How to Title the Deed on first property

5 Replies

Wife and I are getting close to finalizing our first purchase on a single family investment property and title company want to know how we would like to title the deed.  I never even thought about this and wanted to see if there were any future benefits for either tax savings, protection of assests, or anything else you can advise.  Below are the options they have for us and wanted to see what you all think.  Thanks so much in advance.  

Option 1:  Joint Tenancy: Two or more grantees may choose to hold title as joint tenants with the right of survivorship.  The effect of owning real estate as joint tenants with the right of surviorship (rather than as tenants in common) is that, upon the death of one joint tenant, his or her interest in real estate passes, by operation of law, to the surviving joint tenant or tenants.

Option 2:  Tenant in Common: Share a specified proportion of ownership rights in real property and upon the death of a tenant in common, that share is transferred to the estate of the deceased tenant.

Option 3:  Tenants by the Entirety with teh Right of Survivorship: If a married couple wishes to own property jointly, they may take title as "tenants by the entirety with the right of survivorship."  Upon the death of either spouse, ownership of the property in its entirety vest automatically, by operation of law, in the surviving spouse.

Option 4:  Fee Simple: Reserved for one person or for a single business entity.  Upon the death of the individual fee simple owner, title passes under his or her will or be intestate succession, as the case may be.

We plan on keeping the property as a rental for near future and if values drastically increase may sell to get profits out to reinvest in other properties.  If need any further info please let me know.  I am hoping to provide the title company with the answer in next day or two.  


Generally speaking you would take title as tenants by the entirety. As a married couple, that usually makes the most sense. Also, in some states, TBE is the default for married couples, unless specifically stated otherwise in the deed.

If you are doing Estate Planning or expect to be in a taxable estate at some point, then you would need to get with a professional to determine what is the best way to take title for your specific situation.

Thank you Lance for the feedback. We will be getting with a CPA in our area next year for future investments to help get some guideance for sure.  

@Chris Svendsen

One of the main differences among those options is right of survivorship versus being able to will or sell your interest.

If you wish for an option to sell your 'share', or for your wife to sell hers at some point, or the ability to will the interest to someone other than each other, consider tenants in common.

Right of survivorship (you have 2 options here but married couples generally use tenancy by entirety as mentioned) supersedes probate so is preferable if you don't have wills prepared yet.

Unless you have a reason to use a different form I would use Tenants by the Entirety.  There can be reasons to do it differently but that is the normally the best form for married couples.  

Excellent.  Thanks everyone.  I will be sending the paperwork to the title company today.  

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