Hi Shelley, As already mentioned, talking with an Accountant or an Attorney is a good idea when discussing 'how to take ownership'.
In my opinion, as a real estate Broker, there are two main differences between "Joint Tenants" and "Community Property"
1) Wth Joint Tenants, you have the automatic 'right of surviorship', which means that if one spouse passes away, the property automatically goes 100% to the surviving spouse.
On the contrary, with Community Property, either spouse can pass his/her share of the title on to another person, (whether related to them or not) so it is not automatically passed to the spouse. There are ways that you may be able to add to the Comunity Property Title to get the 'right of survivorship', but you should check with an attorney for that, or some other professional that handles things like 'taking title to property'.
2) With Joint Tenants, only one half of the property's value is adjusted up to the home's current value, while the other half stays at the value that it had when purchased. With Communnity Property, both halves are adjusted up to the current value of the whole property. These adjustments are for 'income tax adjustments', and do not effect your sales PRICE if you should elect to sell the home. But the income tax adjustment could have an important impact on your taxes; therefore a tax accountant should be consulted.
So as you can see, each type has it's pros and cons. I hope this little attempt to spell out some of the ways Joint Title and Community Property differ. Please note that this is only my opinion, and that you really should get professional help with this type of property ownership. Please feel free to ask me anyother questions that you may have regarding real estate. I would love to answer them for you!
All answers in this forum are deemed reliable, but not guaranteed; Real Estate, Tax, and other rules and regulations change often.
SHER Miersemann 707-576-1234