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Real Estate FAQ

WHAT IS JOINT TENANCY?
When buyers title real property with special words inserted so that title passes automatically to the survivor when one of the joint owners dies.

WHAT IS ESTATE BY ENTIRETY?
A special kind of ownership that's similar to joint tenancy but is only for married couples and, in a few states, same-sex couples who have registered with the state. It is available in about half the states. Both spouses have the right to enjoy the entire property. Neither one can unilaterally end the tenancy, and creditors of one spouse cannot force a sale of the property to collect on a debt. When one dies, the survivor automatically gets title to the entire property without a probate court proceeding.

WHAT ARE TENANTS IN COMMON?
Tenants in common can own unequal shares of property and is a common way for commercial partners and cohabiting unmarried couples to hold property.

WHAT IS A DEED?
A Deed is required to transfer ownership of real estate. A deed contains the names of the old and new owners and a legal description of the property and is signed by the person transferring the property. A signed deed should be recorded in the appropriate land records office, usually in the county in which the property is located. Recording the deed gives public notice of the change in ownership and the interests in the property. To record the original signed deed, it must be delivered to the land records office. The clerk will stamp the deed with the date and officially record the transaction. The county will charge a small fee to record the deed.

WHAT IS A WARRANTY DEED?
A means to transfer ownership of real estate wherein a seller conveying property assures good and marketable title to the buyer and will defend the tile to the property from all persons. It is a conveyance of title including some warranties or guarantees; usually good title, freedom from encumbrance other than as excepted, possession to the buyer as against all others, and a promise to defend title.

These guarantees alone are not adequate protection since they are no better than the present and future financial responsibility of the seller. A warranty from a financially responsible seller is comforting and desirable but is not a substitute for a title examination and title insurance. Title defects have a way of lying dormant for years and perplexing a buyer long after he has paid for the land and after the seller has disappeared or died.

WHAT IS A QUIT CLAIM DEED?
Transfers ownership of real estate, however, a seller conveying property by a quit claim deed conveys only what title the seller may have to the property, with no warranty as to ownership or defects in the title.

WHAT HAPPENS IN A MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE?
If a homeowner fails to make mortgage payments, the lender may foreclose on the property. State laws provide strict regulations regarding proper notices and opportunities to pay before the property is sold in a foreclosure sale. Homeowner may stay in his or her home during a foreclosure. A lender may want to avoid foreclosure and its costs by working out an agreement with the homeowner, frequently accepting interest-only payments or partial payments in order to assist the homeowner. 


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Contact our office today at 561-832-1001 in Florida or toll-free 855-285-6655 in Washington, D.C. for a free initial telephone consultation. We look forward to protecting what matters to you.

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