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How Should You Hold Title to Your Home?

Updated: Dec 5, 2023


Disclaimer: This blog is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be any sort of legal advice.


When it comes to homeownership, the decisions you make extend beyond just selecting the perfect paint color or arranging the furniture. One crucial aspect that often gets overlooked is how you should hold title to your home. The way you choose to hold title can have significant implications for your financial well-being, estate planning, and legal rights. In this blog post, we'll explore the various forms of property ownership to help you make an informed decision.


1. Sole Ownership:

Pros:

Simplicity: As the sole owner, you have complete control over the property.

Decision-making: You can make decisions without the need for consensus.

Cons:

Lower financing limit: Most lenders require loan holder to also be on title, so with a Sole Ownership, only one person's income (the owner's) is allowed to be counted on the loan application.


2. Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship:

Pros:

Multiple Owners: This way of holding title allows there to be any number of owners.

Right of survivorship: If one owner passes away, their share automatically transfers to the surviving joint tenant(s).

Avoiding probate: This form of ownership can simplify the probate process.

Cons:

Shared decision-making: Major decisions require the agreement of all joint tenants.

Limited control: Each tenant has a say in the property's management.


3. Tenancy in Common:

Pros:

Multiple Owners: This way of holding title allows there to be any number of owners.

Flexibility: Owners can have unequal shares, and each owner can sell or mortgage their share independently.

No survivorship requirement: Each owner can pass on their share to heirs in their will.

Cons:

Potential disputes: Disagreements may arise regarding the use or management of the property.

No automatic right of survivorship.


4. Community Property with Right of Survivorship:

Pros:

Equal ownership: Spouses each equally own the property acquired during the marriage.

Simplifies inheritance: In the event of a spouse's death, the property automatically passes to the surviving spouse.

Cons:

Only Applicable to Married Couples: You must be married to hold title in this way.

Limited control: Major decisions may require the consent of both spouses.

Not recognized in all states.

Note: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin are states that are community property jurisdictions.


Choosing the right form of ownership depends on your individual circumstances, including your relationship with co-owners, financial considerations, and estate planning goals. It's advisable to consult with legal and financial professionals to ensure you make the decision that aligns with your long-term objectives.


Holding title to your home is a critical decision that can impact various aspects of your life. Taking the time to understand the different forms of ownership and seeking professional advice can help you make a choice that suits your needs and protects your interests.

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