Joint Tenancy is one of the most common ways to take ownership of real-estate through title when purchasing a home.
This is a big decision, and one that needs to be made by the buyer when making an offer on the property. It's one of the first sections in the Exclusive Right to Buy Real Estate contract. There are a few options when it comes to taking title; Severalty, Tenants in Common and Joint Tenants (we will cover the other two types in future blogs so stay tuned).
One of the main reasons Joint Tenancy is such a common choice over Tenancy in Common is because Joint Tenancy has survivorship rights: meaning that if two people are buying a home together (married or not) and one dies, the other gets the rights to the property without needing to go through the grueling process of an estate via a will. All the parties additionally share responsibility for the property, meaning that half of a couple can’t take out a loan on the property and then leave their partner accountable. Any debt, liens or equity in the property also affect all parties equally.
A few more fun facts brought to you by the Legal Dictionary-
“Joint tenants usually share ownership of land, but the property may instead be money or other items. Four main features mark this type of ownership:
- The joint tenants own an undivided interest in the property as a whole; each share is equal, and no one joint tenant can ever have a larger share.
- The estates of the joint tenants are vested (meaning fixed and unalterable by any condition) for exactly the same period of time—in this case, the tenants' lifetime.
- The joint tenants hold their property under the same title.
- The joint tenants all enjoy the same rights until one of them dies. Under the right of survivorship, the death of one joint tenant automatically transfers the remainder of the property in equal parts to the survivors. When only one joint tenant is left alive, he or she receives the entire estate.”
Moral of story: as you embark on the wonderful journey to purchase a home please remember to take the time to research and understand all of the ways that you can take title (ownership) of the property you have decided on.
Im always happy to assist if you have questions or concerns regarding this topic or any others. Ok, maybe not all topics, but anything real estate or mortgage related Im happy to help.
If you are interested in reading about more the home buying process and terminology head on over to the series: REAL Vocabulary
You can reach me at Krystal@westandmainhomes.com