Home Buying in San Francisco>Question Details

Rivan G, Home Buyer in San Fancisco, CA

When buying a condo why does the mortgage company wants the title as Joint Tenants when I am the only owner?

Asked by Rivan G, San Fancisco, CA Tue Mar 18, 2008

I am applying for a mortgage to purchase a condo on my own. Why does the mortgage company wants the title to be hold as 'Joint Tenants"?

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Who do they want you to share tenancy with? Joint Tenants is how two or more people hold title to a property each holding equal shares with the right of survivorship. Example: When on joint tenant dies, his interest vests in the surviving joint tenant(s). A condo development contains an individually owned unit in a multi-family type structure, combined with joint ownership of the structure and the land. Contact your mortage lender or escrow company to find out who they want you to share title with and why? Are they talking about your individually owned unit or the common areas?
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 18, 2008
Mike, it's considered common area, not joint tenancy... Joint tenancy refers to taking title to the property, you have the exclusive right to portions of common area. If someone dies in the complex, you don't get the stair well or their balcony...
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 18, 2008
Are you talking about the 1003? Your broker/lender doesn't know what they are talking about... When title draws up the deed from the seller it will read: Rivan G, a single man (or unmarried if you have been divorced, widowed, etc.). It is impossible to be a joint tenant unto yourself.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 18, 2008
Are you rich?
If yes, then buy the condo
If no, then wait till next year, when things are much cheaper

free advice for you
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 18, 2008
All the answers echo similar themes. When you purchase a condo you own the interior space and the title may be held as Rivan - an unmarried male - or something similar. The common areas (everything outside the condo from outdoor areas, easements, etc) are jointly owned.

Hope this helps!

Jenn
Web Reference: http://www.jenndavis.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 18, 2008
That is peculiar. Your question implies that you're the only one applying for the mortgage. Is that correct? You might want to be the only "owner"--the only person on the title. But if someone else is helping with the mortgage--cosigning, for instance--they may want that person on title, too. That happened to my wife and me 25 years ago when we bought a house. My mom co-signed, and the mortgage company insisted she be on the title, too.

I'm not a lawyer, but....

The other "owner" generally can relinquish his/her ownership through a mechanism as simple as a quit claim deed, so long as they're willing to do so. Now, if that person's name is on the mortgage, he/she may not want to do so, but that's an avenue to explore with a real estate attorney.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 18, 2008
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Fairfax, VA
MVP'08
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I really think you must have mis-understood the request. Check with your agent and have them get you infor from the title company that explains what options you have to take title then ask your agent for a referral to an attorney to discuss what is the best for you.
There are legal and tax ramifications to how you take title. Be knowledgeable and don't do anything you don't understand.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 18, 2008
Jed Lane; Fog…, Real Estate Pro in San Francisco, CA
MVP'08
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The only reason I could think of, and I've NEVER heard this in my 30 years in the business, is they may be trying to avoid a TIC (tenants in common) where you might be alienating their title, dividing flats, etc. Other than that I've NEVER heard of a LENDER requesting a borrower to stipulate how you wish to hold title. Joint Teanancy cannot be "willed" to someone as when you pass the entire estate reverts to the joint tenant. But if you're the ONLY one on title?? What did the lender say?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 18, 2008
Hi Rivan,

That's an interesting question, I've never seen that before. I would think the title would be held as "single man" rather than joint tenants. In the cases I've encountered it normally is used for non-married individuals (mostly same sex partners), but sometimes family members that are purchasing together. I'd ask your mortgage broker if this is a lender/bank requirement.

I'd be interested to see what others have to say and if you find out more information. You quite never know what interesting factors will come up with any real estate transaction. It could be a leaky toilet on the day of close of escrow to this type of question that you posed.

Thanks for the question!
--Kevin
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 18, 2008
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