JEANNE REARDON - Attorney at Law
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Why a Home Buyer Needs Title Insurance
Joint Ownership of Real Property in New York
Home Mortgage Refinance
Will I Pay Capital Gains Taxes on the Sale of My Home
How to Add Someone to the Deed of My New York Home as a Joint Owner

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Real Estate Law Blog

Why a Home Buyer Needs Title Insurance

Title insurance is crucial for a home buyer because it protects you and the lender from the possibility that your seller doesn't -- or previous sellers didn't -- have free and clear ownership of the house and property and, therefore, can't rightfully transfer full ownership to you. Problems with the title can limit your use and enjoyment of the property, as well as cause you financial loss.  This is why you need title insurance.  

Your real estate attorney will arrange the process of getting you title insurance soon after your Contract of Sale is signed.

Joint Ownership of Real Property in New York

Joint property ownership can be a great solution for people who want to own a home, especially for first-time buyers. But joint ownership can limit your rights and options -- not only while you own the property, but also when you want to transfer ownership to an heir or another buyer. There are three major forms of joint property ownership (or "concurrent ownership") -- tenancy in common, joint tenancy, and tenancy by the entirety.


Tenancy in Common (TIC)

Tenancy in common (sometimes called a "TIC") is the most popular form of concurrent property ownership.

Home Mortgage Refinance

Standard Refinance

A standard refinance paying off an existing mortgage with the proceeds from a new loan.  In order to decide whether this is worthwhile, the savings in interest must be weighed against the fees associated with refinancing. Other reasons to refinance include reducing the term of a longer mortgage, or switching between an adjustable-rate and a fixed-rate mortgage.

Acash-out refinanceis taking a loan for more than you owe on your existing mortgage. Your existing mortgage is paid off from the new loan proceeds and you receive the balance of the new loan.

Will I Pay Capital Gains Taxes on the Sale of My Home

Will you pay tax on the sale of your home? Likely not, unless you have gains that are more than $250,000 or more than $500,000 for married couples.

Old Rule:
Until 1997, once you reached the age of 55, you had the one-time option of excluding up to $125,000 of gain on the sale of your home providing it was your primary residence.

New Rule:
Now, anyone, regardless of age, can excludeup to $250,000of gain or $500,000 for a married couple filing jointly on the sale of a home.

That means most people will pay no tax unless they have lived there for less than 2 out of the last 5 years

How to Add Someone to the Deed of My New York Home as a Joint Owner


There are many reasons you may want to add someone to the title of your home. Maybe you just got married and would like your new spouse listed as part owner of your home. Or you may want to add an adult child to your title for estate planning purposes.

Whatever the reason, you will need to retain an attorney, experienced in real estate, to draft a new deed conveying  your home  to yourself and the person you wish to add to your title. In addition to the deed, your attorney will also need to prepare transfer tax returns.