Understanding Title

The majority of homebuyers are married couples[1], making title to property relativity simple.  In recent years, more and more couples are buying homes together prior to marriage, making the matter of legal title more important, including applying for a loan and refinancing.  Buying a house has lasting consequences, so it’s very important to understand that there are different ways to take title to your new home.  Sole ownership, tenants in common, join tenancy, and community property are among the most common titles.
(Please note that this article does not seek to offer legal advice, but rather, distinguishes the various ways that one may hold title.  Please consult a real estate attorney should you have further questions.)

  1. Sole Ownership

Ownership by an individual or entity legally capable of holding title is sole ownership.  The most common sole ownership are single persons.

  1. Tenants in Common

Tenants in common are two or more persons who take title to property.  Title is held individually for their respective portions of the property and can be willed or transferred to other parties. Interest in the property does not need to be equal.

  1. Joint Tenancy

In a joint tenancy, two or more people hold title to the property with equal rights to the estate. If a joint tenant passes away, the surviving joint tenant receives the right of ownership.

  1. Community Property

Community property is a form of ownership by a married couple wherein each spouse owns one half of the property and can dispose of one half of the property or will it to another party.

Buying and taking ownership of a home is always cause for celebration.  With ownership comes the corresponding importance of understanding title to your property and the potential issues that could arise from it. The good news is that a great realtor will help you understand these issues in the process of acquiring your home.

Questions or comments?  Please feel free to reach out to me any time at 424.333.0557 or plissia@pslrealty.com.

Paolo Lissia


[1] See http://www.realtor.org/infographics/infographic-relationships-and-homeownership

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