 per $1000 of the property price plus $250 (for both the buyer and the seller).

Types of Title Insurance Policies and Costs in California

There are two types: the owner’s title policy and the lender’s title policy.

1. Owner’s Title Insurance Policy

In California, this policy is usually available in 2 forms: standard and enhanced.

  • Standard Policy: This policy generally protects the new owner from third-party claims like encroachments, undisclosed heirs, liens, etc.
  • Enhanced Policy: This policy includes all the standard coverages and certain additional perks. These are protection from unrecorded liens (estate tax liens), building permit violations, post-policy forgery, etc.

If the median home price is $739,100, the owner’s title policy would cost you around $2,435 in California. It’s a one-time fee, and the coverage lasts as long as you or your heirs own the property.

» Want To Know the Best Time To Buy a House in California: Here’s a step-by-step guide.

2. Lender’s Title Insurance Policy

It protects the mortgage lender’s investment from any property-related issues like undisclosed heirs, forgery, and liens.

The policy cost depends on the loan issued. The average mortgage in California is $346,762, for which the lender’s policy is $2,132. In addition, the accountability of the title insurer decreases as the loan is paid off.

A lender’s title insurance policy is mandatory, and its period is equal to the loan term. In the Golden State, it is common for buyers to handle the overall costs. However, sometimes, sellers might agree to cover a few of these expenses.

Title Insurance Cost Calculator

Unsure about title insurance costs? Get a quick quote with our calculator.

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      Estimated Title Insurance Cost: $

*Disclaimer: These numbers are estimates; actual figures might vary based on your property’s final value.

How to Save on Title Insurance Costs in California

Most of the companies in California have similar premiums, but there are some ways to save on costs:

  • Bundle Plan: You can buy the owner and lender policies from the same company and avail of a discount.
  • Shop Around: You can look for other companies if the premiums are unregulated in the Golden State. Go through all the company reviews and compare quotes to finalize one.
  • Negotiate Closing Costs: If the seller is motivated to sell the property, they may agree to cover the costs for the title insurance within the closing costs.

» How Much Are Closing Costs in California: Here is how much you have to pay in the Golden State.

Other Alternatives

While title insurance is the most beneficial option for your new home in California, here are some of the alternatives you can consider:

  1. Attorney Opinion Letters (AOLs): These letters are personalized and provided by attorneys as an alternative to title insurance. AOLs may cost you a lower upfront fee; however, they can introduce more risk to lenders and consumers.
  2. Closing Platforms: Such platforms eliminate the need for traditional title insurance as they potentially reduce costs.

Bottom Line

Title insurance is a necessary investment to protect your new home. Homeowners have lost almost $100k in fraud. You can save your money by paying 0.5% to 1% of your home sale price as title policy fees.

If you are looking for title companies in California, Houzeo can help you. On our platform, you can easily find one and book an appointment with the best title company nearby.

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» Need More Clarity? Read these exclusive Houzeo reviews and learn why the platform is the best in America’s competitive housing market.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are title fees?

Title fees are a part of closing costs that include title searches, attorney and notary services, settlement fees, etc.

How much does title insurance cost in California?

The title insurance will cost around 0.5% to 1.0% of the home's purchase price in California.

How much is owner's title insurance in California?

Title insurance rates in California typically start at $0.75 per thousand for the range of $0 - $10,000,000 of the property value. For example, on a $739,100 property, the starting title insurance cost would be approximately $554.

Who pays the title insurance cost in California?

It varies by location. In Southern California, sellers typically cover the title insurance, while in Northern California, buyers usually do. The lender's policy premium is typically paid by the buyer, but arrangements can be negotiated.

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