What is the legal age to own a home in california?

Asked by Winn Ly, Huntington Beach, CA Tue Jul 3, 2012

I have a parents who is buying a home for their daughter. The daughter is 17.8 years of age (under 18 yrs). They will be paying all cash for the home. Can the daughter name be on the purchase contract alone? They are buying a bank own home which give a higher priority to "owner occupied". Therefore parent names can not be on the contract as it would qualify for owner occupied. Please let me know.

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Todd Foust, Agent, Anaheim, CA
Thu Jul 5, 2012
Just reread again.i missed something. If daughter is intending to live there, i might have less ethical issue with it than i indicated. You could have escrow close in a couple months when they turn 18 as another option
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Lillian Walk…, , Huntington Beach, CA
Tue Nov 13, 2012
You can be 1 hour old and own property. One thing to note is you can't sell it if you are under 18 years of age because you have to be at least 18 years old to enter into a contract or legal agreement.
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Vinny Tran /…, Agent, Huntington Beach, CA
Thu Aug 30, 2012
Dear Winn Ly,

18 ... we hope that answer your question.

Vinny Tran & Nancy Do
Mr. "Little Saigon" & Associates
CA Broker DRE ID# 01153694

0 votes
Steven Ornel…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Thu Jul 5, 2012
Hi Winn, this might help as an alternative:

493.0020 Custodianship.
Under California law, a minor may own real property or an interest therein, but a minor may not convey or make contracts relating to real property. Since a minor cannot sell or purchase property held directly in his or her own name, transactions involving a minor's interests in real property are usually conducted indirectly through a guardianship or trust. The California Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (CUTMA) provides a statutory mechanism for transferring property to an adult "custodian" for the benefit of a minor. A CUTMA custodian holds, controls, manages, and invests the custodial property. When the custodianship terminates, title to the custodial property is transferred to the minor or the minor's estate.

When property is transferred to a minor's custodian under the CUTMA, a minor has beneficial ownership of the property, and the custodian only has legal title with powers and limitations similar to that of a trustee. Therefore, for property tax purposes, an assessor should treat a CUTMA custodianship in the same manner as a trust and "look through" to identify the transferor and the present beneficiary. A CUTMA custodian is not considered the beneficial owner.

Thus, there is no exclusion from change in ownership for a transfer of real property from a grandmother to her daughter as a custodian for her grandson under the CUTMA. Such a transfer is considered a transfer from a grandmother to the grandson, and not from the grandmother to the daughter that qualifies for the parent-child exclusion. Neither is the grandparent-grandchild exclusion available since the mother of the grandchild is still living. C 9/14/2007.
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Todd Foust, Agent, Anaheim, CA
Thu Jul 5, 2012
Talk to an attorney, because I'm not one, but since they aren't getting a loan, loan fraud would seem to be off the table. I'm pretty sure that you can offer on any house to be "owner occupied" no matter how many homes you own or what your true intentions are.

Basically, the logic is "I'm going to rent or sell where I live now, and move to this house if I get it". Normally, this intention is a big no-no and could be considered loan fraud if you intended to make a house a rental but told the lender it was a primary residence purchase.

Just putting the parents name on the offer and indicating intentions to live in home seems easier and no less ethical than what your suggesting (putting somebody on the offer who really isn't buying the house just to meet the sellers preferences). I don't endorse either as explained here because they aren't 100% honest, and while it may be legal to mislead the seller (remember to check with attorney) this is a problem you could probably more easily overcome by strengthening your offer (ie more $$$ to seller).

this is just my opinion based on experience, please consult an attorney

Either way, best of luck,
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Ingrid Ski R…, Agent, Mission Viejo, CA
Wed Jul 4, 2012
Hi Winn,

18 is the legal age. You can do look into possibly a trust for the teenager. I would contact a Real Estate Attorney that can tell you how you can go about it. I have someone you can call if you do not know of a Real Estate Attorney.
Bye for now

Ingrid Ski Realtor
0 votes
Karen, , Orange County, CA
Wed Jul 4, 2012
Legal age is normally 18. Parents can be on title . Consult a Real estate attorney for further advice. A realtor nor loan officer should never provide legal advice.
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Lori Hanson, Agent, Aliso Viejo, CA
Tue Jul 3, 2012
18 is the legal age to own property in California. If they are buying it for her, then they might be able to put her on the contract with the parents but I would have to check with my title rep. If you are working with an agent they can check with their title rep to see if that would fly or not.

Lori Hanson
OC Homes Realty
714-585-5236 Cell
DRE 01405146
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