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8 Ways to Hold Title on your California Home

8 Ways to Hold Title on your California Home

Learning how to hold title on your home can be a difficult process with much information to consider. Before exploring the ways that ownership is vested, it is important to first understand what title is. Read on to learn how to obtain title in California!

What is Title?

Title in real estate refers to the actual ownership and rights that a person or persons has to a property. It is the actual legal ownership of the property, while a deed is a document that serves as a record of that ownership. The deed is not the actual ownership of the property. Consulting a title vesting chart can add additional information for California’s regulations.

 CLICK HERE to download our Title Cheat Sheet!

Sole Ownership of Real Estate in California

Sole ownership is when a single person or entity is vested title.

1. Single Man or Woman / Unmarried Man or Woman

When a man or woman who is not legally married or in a domestic partnership acquires title. Widows/widowers and men or women who have been previously married and are now legally divorced are also included in this category.



2. A Married Man or Woman as His/Her Private and Separate Property

A married man or woman may buy a house in his or her name alone and own all of the accompanying rights. In order for this to occur, legally the spouse must relinquish all rights and title to the property and also may sign a quitclaim deed.

3. A Domestic Partner as His/Her Private and Separate Property

Very similar to the above case with married couples, a person in a domestic partnership may buy a property in his or her name alone. The non-vested partner will then sign to relinquish any rights and title of the property.

Co-Ownership of Real Estate in California

Co-ownership of a property is required when two or more people hold the title for a house together.

4. Community Property

This is the form of title most commonly vested between a married couple or domestic partnership in California.

  • It is assumed that this is the form of title that will be vested for a married couple or domestic partnership unless otherwise specified by a quitclaim or other agreement
  • Each spouse has the rights to half of the property, so each will have to sign off on the selling of the property and taking out loans on it
  • A spouse may choose to transfer his or her rights to the house to another person in his or her will

5. Community Property with Right of Survivorship

The same form of title as above with the added benefit of the right of survivorship. The right of survivorship in California states that when one spouse dies, the title and ownership will remain with the living spouse instead of being passed on to their children.

6. Joint Tenancy

A title between two persons that are not married or in a domestic partnership that vests equal shares and interests in the property.

  • The right of survivorship is automatically awarded to the surviving person on the title
  • This title must be created and vested for all parties at the same time and the document must expressly denote the intent of joint tenancy

7.Tenancy in Common

Tenancy in common is a form of title for two co-owners without equal shares or ownership in the property.

  • One may have more than the other and it is agreed upon before signing the documents
  • Each tenant may sell/lease or will their portion of the property whenever they please
  • There is no right to survivorship in this title. If one tenant dies, the rights will go to the heirs of the deceased

8. Trustees of a Trust

California allows co-ownership in the form of a trust arrangement. A trust is an agreement where a grantor allows a trustee to manage and hold the property in the best interest of the beneficiaries.

  • The title is vested to the trustee while the trust holds legal title and rights

Title Knowledge as Preparation for Buying your Home in California!

The process of buying a home has many steps, long hours, and lots of paperwork. Learning which form of title is the best for you will simplify your property documentation and will give you peace of mind in knowing you made the best choice for your life and family.

  • After you have determined the type of title for your needs, utilizing an escrow service to help you close the deal and own your house is one of the most crucial steps. An escrow service is best when efficient, secure, honest, and up to date with the most user-friendly technology to aid the process. New Venture Escrow is backed by the guarantee of quality and friendly service to make your escrow experience as simple and fast as possible. Call (619) 501-2414 or visit one of our Southern California branches in San Diego, Carlsbad, or Chula Vista to help you start and finish your escrow on your California Home!

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