How Should I Take Title?


One Person’s Name:  Sole Owner

If a recorded deed only contains one name, that person is the legal owner and has full legal power to sell or will away the house or other real property, even if someone else has contributed to the purchase and holds a nonrecorded interest.

If you are wanting to buy with another person that has poor credit (i.e. won’t qualify for a mortgage or will result in a higher interest rate) you can add the person’s name to the title later—sometimes transfer taxes and fees may apply, so be prepared.  Solution to this would be to sign a separate contract that spells out the actual property interests of both parties.  You should speak to a real estate lawyer, I know a great one, just ask and I will get you the info!

Joint Tenancy

You share equal ownership of the property and each of you has the right to use the entire property.  If one person dies, the other automatically becomes the owner of the deceased person’s share, even if there is a will to the contrary.  The advantage is that at the death of the first joint tenant, the property passes to the surviving joint tenant without the expense and trouble of probate proceedings.  But this may not last forever, if one joint tenant sells their share, the joint tenancy ends and the new owner and the original owner becomes tenants in common.  In any case, be sure there is a written agreement.

Tenants In Common

This is the most common way for unmarried couples to take title.  The tenants in common have no automatic right to inherit the property when the other party dies.  When one tenant dies, his or her share of the jointly owned property is left to whomever is specified in the will or living trust.  If there is no will, the person’s intestate heirs will inherit his or her share—and that does not include a living together partner.

So there ya have it!  Not a real fun topic, thinking about what happens when either you or someone you own property with dies.  But, it is a very important to know what your options are so you can take title to real property the way it makes the most sense for your own situation.  Questions?  Call or e-mail me, I am here to help!!

Why Work With Devon – Video

Why Work With Devon?

I held a client appreciation event this last spring at a local winery to get my clients together for an afternoon of wine tasting and chatting.  I hired a videographer so that my clients could get in front of the camera and talk about why they chose to work with me and what differentiates me from other real estate brokers.  It was very fun and interesting for me to watch the videos.  There were some “common threads” that were expressed by the majority of my clients that chose to participate—my attention to detail, thinking outside the box, and making the real estate process not only easy but FUN!  Have a look.

Using Stock Funds for Down Payment

Many times, one will wait until the last minute (right before closing) to cash in stock options for closing funds.  This can be dangerous.  If for some reason the stock crashes between the time your offer is accepted and the planned date to sell the shares, you might be out of luck for a down payment.  Keep this in mind, it might be a better idea to just bite the bullet, cash them in and have the funds available before you write an offer.  As with gift funds, if the money is not in your account and liquid at the time your offer is presented, you are required to disclose to the seller that the down payment is coming from the sale of stock.  In a competitive market, this will make your offer less attractive so it is best to have the funds available at the time you present the offer.