First Montana Land Title
(406) 443-4422
400 N Park

Biz of the Month

Welcome to Helena’s Most Wanted Don Betts, owner of First Montana Land Title Company, we have conducted a question & answer session with Don to explain more about title companies.

Q; After doing some research about 1st MT Title I see you were founded in 1974, 41 years ago showing the community a strong presence can you explain to our consumers what made you choose Helena's Most Wanted as an advertising tool for your company?

A; The relationship with Charlotte we have built over the years. We have known her to be honest and competent and she cares about her customers. Up until this point we had done very little of this kind of advertising and thought her company would be a great place to start.

Q; The professional team at First Montana Land Title Co has combined experience totaling over 190 years in the title business just working at First Montana Land Title Co; that is incredible please share with us what consumers can expect from start to finish in the process to purchase, sell and refinance a home or commercial property with these experts?

A; First and foremost the consumer should feel comfortable that their transaction is being handled by the most experienced team in Helena. Consumers should also expect a process that will involve a lot of questions and decisions and it may take a little more time than they expect. New government regulations put in place October 2014 may slow the process down even more. The regulations have been put in place to help the consumer make sure that their purchase or their loan is exactly what they are looking for. There are a lot of moving parts in a real estate transaction. All of the parties work together to make sure the process is as smooth as possible. The Realtor, Lender, Title Company, Home Inspector, Surveyor and Appraiser all have their jobs to do and they all communicate to help the buyers and sellers get to the closing table.

Q; When a consumer searches the internet or looks in the phone book for title companies they will see several to choose from; does the consumer have the choice of what title company to use or is it dependent on the mortgage lender, bank or realtor?

A; It is ultimately the consumers choice. In Montana the seller typically pays for the buyers Title Insurance and chooses where the transaction goes. Conversations with realtors and/or lenders who handle a lot of transactions are good place for referrals regarding title companies, as they deal with these companies on an almost daily basis and are familiar with the process. They can be an invaluable resource in choosing the best Title Company.

Q; Many of our consumers are renters hoping to one day make the biggest purchase of their life and need to be educated on the process of purchasing a home; what options do consumers have when it comes to closing costs?

A; In Montana it is customary for the buyer and seller to split the closing fees. The closing fees are separate from the title insurance fees however this can be negotiated in the buy-sell as part of the sale.

Q; If I am a buyer, I picked my Real Estate agent, I found my dream home and my offer was accepted when does the title process begin?

A; After the buy-sell is signed and earnest money is deposited. A search is conducted from today back to the first deed on a property from The United States Government. That first deed is called a patent. The search looks for easements, liens, mortgages or other title defects that may encumber the property. A search is also done at the District Court to determine if there are any legal matters such as divorces, court cases or judgments that may affect the property. Depending on the property involved a search may take anywhere from a couple days to a few weeks to conduct.

Q; Real Estate in general is a very up and down industry in your professional opinion how strong is Lewis and Clark County currently doing with market values and sales? On average how many closings do you do a month?

A; Lewis and Clark County is a pretty stable market especially in Montana. The impact of Montana State government has kept us from experiencing the big ups and downs other parts of Montana have seen. The market is growing and prices are headed up. With interest rates at historic lows it is an excellent time to be looking for a new home or real estate investment. We do around 125 closings a month. We also have a sister company that handles Jefferson and Broadwater that does about 60 closings a month. We do a lot of other transaction where the banks close the loan themselves as well as foreclosure and research work for law firms.

Thank you Don for offering your services on helenasmostwanted.com and all the great information about title companies. If you would like more information from the experienced staff at First Montana Land Title Co please visit https://1stmt.com.

Title Company
First Montana Land Title Company is a locally owned, locally operated company with an experienced staff providing closing services and title insurance for all communities within Lewis and Clark County, to include Augusta, Canyon Creek, Craig, East Helena, Helena, Lincoln, Marysville and Wolf Creek, Montana.

For over the past 30 years, our mission is to always provide consistent, courteous, and dependable services and will continue to do so. Our staff has a strong sense of community in helping our neighbors in their Residential and Commercial Real Estate transactions.

We know that buying a home is the largest and most emotional investment most people will ever make. And the staff of First Montana Land Title looks forward to helping you with every land transaction--from buying your first home, to refinancing, or to the purchasing of property of one’s dreams.

We are located in the Reserve Financial Center at 400 North Park Avenue, Helena, Montana.

The Reserve Financial Center building was constructed in 1937, and served as a branch of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank until 1990. The building’s construction design requirement consisted of the business of central banking and contains four major vaults, and 34 smaller vaults throughout. In 1991, the building was remodeled to accommodate the need for additional offices, but maintained the national historic preservation of the character and detail of the original building.


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