Title.

 

In California, title to real property may be held individuals in either Sole Ownership or in Co-Ownership (when held by two or more persons). In each instance, there are a number of variations as to exactly how title may be held. In this blog, we will discuss 8 of the most common situations.

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  1. Title may be held as a single man or woman who is not legally married
  2. You may hold title as an unmarried man or woman. This is different from holding title as a single man/woman because it refers to someone has has been legally divorced or who has dissolved a registered domestic partnership.
  3. If a married man/woman or a registered domestic partner desires to hold title in his or her name alone, he or she may do so with consent from the spouse/partner. Consent is given through a quitclaim deed that relinquishes all right or interest in the property. Thus, it is possible to hold sole and separate property, even if legally married.
  4. As defined in the California Civil Code, community property is property that has been acquired by either a husband or wife. When real property is conveyed to a married man or woman (or those in a domestic partnership), it becomes community property unless otherwise specified. This gives both spouses the right to dispose of exactly half of the property. If one spouse was to pass away, their half of the community property would automatically transfer to the surviving spouse. However, it is possible to leave one’s share of the property to a third party via a will.
  5. The Civil Code defines joint tenancy  as “owned by two or more persons in equal shares, by title created by a single will or transfer when expressly declared in the will or transfer to be joint tenancy.” Each share is equal. This style of holding title is made unique by the “right of survivorship” which declares that when a member hold joint tenancy dies, his or her interest in the property is automatically given to the survivor. A major advantage is that probate costs and delays are avoided when a joint tenant dies. However, it is important to note that property held in joint tenancy is not susceptible to being transferred to a third party by a will.
  6. Similar to joint tenancy, tenancy in common occurs when co-owners hold undivided interests, BUT these shares do not need to be equal or established at the same time. Another difference is that there is no right of survivorship, meaning that upon death each person may vest his or her interest to an heir.  A disadvantage to this is that the remaining tenant in common could wind up co-owning property with a stranger.
  7. Married couples and domestic partners have the ability to hold title as community property with right of survivorship, meaning that no share of the property may be given to anyone other than the surviving spouse or partner. This must be specified in writing that is signed by the grantees.
  8. Lastly, title to real property may be held in a living trust. In this scenario, a trustee would hold the legal and equitable title to the property for the beneficiary who is to retrain all of the rights and responsibilities. There are many advantages to a living trust, including avoidance of probate costs and delays. Further, until the death or disability of the trust creator, the property in the living trust is treated normally.

This chart from Fidelity helps to clarify:

chart

 

As a home owner, it is essential to not only familiarize yourself with the various ways to hold title, but also to be certain as to how you are holding title to your real property.

This knowledge is important because it may influence many tax and legal consequences during your life time and how (and whether) the property is transferred to your heirs when you die.

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There are significant tax and legal consequences that stem from how you hold title. We strongly encourage contacting an attorney and/or CPA for specific advice on how you should actually vest your title.

 

 

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STOP in the name of Low Mortgage Rates

Seriously, stop what you are doing.

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BECAUSE, low mortgage rates = amazing opportunities for buyers, sellers, or homeowners looking to refinance!

While rates on mortgages change daily, they are currently holding steady at near record lows. In fact, according to the Bankrate.com rates have not been this low since December 2012!  The graphic below demonstrates the drop in rates from just last week.

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Both 15-year and 30-year mortgage rates are down more than 0.5% since the start of the year.

What does this mean for buyers?

This drop in rates means that those looking to buy have experienced a purchase power increase of 7%…meaning that buyers who could afford an $800,000 home in December can now afford an $852,000 home!  For many on the house-hunt, this increase in purchase power could put their dream home just in reach!

What does this mean for sellers?

Lower mortgage rates translate to a surplus of buyers looking to take advantage of their higher purchasing power; which means you, as a seller, have the ability to get top dollar for your home! More active buyers are out looking increases the desirability of your home.. making it a hot commodity.

What does this mean for refinancers?

Refinancing gives a homeowner access to a new mortgage loan which replaces the existing one. The details of the new loan’s mortgage rate, loan length in years, and amount borrowed can customized by the homeowner. Thus, refinancing during a period of lower mortgage rates could benefit borrowers by lowering their monthly housing payments and/or shortening the term of their mortgage.

