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Newhall Escrow celebrates 50 years

Family-owned and operated escrow company in Santa Clarita will celebrate its 50th anniversary

Posted: October 27, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 27, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Steve Corn and father Ron stand alongside in escrow office in Newhall. Newhall Escrow is the oldest escrow company operating in Santa Clarita. The company will celebrate its 50th anniversary on December 19, 2013.

Newhall Escrow has been around Santa Clarita longer than most of its residents. Santa Clarita wasn’t even a city yet.

The family-owned and operated, independent escrow company is celebrating its 50th anniversary December 19.

Newhall Escrow was the first escrow company in the Santa Clarita Valley, said owner Steve Corn.

“My dad bought the company in the early 70s from the Carver’s,” he said. “It used to sit on San Fernando Road and later moved to Arch Street.”

Corn’s dad, Ron Corn, moved the business to Lyons Avenue where it operates today in a building he owns, and built, Corn said. His dad remains a local resident, living in Valencia.

But, the times have changed over the decades.

When his dad bought the company there were four or five housing tracks being built in the area and future plans for development of the region were already being laid out, Corn said.
The community, however, was still mostly comprised of citrus orchards and agricultural fields back then, he said.

And, escrow contracts used to be only a page or two. Now it’s not uncommon for them to run eight to 12 pages.

Corn joined his father’s company in 1990, working his way through the company from the ground up, he said.

Fourteen years later he assumed ownership when his dad retired in 2004.
The company has grown over the years along with the Santa Clarita Valley.

And it survived the housing market crash because of its long standing relationship with Realtors, Corn said.

“We’ve got some Realtors that have been with our company for 30 to 40 years,” he said.

A good, independent escrow company can become a resource that solves a multitude of unusual issues, Corn said.

“We’re charged with the management and responsibility of the money involved in the real estate transaction,” he said. “So who you do business with is important when it comes to protecting the money, releasing the balance of the down payment, and opening and closing smoothly. And we generate all the documentation necessary to effect the transaction.”

There are sellers and buyers that call the company all the time to handle transactions that don’t involve Realtors, Corn said.

But, the average seller and buyer generally work with whatever escrow company their Realtor refers them to.

Why contact an independent escrow company?

A buyer or seller can work with any company recommended by their Realtor, Corn said. But educated sellers and buyers also know they have a choice and many specifically ask to work through the escrow company of their choice.

“The true definition of an escrow company is a neutral third party,” he said. “We’re truly neutral. We’re not owned by anyone involved in the buying or selling process.”

Sales transactions can get sticky at times – sellers have very specific demands, or buyers asks for a millions things to be done to the home. And market swings often give the advantage to either seller or the buyer – it’s not always a level playing field.

“When a buyer or seller don’t agree to certain terms, we don’t do squat until both parties agree,” Corn said.

With an independent escrow company, there’s no influence of an in-house brokerage house or pressure to get the transaction closed a certain way or with conditions that make one of the parties unhappy.

After 50 years, Newhall Escrow has worked with so many buyers, sellers and Realtors that it works with all parties equally and fairly because “we might be helping any one of them again in the future as well,” Corn said.


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