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The Most Common Methods of Holding Title to Your Home

April 7, 2017

Choosing the best method to holding title to your property.

One of the last things most buyers think about is how to hold title to their new property. Unlike personal property, real estate is titled to convey ownership. This real estate ownership can take several forms, each of which has implications on how ownership can be transferred. It’s always best to consult your real estate and title professionals before deciding the best way to hold title to your home. To help with the decision, here are the most common methods of holding title.

Community Property

Husband and wives who acquire real estate can take title as community property in most cases. Each spouse then owns half of the property, which, then can be passed by the spouse’s will either to the surviving spouse or to someone else. Title is in the ‘community’, and each interest is separated but management is unified. The co-owners, typically husband and wife, have equal management and control.

Joint Tenancy

Joint tenancy occurs when two or more people hold title to real estate jointly, and all have equal rights to the property. In the event of the death of one of the partners, their rights of ownership pass to the surviving tenant(s). Unless joint tenancy is broken, the last surviving joint tenant owns the entire property interest, which is now devisable by will.

Tenancy in Common

When two or more co-owners take title to real estate, especially if they are not married to each other, they often become tenants in common. For example, two real estate investors may select this method. Unlike joint tenancy, tenants in common hold title individually for their respective part of the property and can dispose of or encumber it at will. Ownership can be willed to other parties, and in the event of death, ownership will transfer to that owner’s heirs undivided.  Believe it or not, but there are plenty of other ways to hold title as well, including:

  • Community Property with Right of Ownership
  • Partnerships
  • Trust Agreements
  • Community Property Trusts

While not every future homeowner is an expert in title insurance, we are. Let the title professionals at Fidelity National Title help to determine the most beneficial way of holding title to your most valuable asset so that you can protect it. Our team has the knowledge to make sure that you secure the correct title policy for your specific needs. Contact us today to learn more about the residential title services offered at FNT Orange County.