For a personalized rate, check out this helpful site: http://themortgagereports.com/ratequote/

Remember: Mortgage rates change quickly and there is no guarantee that these rates will last. Whether you are a seller or a buyer, it is time to take advantage of the current market!

New Listing! 2616 W. 143rd Place, Gardena

Check out this beauty!

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3bed/3bath
Approximately 1,380 sq ft and 6,625 sq ft lot.
Asking $449,000

Beautiful turnkey home with pool! Like new with upgrades throughout including laminate wood floors, double pane windows, recessed dim-able lighting, and new paint inside and out. Kitchen features gorgeous porcelain tiled floor, quartz slab counter tops, stunning backsplash throughout, new stainless steel appliances, and an open concept to the dinning and living room areas. Huge backyard includes pool, large grass area left to the imagination for endless possibilities, and a separate gated area away from pool, perfect for pets or kids to play. Bonus room features an additional guest bathroom, den area, and large bedroom with attached bathroom. Bonus items include new garage door and water softener. Must see in person to truly appreciate!

Please pass this information to anyone you think would be interested! Contact me directly for questions or to schedule a showing: 310.387.4693 laurenw@hmsold.com

Open house Saturday 5/9/15 1-4pm!

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New Gardena Listing Coming Soon!

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Hi Everyone!

I am excited to share that I will be listing a new home for sale in Gardena! It is currently being prepped to officially go on the market next week but if you or anyone you know is looking for a 3bedroom/3bathroom single family residence in the Gardena neighborhood next to El Camino and Bodger Park let me know! It is a turnkey pool house with new kitchen, bathrooms, floors, recessed lighting, paint (inside and out), and it is beautiful! Asking price will be $429,000. Please contact me for more details on location and if you would like to set up a special pre-view showing. 310.387.4693 laurenw@hmsold.com

It’s Here! New Listing in Tustin!

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15212 Wesley Way, Tustin CA 92782

First open house will be this weekend Saturday 4/18 and Sunday 4/19 1pm-4pm.

Beautiful & rare corner unit located on the green belt in Camden Place listed for the first time since it was built in 2007!  Situated away from busy streets and inner units, this condo has front-door access to the green belt park, views of Saddleback mountain, and is South-facing inviting in sunlight from three sides throughout the day.  First master suite is located on the lower level with full bathroom and easy access to laundry room and two-car garage.  Main level features a chef’s kitchen with expansive granite slab counter tops and stainless steel appliances including gas range.  The open concept is perfect for entertaining and helps the chef feel included in activities going on in the dining room and living room. Main level also features guest bedroom, second full bathroom, media nook, gas fireplace ,and spacious private balcony with views of the green belt – perfect for summer BBQs!  The entire top floor serves as a sanctuary, fully dedicated to an enormous master suite with walk in closet, master bathroom, double his/her sinks, jacuzzi tub, separate stand up shower, and linen closet.  Entire condo is pre-wired for the Internet and cable with convenient outlets in all three bedrooms and living room.  Home has been professionally cleaned, newly painted, and carpets have been professionally shampooed ready and waiting for it’s new home owners to move in right away!

Click here for the full listing with more photos and details
Virtual tour:
Contact me directly with any questions or to schedule an appointment.
310.387.4693
laurenw@hmsold.com

Congratulations to the Webers!!!

     A very special and happy congratulations to my brother and sister-in-law, Mark and Linda!!!

