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Home > Blog > Buying and Selling > Choosing How To Title Your Home

Choosing How To Title Your Home

When you are in the market and thinking of buying a home, there are countless details to attend to. Aside from looking for the appropriate property, there are mortgages, insurance, and inspections to deal with, as well as the need to hire contractors and workers to handle any necessary modifications and repairs. One aspect of the home buying process that is often overlooked is how you will take ownership of the actual property. There are several options in terms of the how you title your new home, and understanding the differences between each can help you determine which one is in your best interests.

Forms of Home Ownership

When purchasing property and establishing home ownership, it is important to understand what a title is and what it represents. A title is how a property is conveyed from one person to another, and is kept with other public documents by the Offices of the City Register. A title typically defines the property boundary lines, and includes past and present owners, and any conveyances, encumbrances, and liens that go along with the property. When transferring a title in your name, you have several options which dictate how the property is distributed between you and any other owners, such as your spouse or other family members, as well as what happens to the property in the event that one of the owners dies. Under Section 6-2.1 of the New York Estates, Powers, and Trusts Law, there are four basic ways in which to title your home:

  1. Tenancy In Severalty: This is a form of ownership in which one specific person or legal entity is named as owner of a specific property, possessing the right to sell or lease it or to pass it along to heirs as the person wishes.

  2. Tenancy In Common: This is a form of ownership in which more than one owner has an interest in the property. This can be between two people, such as a couple, or between additional parties, such as siblings. Unless a share in the property is identified, it will be assumed that each party owns an equal and individual interest, which may be sold or gifted to others or passed on to heirs in the event of their death. This form of ownership can be troublesome if the owners disagree on how to handle the property or on whether or not to sell it.

  3. Joint Tenancy: Usually referred to as Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship, this form of ownership lists both parties as co-owners to the property, with each one’s individual interest in the property passed along to the other at death, without having to go through probate.

  4. Tenancy By the Entirety: This is a form of ownership that is strictly limited to married couples under New York law. It allows each spouse to own a 100 percent interest in the property, and also avoids probate in the event of death of one of the people named on the title.

While this is a basic outline of the options available, you will want to consult with our experienced real estate attorney to learn about the pros and cons of each.

Contact Us Today for Assistance

When choosing how to title your home, it is important to go through your options to determine the best one for your particular situation. At Cavallo & Cavallo, our experienced New York real estate attorneys are here to help you through every aspect of the home buying process, and can help you to determine the best way to handle both your property and assets so you’re your rights and interests are protected. With offices in the Bronx and Westchester, we are available to help you today.

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