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Career swap spurs title agent to take his finances seriously

Staff writer

In Roger Hannaford’s time working for Security 1st Title in Marion, he has learned to look at money in a different light.

Hannaford’s experience since the 1980s has taught him to think harder about how he managed money.

“I take it very seriously,” he said. “You have to, I think everybody needs to. I don’t care what business or profession you’re in.”

One of the biggest lessons he learned was to balance his portfolio and emphasize real estate ownership.

“I don’t care if it’s rentals or farm lands, or pasture lands,” he said. “It’s probably a good thing.”

As a title insurance agent, Hannaford sees himself as a neutral party in real estate property transactions. He makes sure a sale’s details are correct, that taxes are paid, and does judgment searches on both parties for red flags like property liens.

“Once everything is satisfied we go ahead, close it and disperse funds,” he said. “The buyer gets a new deed and key to the house and the seller hopefully walks away with a good check in their hand.”

Working at a security title agency has trained Hannaford to read the fine print — no matter the size of the document.

“You have to know what you’re doing and can’t miss a thing,” he said. “It’s very complicated, but you just have to do it. Things have changed a lot in the last several years.

“It’s not just a simple handshake and one-page contracts then off you go. It’s a lot more in depth and you’re working with lenders.”

Hannaford received a journalism degree from Kansas State University, but his news writing experience wasn’t something that carried over when he changed careers.

While Security 1st participates as a member of Kansas Land Title Association’s title school, Hannaford said he appreciated the chance to approach his new career with a blank slate.

“You learn on the fly,” he said. “You learn from your experiences, learn from your mistakes, and the things you did right.”

Proper money management is especially important given the financial scope of today’s property transactions, he said.

“Buying a house for $100,000 or a piece of land for $1 million it’s probably the biggest deal you’ll ever do with your finances,” he said. We’re just a part of that cog in the wheel that makes it happen.”

Last modified Jan. 9, 2020

 

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