Like most of my clients, I truly feel that Mark and Linda got matched with this house by fate. Their story of purchasing a new home is different than most but in general it all just felt right and that’s usually the best sign. The stars, moon, and sun all aligned on Super Bowl Sunday when I went to meet up with Mark and Linda at Linda’s twin sisters house in Irvine. The plan was to meet at Mindy and Daniel’s house and then head over to Newport to celebrate Super Bowl together. As a Realtor I always notice open house signs, so when I spotted one pointing in the direction of the community I was entering I made a mental note of it.  Little did I know, the signs continued to follow my route and ended up being only four houses across the street from Mindy and Daniel! When I got there it was 10 minutes until it opened so I decided to go say hi to everyone and then run back to take a peek. When mentioning it, Mindy got excited and told Mark and Linda they should buy it (half jokingly but mostly serious). The six of us walked over together and toured the home. It was clean, bright, and had more space than their current home (perfect for building a family *wink wink). The price was within reach and they were due to refinance their place within the next year. So the thought of buying this home started to make some sense. We went to Newport, had a really fun party, and shared the news with the rest of Linda’s family who also encouraged them to look into buying it. A few day’s later everything worked out financially and we got their offer accepted in a multiple offer situation.

The biggest thing that I learned from this process was the power and importance of family. Everything was only possible with the help of brothers, sisters, moms and dads, and cousins. I saw the strong family values that my in-laws uphold by doing everything they could to help get the twins to live on the same block. The main goal of this whole transaction was to keep the family close together so that their kids can grow up together. Now they will we able to raise their kids together, carpool, and have numerous cousin sleepovers 🙂

Also, I’ve always admired my brother but through this process I gained an even deeper appreciation and admiration for all of his hard work he does to provide for and give his wife the life she wants and deserves. I can only hope to find a husband just as loving and devoted as him one of these days. 

Thank you Mark and Linda for entrusting me with this important process. I look forward to many family gatherings together in your new beautiful home!

Video Tour- 395 W. 15th Street, San Pedro

Hi Everyone!

Here’s a video tour of my listing in San Pedro. It definitely gives you a better feel for all of the amazing upgrades this home features inside. From a new foundation, copper plumbing, laminate wood floors, granite counter tops, cabinets, AC and furnace, security alarm system, and much  much more, this home is gorgeous! Let me know if you or anyone you know would like to live in this charming home, I’d be happy to send over more detailed info and schedule an appointment to view it! 310.387.4693 laurenw@hmsold.com

396 W 15th Street, San Pedro from Lauren Weber on Vimeo.

Join us at our Home Buying Seminar!

When: Thursday, March 12, 2015 from 6:30PM – 7:30PM

Where: Kinecta Federal Credit Union at the Torrance Crossroads Shopping Center
24329 Crenshaw Blvd Suite F Torrance, Ca 90505

If you are thinking of buying, in the process of searching, or plan to buy in the future, then please join us in a couple of weeks for our home buying seminar. I have teamed up with Monica Fujiwara of RE/MAX Estate Properties and Adam Barreto of Kinecta Federal Credit Union to bring you the inside scoop on how to get your offer accepted in this competitive market and what to plan on during your search and home buying experience. Financing questions will be addressed and you will even have the chance to get prequalified on the spot! Don’t miss out on this opportunity to get your dreams and goals of becoming a homeowner in order. Please contact me at 310.387.4693 or laurenw@hmsold.com to RSVP today. Hope to see you there!

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New Listing In San Pedro!

Hi Friends,

I have a new listing in San Pedro which is a charming Victorian cottage style home with 5 bedrooms, 3 full bathrooms, and upgraded throughout with asking price of $499,000. This house is a must see to appreciate all the quality work that has gone into it. Please let me know if you or anyone you know is interested in setting up an appointment to view it. I’m sad to see my past clients leave the South Bay but so excited for them to start a new journey in their lives. Check out this link to see the full listing with details and contact me with any questions.

http://mrmlsmatrix.com/matrix/shared/GhVzdF6CmmFd/39615thStreetW

(c) 310.387.4693
laurenw@hmsold.com

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Tech Talk – WeMo

Yesterday I learned about this cool new modular system called WeMo presented by Belkin. It is a home automation system that allows you to control as much or as little of your home as you like straight from you smartphone. So for example, if you forget to turn off your lights or heater you can do so while you are away. I’ve included a youtube video with more examples of what you can do with this system.

My favorite package is the LED lighting starter kit for $99 which gives you two bulbs and one WeMo Link. Check out the amazon listing HERE

I can see how this will become the future of all our homes. Let me know your thoughts and if you have any other tech apps or appliances that you think will be dominating the housing industry.