What does it mean to have ownership interest in a home?

On Behalf of | Jun 9, 2024 | Uncategorized

When a seller transfers ownership of a property to you, you probably take it for granted that you completely own the home. This is the case if the transaction grants you complete ownership over the property.

The key to being able to use your new house as you wish is that no other party has any ownership interest in the home. If a person or business does have some interest in your property, it could limit your ability to conduct repairs or renovations or even sell the home yourself.

Examples of ownership interest

There are various ways multiple persons can have a share in a home. In a joint tenancy arrangement, two or more individuals have the right to use the property or transfer their share. If one co-owner dies, the ownership share of the deceased shifts to the survivors. A tenancy by entirety arrangement is similar, but gives all co-owners full ownership of the property, while tenancy in common divides up ownership in differently proportioned shares.

Some people do not have direct ownership of a home, having transferred their interest in the property to a trust. Through the trust, the previous owners can shift control of the home to beneficiaries at a later date, while still living in the residence while they are still alive.

Using a title search to clarify ownership

Ideally, the name on the home title and the property deed should tell you who has complete ownership of the house you wish to buy. However, unknown owners, co-owners, shareholders or people who have a claim to the value of the home may still surface later.

The problem of undiscovered shareholders is why home buyers should conduct a title search. This process helps find out if the property has liens, unpaid taxes, court judgments, previous owners or any parties with an active claim to the home. By the end of the search, you should feel confident that you will assume full and complete ownership of the home you desire.