Closing Costs Explained Visually

Purchasing a home is exciting. Once escrow begins, the excitement can change to frustration, particularly if you are not ready for the closing costs that quickly accumulate.

Closing costs simply refer to the fees associated with various things associated with the escrow process in a real estate transaction. In the excitement of having an offer accepted for your dream home, you can easily lose track of the fact you are going to need to have some serious cash on hand to pay them. Many people make the mistake of only assuming they need the down payment money, and have to rush around town trying to come up with money for the closing fees.

Do yourself a favor, and discuss closing costs in advance with your real estate or mortgage person.  And watch this video to have a good mental picture of the costs that you’re likely to incur.


Florida Agency Network Completes SOC 1 (SSAE 16) TYPE 1 Examination


Tampa, Florida – October 1, 2015 – The Florida Agency Network (FAN), Florida’s largest network of independent title agencies, is proud to announce it has completed a SOC 1 (Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements No. 16 [“SSAE 16”]) Type 1 examination. The examination was performed by 360 Advanced, P.A., a full-service audit and consulting firm that specializes in integrated compliance solutions, including conducting SOC 1 examinations.

SSAE 16, developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (“AICPA”), is the most widely recognized authoritative guidance that provides service organizations a uniform method for disclosing independently assessed information about the design and operation of internal controls related to their services. Companies who complete an annual SOC 1 examination are able to demonstrate a substantially higher level of assurance and operationally visibility than those companies who do not.

Securing SOC 1 Type 1 examination reinforces FAN’s, and its embodying agencies, commitment to security, confidentiality, availability, privacy and processing integrity by ensuring the highest quality and security of services provided to their customers. As the implementation of the TILA/RESPA reform is set to happen on October 3, 2015, many title companies have yet to complete the SOC 1 examination, leaving their stakeholders in a position to risk the exposure of non-public personal information (NPPI).

“We are proud to announce the completion of this major accomplishment. Very few in our industry can boast having a SOC 1 (SSAE 16). I think this portrays our level of commitment to the protection of data and NPPI (Non Public Private Information) to our real estate partners, and more importantly, to the consumer. Having gone through this rigorous assessment, we can provide certification and proof to our lenders and banks that the Florida Agency Network and its affiliates have taken its systems, procedures and control levels above and beyond what the industry has supplied in its Best Practices. Best Practices is simply the start, to get the industry moving in the right direction. SSAE 16 compliance is the next step, putting us on the same level as our banking and lending partners when it comes to compliance and protection.” says Aaron M. Davis, CEO of the Florida Agency Network and its multiple brands, which include Hillsborough Title, Trident Title, Paramount Title, Tampa Bay Title, Cornerstone Title, HomePlus Title, Uptown Title, Bella Title, Performance Title & Escrow, StrongHold Title and Progressive Title Solutions.

The FLORIDA AGENCY NETWORK (FAN) is the largest network of independent title agencies in the State of Florida. We have formed a strategic alliance to better serve our clients, allowing us to provide more services throughout the state. FAN offers convenient locations and many services that most title agencies do not provide, such as in-house legal counsel, in-house title plant, HOA estoppel ordering, dedicated REO department and much more.

What Is An Escrow Account? Do I Need One?

As we show you in this video, an escrow account is an account, established by your lender, to set aside a portion of your monthly mortgage payment to cover annual charges for homeowner’s insurance mortgage insurance (if applicable), and property taxes.

Escrow accounts are a good idea because they assure money will always be available for these payments.

If you use an escrow account to pay property tax or homeowner’s insurance make sure you are not penalized for late payments since it is the lender’s responsibility to make those payments.

Welcome Ron Donalson to the family!

Ron Donalson

Ron Donalson, Director of Marketing

Florida Agency Network proudly welcomes Ron Donalson to its expanding team. In 1982, Ron and his business partner Tommy Alday established Alday-Donalson Title Insurance. For over 29 years, they worked and grew Alday-Donalson to become one of the largest and most respected independent title insurance agencies in the State of Florida with 20 offices throughout the Tampa Bay area.

After the tragic passing of his partner, Ron joined Universal Land Title as Director of Marketing, which was later purchased by First American Title in 2014.

Ron served in the US Army and was awarded the Bronze Star for his tour in Vietnam. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, scuba diving, and spending time with his 9 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. He is a 32 Degree Mason and has served as Honorary Deputy for the Hillsborough County Sheriff ’s Department for over 20 years.

The Florida Agency Network is excited to have Ron on board to help grow its statewide footprint of title agencies, provide mentorship and guidance to the Marketing Team, and carry forward the tradition of providing excellent customer service to our clients, while serving our industry and community.

Contact Ron today!